Carry on Tuesday: When all is said and done

Let's Talk About Feelings

Let’s Talk About Feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Zoe’s Journal:

I need to find forgiveness in my heart. I know that’s the right thing to do; I just don’t know how to do it. How do you forgive people whose bond with you should be so natural, so instinctive? I don’t have the answers but I am trying to find them. I am trying to find them so that we can all live in peace. I think the psychologists call it “individuating;” when you separate from your parents and become your own person; believe me I don’t think my parents would call it the same thing.

I just want to protect myself from the past, I was strong enough now to be my own person and not take any of their old shit. I had figured out the dangerous mind games and I wanted no part of it. I had always been strong inside, my parents knew that about me, they were proud of that, until it seemed like I turned on them. I hadn’t; I just stopped putting up with all the bullshit. They couldn’t handle it. The more they tried to guilt me, the more I pushed back. They would immediately go to the speech where they were “all alone in the world” without their “only daughter.” I would be empathic but I would not cry and apologize and they missed that; they missed the part of me that they could hurt. Wound. Destroy. I don’t think any of it was intentional, well, of course some of it was. After they spewed a nasty string of malevolence they would not remember a word of what they said! How could they not remember what they had just said?  I was labeled “too sensitive.”

It took me a long time to understand the game they played, unwittingly, but I swore I would never fight with them again. Since they couldn’t express any feelings at the time they would hold something against me for weeks. Eventually, one day there would be a vitriolic, icy cold lecture of how I had changed. I would figure it out in time but it left me stunned, still hurt. However, I did not offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb; that was no longer my duty, those days were over.

When all was is said and done, what they really needed was attention, to feel wanted and needed and not dismissed. It was quite simple once I figured it out and I was more than willing to give it to both of them, on my terms. Once I did, they became nicer, happy for the attention and we seemed to get along better.

Sometimes, the things people say are irrelevant, I guess you need to go deeper and see what they are feeling. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve like I do. As I have said before, words don’t count, actions do. Since we were talking about forgiveness  there is another very important person I need to forgive.  Me. I need to forgive myself for all the grudges I have held, for all the hurt I have carried, for the blame I have caused and for all the tears I have shed. I was just a child, an abandoned child. I know I will never forget but I need to forgive myself and let go of the pain because true forgiveness really means setting our souls free, the greatest gift you can give yourself. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

6 thoughts on “Carry on Tuesday: When all is said and done

  1. Forgiveness does come when you can allow yourself to feel compassion. That’s hard to do, but understanding their need for attention and their fear of being dismissed is a great start. I’ve found forgiveness is not a short-term thing–it takes a long time, and I feel like its a process, not a destination. Good luck with it.


  2. To begin with and it may sound much too simplistic at first blush – the first step in forgiveness is identifying and embracing what it is we have learned, who we have become, the strengths, insights, coping mechanisms we have developed as a RESULT of being hurt. It is precisely through hurt and pain that we grow and evolve.
    You have made conscious CHOICE and decisions in your life to treat others with love and compassion as a result of your past and not defaulting to what you’ve observed or been taught.

    Secondly, there is no need to forgive yourself IF you can understand & believe that (unless we are consciously making evil choices) we all do the best we can at any point in time BASED on what we know and are capable of at that point in time. There are few truly evil people. Those who deeply hurt others are acting out of their inability to think critically past their own ego needs and their limited capabilities at those points in time.

    The Baha’i spiritual beliefs are that it is through adversity we are tested to make right spiritual choice (love, compassion, wisdom, justice etc.) and evolve. Without those tests there would be no human spiritual progress. Sounds to me that psychologically you’ve individuated and spiritually you have and are evolving waaaaaaaaaaay beyond family members.

    Thank you for your honest post Laurie! You’ve inspired me to do some posts on forgiveness. What I just wrote probably needs a lot of editing for clarity but you’ve given me a jump start.
    with gratitude and love,


    • we are so connected. but Judith, I have done a really shit, bad job on holding grudges and I used to (until recently) bring up things from long ago i.e. BIRTH? that’s a bit much.yes i was in a hospital for 4 weeks and my mother didn’t come visit me once, I resent that. it was only 4 blocks away. I think I resent her TELLING me that (how stupid)she could have just not said anything. I am fine with how i am with my children, know I am loving to them. that’s good. but i think i do play a part in it. i can’t deny that.

      Warm wishes, Laurie



      • Of course you play a part – I ain’t letting you off that easily. Your next step is to figure out what masochistic tendencies encourage you to hold past injustices so tightly to your bosom as a badge of distinction and personal identity.


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