I remember learning about and practicing forgiveness as far back as my earliest memories take me.  When someone took your toy, didn’t share, cut you in line, said something mean – they apologized, and I (usually) accepted.  When I took someone’s toy, didn’t share, cut them in line, said something mean – I apologized, and they (usually) accepted.  I can still hear my parents saying, “say you’re sorry…and mean it.”  Ahh…the meaning it part was tricky back then, especially when my feelings were hurt…and even more challenging now.  It’s also the key component in forgiveness…and in turn in moving on/letting go.  

I made a lot of changes in 2018, including leaving behind all that I knew to take on the unknown.  I know this is my path, the path I am meant to be on because I feel it, deep in my soul, deep in my belly.  There is something far greater than myself, guiding me, teaching me, and sometimes downright dragging me to where I’m meant to be.  I know I am living my purpose more and more each and every day.  And yet, there’s still something holding me back.  It too comes from deep in my soul, deep in my belly.  

I made these changes last year for many reasons, none more important than my health, well-being, and balance.  Making choices that gave me so much freedom, so much space, so much possibility.  All of that feels so good, so right, so true.  At the same time, I find myself (ha, find myself…I don’t find myself, I intentionally keep putting myself) back in all the pain, frustration, disappointment + stress that I thought I was leaving behind.  So why?  Why do I keep doing this to myself?  The answer is so crystal clear to me now…it’s because I need to forgive + send love to those who hurt me, didn’t see me/hear me/believe in me, didn’t acknowledge me and the list goes on and on.  I know I need to forgive in order to truly cut the cords and move on.  The spiritual, mindful, peaceful side of me is saying “Forgive them.  Love them.  And you will be free.”  And the very imperfect human side of me is saying “F*ck them.  They are awful.  They don’t deserve it.”  By staying in all of this $hit, it allows me to stay small, stay in my comfort zone, continue to prove I’m right/prove they are wrong, stay stuck on fairness, honesty + integrity.  And to be honest…it’s exhausting.  The question of the hour (day, week, month, year) is, “how’s that working out for you?”  the answer: it’s not.

So here I am…on this see saw.  Knowing exactly what I need to do, and “should” do, yet consciously choosing not to do it.  What they don’t teach you as a child, is how hard it is to apologize to and/or forgive the people that hurt + betrayed you, who lied, manipulated, and were selfish, some of which were people you loved + cared about – those are the ones where “meaning it” can be so freaking hard.  And yet, it’s not about them at all.  It’s about me.  I am the only one suffering from holding on to these feelings.  I am the only one being held back by holding on – how ironic, right?  

I know I need to forgive + send love - for no one but me. 

I’ve done a lot of work on forgiveness already.  I’ve gone on retreats.  Taken workshops.  Talked to coaches.  Slathered myself in dōTERRA’s forgive oil (literally covering myself with it).  I’ve written letters to each and every person who hurt me, including myself, and then burned them.  I’ve meditated – oh, how I’ve meditated on this.  Asking my spirits + guides for support on the daily.  I walk in nature.  I listen to music.  I move my body (mostly through yoga).  I made a forgiveness chart: including who I was forgiving, what I was forgiving them for, why I am forgiving them, and what I learned from them or why I’m grateful for them.  Each practice, a baby step toward forgiveness.  A baby step toward love.  A baby step – or maybe giant leap towards who I really am.  Who I am is unconditional love.  Light.  Leadership.  Space.  Freedom.  Support.  I know that’s who I am.  Nothing can shake that.  

Then, last week, I saw this quote from @createthelove:

I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry, and accept an apology I never received.
— @createthelove

Whoa! It stopped me in my tracks and was exactly what I needed to hear/see/read.  I sat. I listened.  I wrote.  In the writing, came tremendous healing (as it always does).   I felt a weight lifted.  Something in my body shifted.  I know who I am, and don’t need the approval or validation from anyone or anything outside of me.  Because of that belief, that faith, that strength – I know I can forgive.  I can love.  It’s who I am.

So here goes: I forgive you.  Yes, you.  And yes, I forgive myself too.  I love you.  Yes, you.  And yes, I love myself too.  We are all on this earth, connected in so many ways. We are one.  We are all, me included, doing the best we can with what we have in any given moment.  We are all in this together.  And there’s nowhere I’d rather be than right here, right now. I know I’m exactly where I am meant to be.

I guess the universe had this plan all along.  I keep getting nudges to write.  To keep sharing my journey.   This – writing + sharing - is helping me heal.  And maybe, just maybe, it will help you too.