When we can find and hold on to ourselves as being a loved self, life changes, and forgiveness begins to flow.
It is often that when we are hurt, neglected or treated unjustly, that our belief that we are unloved or unloveable is cemented, expanded or triggered. If we can breathe life into that tiny small flame that knows deep down in our soul that we are loved and give it space to develop into a full glowing, warm fire, we will then be able to look around at the rubble that life has tossed us, and begin to see the beauty.
The chords of our anger and powerlessness and bitterness that bind us begins to lose its hold as forgiveness winds in and around and throughout our story. Living from the place of a deep knowing that we are loved spills over into the places of wounding, bringing beauty into our stories. It is in coming from this place of holding ourselves as loved, that we can meet life’s challenges old and new. It is from this healthy view of ourselves that we can find the restoration of what the locusts had taken away (Joel 2:25).
I too had a pile of rubble in front of me. I thought it would be impossible to forgive. I thought I would have to work really really hard to do something I really really didn’t want to do. I didn’t think I should have to do it. I didn’t want to go there so I tucked it away for a while thinking I would need to get back to it eventually.
With my coaches’ direction and support, I put my energy toward focusing on my own growth: Strengthening me. Doing inner child work. Processing grief with my coaching group. Seeking out identification, acceptance and attunement from them and a few close others. I worked on defining myself – who I am and who I am not. I moved out of the victim stance into taking responsibility for what was mine. I learned what my protective stances are, where they came from, and learned how to put boundaries around them with empathy. I became a healthier person.
I was recently talking with one of my coaches. She noticed that I had gotten to a place of forgiveness and asked me what it was that had helped me get there. “Had I forgiven,” I wondered? I had forgotten about it, really. So I turned and looked at the rubble. I remembered the things I thought would be impossible to forgive. And I realized there was nothing left to forgive. I didn’t intentionally forgive and yet none of the bitterness was left in my body. My heart was soft and felt healed. It seems it all just happened in the long and intensive process of doing the work of my own growth.
Things do make sense now. I see my part in it all. I see the rubble through a different lens. One that says we are all human and have stories of woundedness that makes us behave in unsafe or harmful ways which cause us to lay rubble at one another’s feet. I, too, have laid my fair share of rubble at the feet of others.
But regardless of what happens, no matter what rubble I find at my feet as life continues on, I will be ok, because I know how to do the work of healing. And I now stand from the place of knowing that I am loved. By God, by my Self, and by people. This allows me to neither be better than or less than you. I can see you eye to eye as you are. And you will be able to clearly see me as I am because I present less encumbered by my wounded, protective self.
Part of the work that we do in my coaching groups is to develop the loved self. We do this through the many ways I mentioned above that I have done and continue to do myself: The inner child and IFS work. Processing grief with the group. Getting sufficient quantities of identification, acceptance, attunement. Separation and definition work. The adult work of moving out of the victim or grandiose stance. If we do not develop these, and continue to nurture our growth, our life will tip over when rubble or even the bigger parts of success come our way. We will not be able to hold the good or the hard.
This is really the culmination of quite a journey. My journey. I didn’t have words for it for a very long time. The story I once thought was ugly now holds beauty and redemption. My story now has a different frame around it. One I can be happy with. Those who have walked alongside me know what a precious thing it is for me to call my story beautiful and redeemed and happy.
And it is my hope that you find peace and forgiveness and healthy ways of being in this story of YOU. Because you and your healing matter so very much.
You are a loved.
You are an ever increasing splendor who is transforming moment by moment one piece of rubble at a time.
From Glory to beautiful Glory.