I try to write in a way that gives hope and shows that every feeling and every way of being is subject to change. I have learned that we are surrounded by a sea of energy that flows around us and through us, we are energetic beings with an innate ability to heal ourselves and the new Quantum Sciences are proving it. We are transmitting and receiving information that is creating what we see in front of us and these signals are all dependant on our thoughts and feelings, these are the signals that we send out and because like attracts like, so be careful what you send out because that will be what you experience more of.
So enough of that and back to the original subject which started a couple of days ago on “Forgiveness” The feelings around forgiveness are the higher vibrational feelings that include love and compassion that we need to develop and nurture for our physical and mental well-being.
I saw forgiveness as a weakness and if there had been a competition for collecting resentments, I felt like I could have been a world champion!! Bullying at school, my Dad being violent towards me and my Mum, the driver who accidentally killed my brother, cruel Nuns at school, it went on and on and on but every one of them were justifiable resentments that made me angry and hateful. Just to clarify for anyone that is at this point nodding their heads to the idea of “justifiable resentments” There is no such thing as a justifiable resentment, no matter what the circumstances!!
Now how my journey into forgiveness started. As I have said before my journey started in a twelve step treatment centre and then to Narcotics Anonymous meetings where I began to work the twelve step program. Step eight states that we “make a list of all people we had harmed and make amends to them all” You might be thinking how is this anything to do with forgiveness? Well hang on in there it is quite sneaky how it works but firstly I had a problem. I was working with a sponsor (mentor) who was experienced in the steps. I told him there were people on my list that there was no way I would forgive them. So he let me write three lists. The first one had everyone on it that I would make amends to, the second those that I might make amends to at a later date and the third list had all those on that there was no way in hell that I would make amends to!!!
Hmmm! As you can imagine this was a dilemma, you see a lot of the people on the last list were people who had done things to me, those so called “justifiable resentments”. I had to get to a point where I could admit my part in something without condoning the other person’s actions or behaviour and it took me quite a while to get my head around it but it was the beginning of my journey to freedom from the past.
I’ll pick the one about my Dad to explain how it worked for me. There’s no two ways about it my Dad was brutal towards me the eldest son of three at the time and I witnessed him attacking my Mum too. Over time I had moved from resentment to anger to pure hatred at times. This exercise of looking at my part in all this was so difficult for me because it felt as if I was letting him off the hook so to speak but in fact although I didn’t know it at the time I was letting myself off the hook. In “A Course in Miracles” a miracle is described as a change in perspective and this is what just this process was giving me.
I had an opportunity that I had never considered before to be an observer and imagine how my behaviour affected my parents how they must have been frightened for me and how out of control I was. When I started my journey to forgiving my Dad, I had no idea of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study and how these ACE's are passed down from parents to children. In fact the study didn’t begin until 1997 the same year that I went into treatment for the final time.
As I slowly worked through this work around my Dad something shifted and I began to feel some compassion for him. I didn’t know what his upbringing was like, I didn’t know what his experience of serving in the Second World War was like, there were so many areas of his life that I knew nothing about. Both my parents died before I got clean and my Brother Alan told me that my Dads last words were “I hope our Trevor sorts himself out” I was in prison at the time and I was taken to his funeral in handcuffs which I am not very proud of but what I am proud of is that I fulfilled his dying wish and so God Bless you.
When I started this process I would have gladly danced on my father’s grave had it not been for the fact that my Mum and Brother were buried on top of him! But in the end I was at the grave side reading a no send letter that started with me venting some anger for how he treated me but by the end of it I was in floods of tears and saying how sorry I was for what I put him through and the shame I brought on our families name I ended by telling him how much I loved him and here began the healing energy of forgiveness. Do you know how I knew this? Of course I felt so much lighter and freer but something else happened, you know that nature arbours a vacuum, well where the memories of anger and resentment once were, I now had memories filtering to the surface of happy times we had together, fishing, going to the coast, and working with him on a power station near Liverpool when I was eighteen years old, good times.
I believe “Resentments” harbour the so many destructive emotions that eat away at our very soul and keep us trapped in destructive thoughts, feelings and patterns of behaviour. So yes we can’t afford to hold on to “so called” justified resentments, the old adage of… “Resentments are like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies” is so true, the only person we poison is ourselves, in fact all negative emotions, thoughts and feelings are toxic.
Well I started this off a couple of days ago with “Acceptance is the key to freedom but Forgiveness is the key to happiness and joy”
This is my experience and it is an ongoing one I have had to revisit some to clear the remnants. I have used other modalities such as EFT (Tapping) but although it might take time the rewards are massive and effect so many areas of our lives.
The hardest resentments to let go of are the ones where there has been no fault of ours, this is where we just forgive unconditionally because we can’t afford not to. We can find lots of reasons not to forgive but if we choose to hold on to them we do so at our own peril. What I found frustrating about hanging on to a resentment was that no matter how angry I got the only person that suffered was me and they were completely oblivious to it all!
So I decided to serve eviction orders on all those people that had been living rent free in my head for years. I forgive you, see ya!