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Forgiveness is such an emotionally charged and powerful word. For many of us just hearing that word makes us cringe.  There is so much meaning attached to it, and we might not be in a place of wanting to let go of the stories we are holding onto, of the wrongdoings that were done to us.  We want to hold on for dear life, to that pain, because frankly, we are so accustomed to having it as a companion, that we might not know who we are without it.  We might be thinking if we put the pain down, if we let our guard down, we may open ourselves up to being hurt again, and that’s just not an option.
 
What does it mean to forgive? For me, it meant that I needed to stop drinking the poison.  I needed to stop allowing the other person to have an emotional grip on me.  It meant severing the energy source that was paralyzing me so that I could stop giving my power away.
 
Forgiveness was about me.  It was the greatest act of self-care.  To be in a place of total freedom, and not allow anyone control over my emotions, my thoughts, or my self-worth.
 
Not being able to forgive carried consequences of still being attached in a negative energy space, and the only way to release that negative attachment was to be in a place of neutrality, a place where the wrongdoer was neither good nor bad.  A place of understanding that their actions are only a result of what’s going on in their reality, and it had nothing to do with me.
 
If you’ve read my blog post https://marisalupocoaching.com/butterfly-magic-the-story-of-me/ , you know how difficult my divorce was. Dismantling a long-term marriage with children was no easy task, especially in the Italian community.  A community where your suffering becomes the topic of conversation in every household, and not in a way that is supportive and loving, but in a way that is meant to hold your head under water.
 
I felt as if I had the world against me.
 
Lets just say that forgiveness wasn’t on the top of my list of priorities.
 
The anger raged inside of me for the things that were being said about who I was, what sort of mother I am, and about things that were said that were meant to damage my character.  This sort of sabotage not only landed on my ears, but they also landed on the ears of my children.
 
This was the moment where I knew that I needed to establish a relationship with my new best friend…BOUNDARIES!
 
Now, some of you may have grown up like me, in a family where boundaries are nonexistent.  A place where lines are crossed and your life isn’t your own.  So, you can see how establishing boundaries may require you to get a little ugly.  It may seem out of left field if all of a sudden you speak your mind and let someone know that they are crossing the line with you, but nothing good comes out of not speaking your truth and allowing others to hurt you.
 
Learning to find my voice and my power was the only road to creating boundaries, which ultimately allowed me to let go and forgive.  It was easier to forgive from this place because I was no longer a victim.  I had the power to dictate how others were going to treat me, and if there was something I didn’t like, then I had the power to remove myself from the situation.  
 
Setting boundaries puts you back in the driver’s seat.  You get to be in a place where you can trust yourself again.  A place where you have choices.  A place of knowing that you are worth more than holding onto the story that is weighing you down.  I am asking you to forgive because you are worth so much more and because freedom is on the other side waiting for you to let go.