The Gift of Forgiveness
Hello fellow bloggers! It’s been a while but today I’m here to share a very personal journey in hopes that it will touch someone’s situation.
THE BACKSTORY: “At a young age my father began telling me I was his “greatest mistake in life”. He was a functional alcoholic who was “always staring at the bottom of a glass” as my grandmother used to say. When he’d go out on his drinking benders and stumble home all liquored up and bitter at all hours of the AM, he’d tell me “you should have never been born; your mother is a drug addict who should have never had children”. His words stung and even though his eyes were filled with fury; deep down I knew he was hurting and angry with my mother for leaving him to raise me. I reminded him of her tremendously and he never let himself fall in love with me. I was his burden and he treated me as such…”
As of late, I’ve been fully immersed in my own self-growth and personal development, as well as the progression of those around me! This positive energy keeps me moving forward and motivated to be my best. As I push and pull at life to find my niche and fulfill my passions; there remained this nagging emotion that was gradually weighing me down and bending my spirit. Although, the feeling hadn’t broken me, it became noticeably overwhelming. Then, the moment arrived when I had to confront this dreaded feeling and with my full attention came healing power.
I’m always the first person telling others to exercise forgiveness because life is too short. But, with some matters of my own heart I hadn't arrived at a place of forgiveness. Until, I found myself in the most peculiar situation, standing in front of the man that had disowned me almost 15 years ago, right before my 18th birthday. The man that I’d never truly forgiven for the emotional damage and pain he’d caused me. I don’t know exactly how I ended up in the dilapidated home I’d grew up in, staring him in his eyes. But, he was on my mind heavy and my body followed my thoughts with no questions asked. There he sat aging, vulnerable, lonely and accepting of me as I was. There I stood with genuine concern for his well-being as my spirit embraced my willingness to let go of the past. In that moment, I decided to practice what I preach. I decided not only to forgive him but to forget his trespasses against me. I let go!
Hello, Peace of Mind!
My visit was short lived but it revealed his heart to me. I saw his love for me despite his inability to show it. He demonstrated more love and fatherly affection in that brief 60-minute interaction than he’d extended me my entire life. I was intrigued as he carried pictures of my children in his back pocket although he’d never met them. I was amazed to find a wall filled with all of my grade school accolades and I immediately understood. He was incapable of demonstrating love. His heart was full and his actions had absolutely nothing to do with me and everything to do with him…and I WAS FREE. Free of anger, pain and resentment. Instead, I was instantly consumed with sympathy, peace and love for my estranged father. I jumped off of my invisible merry go round of self-pity and began to walk toward my own healing with my arms wide open.
THE MORAL: Forgiveness is transforming. I have been given the chance to live without resentment. What a gift?!! Christmas has arrived early this year and with a gift that keeps on giving. “Dear Daddy, I forgive you, I love you and I hope you can find a way to forgive yourself”. As for me, I am free! Forgive, forget, live and rejoice in your personal growth!