Forgiveness

Cutting the Cord

Forgiving so I could feel better about myself is not why I forgave my parents. Forgiving them was to release the energetic string that I had tied around them like an umbilical cord. It connected all three of us so deeply I was not seeing ME in the picture.

It was a dark and cloudy day at a cemetery east of Cleveland, Ohio. After spending many years in therapy trying to make sense of the various memories that were hijacking my life, I began to see that these memories owned me. I could not embody the life I saw as mine because I held them as an excuse for not being me. Confusion always popped up as my word of the day.

As confusion set-in, I would ask myself, “What did I say that offended you?” “What am I going to do differently so I experience ‘fitting in’ at work?” “Why do I always feel, ‘There’s something wrong with me.’”

And then I knew…there was something wrong with me. In spite of the many hours of talk therapy, journaling, crying, walking in nature and banging on drums, I still felt like I didn’t belong. It became all consuming to figure out what was wrong with me and what I needed to do “to fit in.”

So on that dark and cloudy day at All Soul’s Cemetery east of Cleveland, I sat by my parents grave. Yes they were buried next to each other even though they had been divorced for 20 years. Coming to one gravesite made it easy to do forgiveness.

Sitting by the headstone, I pondered the violence my young self experienced. My father had said to me on his deathbed, “Here you are the child I left crying in the crib so I could go to the bottle. Here you are taking care of me at this time of my life.”

I thought about the times I would wake in the middle of the night and my mother would be in bed with me…not my sister. I remembered the fear I felt knowing what would be next when my father cornered me in the bathroom. I thought about the time as a teen, I bolted out of bed having heard a huge ruckus and ran down two flights of stairs. Etched in my mind are the frightful faces of my younger siblings sitting at the breakfast table attempting to eat their cereal. There was my mother lying on the floor across the kitchen. My father had planted his fist in her face so hard that she and her cereal were separated. PTSD for many years to come was my reality whenever similar sounds occurred while sleeping and I would jump awake.

It wasn’t until I attended workshops at the Academy for Coaching Excellence https://acecoachtraining.com that my journey began to make sense. I was a compassionate, caring and kind woman. I was giving away my power to the excuses I was making. The stories I was telling myself were more powerful. Once I accepted that I am not my stories, I began to see the endless possibilities for my life.

Experiencing little emotion behind the thoughts was my indication that healing had occurred. I had cleared at a cellular level and was ready to move on when the string binding the victim to the story was severed. I was ready to infiltrate my life with friends who loved me and experiences that shifted the rumination of all that had occurred in my formative years.

More than anything, I was ready to cut the umbilical cord and free my parents to rest in peace. Saying  without anger that my parents did the best they could with what they had at that time of their life was more powerful. Releasing them from the cable that had held them to me was freeing. I knew that I loved them for who they were…my life bearers.

Throughout my mother’s last days, black birds became a sign for me. They would sit in the trees in my backyard, appear when I was in nature and show up while I was driving to visit her. Wouldn’t you just know it? There they were at my parent’s gravesite to confirm that I was on the right path. The dark and cloudy day turned to a sunny day…really…the sun came out and I could feel the warmth.

Everything is energy. I was determined to use the energy of my caring, compassionate self to make a difference rather than continue using the energy of my victim stories. I was going to rock and roll with the difference I was here to make. No kidding!

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