Forgetting to Forgive: Could it be Blocking You?

I am an energy ball addict. I’ve said it. (Unfortunately I’ve checked Gumtree and there are no local Professional Energy Ball Sampler positions going.) Today it’s ‘Refuel’ from Giro cycling café in Esher – homemade, sugar free. Which is for the best I suppose, because I’m also a sugar addict, currently looking for a Sugar Rehab Centre… (I am open to an intervention.)

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So the scene has been set; let’s pull back the curtains on today’s topic of…

Forgiveness. Ouch. It’s something I feel compelled to write about it after a pretty huge revelation a few weeks ago.

Just after my ex and I broke up back in September, I was pointed in the direction of a Yoga and Spirit show in Surrey, not really knowing what to expect but feeling instinctively that this was my next baby step away from the old and into the new, wherever that was. I felt strange and sad that I had no one to message throughout the day, no one to send totally pointless What’s Apps to with Emoticons expressing what words simply cannot… I was alone in this new Kingdom of Singledom, but as painful as it was, I knew that’s exactly where I needed to be. Since the age of sixteen, I haven’t been single for more than a grand total of two months! I’ve tallied four different relationships with four completely different men, scaling from the recent soul mate I let go of to the Devil’s identical twin. Time with myself was long overdue, and a lot more than I realised.

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After wondering around the crystal-sprinkled stalls and listening to some uplifting talks and participating in a rather odd yoga taster session to Punk Rock music, I noticed an older lady sitting by herself at a table. Our eyes met, and I felt instantly drawn to her. A cardboard sign confirmed that she was a medium… Duh duh duhn. I’d never had a reading or anything like that before, but I was curious, and if I was going to do it, now was the time! I was a combination of apprehensive and open-minded as I sat opposite her, and I noticed her eyes flicker from hard to soft as she looked at me, or through me, or whatever it is that they do… I felt like translucent jelly under a microscope, but I was weirdly at ease.

My old housemate once labeled me ‘a robber’s dream’. Yes, I have a trusting nature, and yes, it’s definitely gotten me into trouble before… So naturally, I chose to believe what the ensorcelled lady was telling me – it was hard not to! She focused a lot on my granddad (my ‘Papa’; the biggest legend I’ve ever had the pleasure to know and love, who had died almost a year before). She told me he had sent the robin I’d been having a whistle-off with in the garden the other day. She told me (after asking if it ‘was my birthday this month?’ – Er, yes!) that he was making a cake for me up there with a black Labrador. He loved what I’d done to my recently re-decorated room, even though it hurt him to see me cry in it so often over the question ‘do I stay or go?’, and he was proud of me for all that I was doing. Ok, I hear you – lucky guesses? But then she asked who Bob was, and said that he had an item of clothing that belonged to my Papa. The only Bob I knew was my Dad’s friend, so I asked my Dad what she could’ve meant by that when I saw him later that afternoon, and he said in amazement, ‘I gave Bob Papa’s jacket after he died and he wears it every day’. And, Papa had had a black Labrador called Jason. You can close your jaw now.

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Towards the end of the short ten-minute session, she picked up on something else. She told me I needed to let go of the anger that was inside me over someone that had hurt me long ago, otherwise it would continue to block me. Eh? This was the first piece of information that didn’t ring true but did ring alarm bells. Damn, lady, you really had me for a while then. I thanked her and made my way back to my car, feeling pretty overwhelmed.

A few weeks before the yoga show, I’d received a message from my first boyfriend’s mother, asking me to contact her. This was seriously out of the blue after having split from him over seven years ago, and I had no idea what she wanted. I chose not to reply. Why bring up the pain of the past? It was my friend Kayleigh who noticed after I told her about it, that when I spoke about him, I spoke from a place of real bitterness. My initial thoughts were, well obviously – after years of lies and deceit, who wouldn’t feel that way?! Our relationship had been toxic for sure. But I hadn’t ever registered that the shallow scratches I thought had scabbed over and faded were actually deep white scars that had been in need of some serious Bio-oiling all along. I’d finally left him after years of mental abuse, and had just moved onto the next man with no time alone to let myself process what had happened, and everyone commenting on how ‘okay’ I’d seemed afterwards. That should’ve rung warning bells. This is another story for another time… The point is, I’d been wearing an invisible backpack of anger for years without knowing it. Perhaps the whole reason for the message, and the whole reason I met the medium that day, was so that I could learn the lesson of forgiveness and finally move forward. After all that time, it hit me – I had never forgiven him.

Now that I was alone and already feeling horrendous from finishing with my ex, I decided to go all out, lock myself in my room and completely immerse myself in the feelings I’d buried from my first relationship. I explored every nook and cranny of the dark corners of my brain, recalled as many screaming fights, countless tears and heart-breaking lies that I could and absolutely forced myself back to those dark days, now knowing that it was absolutely necessary if I was to heal myself. It was hard, but that wasn’t the hardest bit – I found his profile picture on Facebook, took a long look at it and finally said out loud ‘I forgive you, and I send you love’. I didn’t expect to feel the way I did. I thought I’d feel sick and disgusted at myself for letting him off the hook, setting him free… But actually, I’d just set myself free. I literally felt a physical and mental shift inside me, and in that moment, I knew I’d shattered an obstacle that had been blocking me for all that time.

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What I’ve learnt is that there is strength in surrender, power in forgiveness. Holding something against someone doesn’t hurt them, it hurts you. It eats you up inside and chips away at your heart and soul. It taints your present and weakens your momentum. By forgiving and letting go, you grow, you become bigger, you transcend. I went the extra mile and dedicated my yoga practice to him the other day – and I felt myself grow stronger for it. It sounds crazy but my practice in that hour was noticeably physically and mentally much lighter, as if a burden had been lifted off me. It did seem insane that someone I once hated I was now sending positive energy to. I’m not saying I think his actions were right or okay. But what I’ve worked out is that the ‘giving’ part of ‘forgiving’ doesn’t mean you are handing over any power to the person who hurt you – you are taking it back for yourself.

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Have a wonderful week x