The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Letting Go...and...The Passages of Our Lives

I've always had a hard time letting go; letting go of my denial, self-blame, the old damaging voices in my head, my fears, my family, old roles, etc.....Yet, each time I have "let go" my life became better.

My old therapist once told me that I would be "recovering" for the rest of my life. I didn't believe him. At least I didn't want too. For decades, I have been healing at a deeper and deeper level; peeling away layers and becoming more whole. As I've peeled away each layer, I've rejoiced and said, "Yay! I'm in a great place! I'm done!"

By the time I reconciled with my family, I certainly thought I was "done" healing. The evidence was good. I no longer felt "triggered" by past events, and my abuse is more of a distant memory than a "present" reality. I'm able to view life through a "new lens" and the past no longer colors my day to day life.

Yet, here I am, once again finding myself struggling with "letting go," of something old. I think I finally figured out what my therapist meant nearly twenty years ago by "recovering for the rest of my life." It doesn't mean what I thought he meant. It doesn't mean I'll have nightmares about my abuse, or suffer from flash-backs, PTSD, or dissociation for the rest of my life. I don't. But what I think it does mean is that my childhood abuse will "have an affect" on the passages of my life.

As I pass through each season of life, I see where my childhood construction has been an important element to consider. We experience many seasons in our lives; the transition into adulthood; the season of parenting children; our professional years; the passage into the "empty nest" years; our season of retirement; the twilight years, etc.

At fifty-one, I'm trying to find a new rhythm in my life. It is time to shed the hectic, frenzied schedule I have kept since I was a child. Nonetheless, once again, I find that I am having a hard time letting go of something that no longer works for me. It is important for me to realize how I "got here" in order to get somewhere else.

As a child, no one took care of me. So, I took care of every one and every thing - except myself. Without realizing it, I've followed this pattern through every passage and every area of my life. Between work, home, and family, I have taken on sole responsibility for too much. It's time to "let go."

This doesn't mean an "all or nothing" sort of thing or simply "dropping" certain responsibilities. This means doing the hard emotional work to re-organize my life in a manner that everything still gets done - but not by me.

There is great value in examining the past. It can offer insight into where I am in the present and aid in forging new growth and making changes for a better future.

I'm on the healing road again......


KarenP said...

I love this post, Nancy. Thank you for continuing to write. You are an inspiration and an incredible encouragment.

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Thanks Karen!

Just Be Real said...

Nancy, was wondering when you would return to post. I enjoy what you have to write about and this post is no different. Thank you for sharing dear one. And I will share your healing road a with you in support! Blessings!

AbuseAndForgiveness said...

Just Be Real,

Thank you! Your support is very much appreciated!