Forgiveness and Balloons

Until recently, the saying “let it go” used to bug the shit out of me. When said to me, it felt like a crappy non-stick band-aid, knee-jerk response to my (self-described monumental) hurts. “If this had happened to them, they wouldn’t be saying ‘let it go'”. But when the tables were turned, “let it go” was always there to fill the space when nothing else would do. And, “forgiveness”? Well, that was just too big of a spiritual mental mountain to attack.

One day this past February, while skimming Gabrielle Bernstein’s Adding More -ing to Your Life, I read about forgiveness. I read. I resisted. I thought and sat and wondered. What if “letting it go” &  forgiveness were akin to just filling up a balloon with the hurt, tying it off, and then releasing it upward. Could it be that simple?

source: Balloons (Midtown, Manhattan) by Youngna Park

There had been something I had been holding on to that quickly came to the surface after my initial reading in Bernstein’s book. It was a messy old hurt, highly charged, and wound into a long, tight thread. Perhaps my reading about forgiveness might not have hit home if I did know that in a month from that moment, I was going to be face to face with it, with her, with my messy ol’ hurt. So I let my resistance and guard down and asked myself: What would it feel like to let it go? How would forgiving change my experience when we meet up again? Who else will benefit from my forgiveness?

So I filled my metaphoric balloon with all that I wish I could say but is probably best left unspoken. And I made a blessing on her for my family and for me and…as my heart began to soften…for her. And my balloon began floating.

source: MicahMax

Truth be told, it wasn’t as easy as ripping off one the above tags and ta-da “now I have forgiveness”. It wasn’t as easy as blessing anyone or opening my own heart. I had to continually remind myself that the hurt and the resentment was taking up too much of my heart space. I had to continually remind myself that carrying my anger and hurt feelings had no positive benefits. I had to psych myself up. I had to cheer myself on. And I had to wade through some uncomfortable first hours with the one I was so angry at. But I went to bed that night with a sense of peace. Our relationship will most likely never be what it was and she might never ever know how painfully deep she hurt me (which was hard for me to let go of – feeling vindicated), but I felt peace. I let go.

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Feel Every Pain.

I was in a car accident over a year and a half ago. I was rear ended by someone who didn’t note that I was at a full stop. I felt the impact right away. A ‘zing’ from my sacrum up my spine to the base of my skull. Like someone plucking a tightened, taut electric violin string with all their might. Plink. Zing. When I went to get out of the car my right side gave out from underneath me. My everyday shopkeeper legs and baby carrying hips couldn’t hold the rest of this body of mine. [Thankfully, within a week or so I could walk & stand again – save for some pain.]

I was thinking of the accident this morning. More specifically, I was thinking about the drugs that I was prescribed after the accident. These drugs were to calm any discomfort and take the edge off the pain. In my body these drugs were numbing. I couldn’t think clearly. I couldn’t focus. And in a follow up exam, I had a hard time talking specifically about any pain I was feeling, because I had been numbed out for the week.

Within weeks I was contacted by the insurance company of the woman who hit me. I was asked to fill in forms regarding the outcome of the accident. As it stood, I was still in alot of pain and taking regular doses of medication. I knew that it impacted my abilility to nurse my 10 month old and impacted my ability to do my job. So I wrote a letter which basically said “I am not making any decisions right now. I have no idea how this will impact me in a month, a few months, or a year from now”.

Currently I am getting pressure to “settle” so the insurance company close out the accident file. And while I am sure the insurance company is annoyed, I am happy I took to the time to see how my body was going to heal/shift/react. I am glad I took the time to see how I felt outside of the emotions, outside of the drugs.

This month in my {so} full life experiment/journey, I am exploring the notion of “feeling”. I am trying to learn how to see, feel, hang out with my “feelings”.

Whaz up anxiety? Where’d you come from?

Not unlike my Oxycodiene (or whatever it was called) numbing my body so I couldn’t feel my physical pain, I have been known to create serious distractions in my life so I couldn’t hear my own thoughts or feel what needed feeling. (Hello television!) The poem I posted yesterday was an expression of my first foray into allowing myself that space & permission to just feel. I am making an effort to not judge or analyze but just feel. Like the zing up my spine as that car slammed into me. Like that tingling from within my body from pinching nerves and pressed organs without the numbness of drugs. Just feeling it.  

How about you? Are there feelings running around like free radicals inside your body? Have you given yourself the space to just feel them without judgement or analysis?