Weekday morning programming kept me company in the background. The crispy and cold bedspread gave me some solace. My parents had just left the apartment and I was curled up like a fetus at the foot of the bed. It had been a while since I entertained the unwelcome visitor. What the hell was he doing here? Everything was going great, or so I believed. Two days with them proved me wrong. What seemed to be progress in acceptance and personal growth was only a by-product of spending a year on the other side of the world. No wonder I wasn’t feeling good and stayed in that day. The illusion of the enlightened and perfect world I’d been living in was shattered. The mourning of this started as a slow downward spiral that quickly turned into a tailspin but felt more like a free fall. I had not wished I hadn’t been born for a couple years now. But it was as if it had never left my side felt stronger than ever. I was drowning and didn’t know which way was up. It seemed that no matter what I did, I’d always come back to this powerlessness. What was the point to keep on trying? “Forget this. Life is too hard. You wouldn’t have to deal with all this if you ended it”, he suggested.
Awakened unresolved issues were kicking and screaming. This is a very scary place to be, especially in this dangerous company. Running in fear was actually the courageous thing to do. It was time to resort to what saved my life a couple years prior. It was time to go back to basics. I knew a lot of meeting rooms in Miami, but this one was my favorite. There were some faces I recognized and others I didn’t. Most were friendly; mine was not. There was a thick fog of negativity inside my head and it was probably clear in my blank stare. Like a good friend used to say, sometimes we go to give sometimes we go to receive. I was in dire need.
Some say it’s magic, others call it God, to avoid charged debates most refer to a Higher Power. Whatever you choose to call it, there is Something that definitely moves through those present. I lost count of how many times I heard exactly what I needed in those circles. The first times it was unbelievable how the day’s conversation addressed exactly what was eating away at me. It’s not just me. Others share this surprise as well. Even though it’s happened too many times to keep count, I am still at awe when it happens. It makes me feel special and reminds me that I am not alone. It doesn’t surprise me like it did at the beginning. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t take it for granted. I guess it has to do with worthiness and accepting that I am loved and cared for. I appreciate it deeply and it definitely keeps me coming back.
As soon as the chairperson started the meeting it was obvious, we’d be talking about forgiveness. There were many nuggets of wisdom as each person shared their experience, strength, and hope. I had not forgiven, or rather accepted parts of my childhood. Spending a year on the Beautiful Island made me believe I was at peace with my past, but crossing the Pacific was a wake up call I needed to escape denial once again. It’s always a rude one, but an awakening, nonetheless. Better to face the discomfort than continue to trudge along under a false impression that it’s not dormant inside oblivious to the ticking of the time bomb that will eventually go off.
The last person that shared might as well have been the first and only. Her share is the only one I remember from that day and one I will never forget. She helped me see things in a new light. She was molested at a young age by her uncle. Hard to believe but she said it was fairly easy for her to forgive him. She had finally forgiven herself after years of struggle and anguish. Her reasons for this challenge had to do with guilt, shame, and self-image. It was a very moving story. It made me uncomfortable to hear, but honored and grateful at the same time. There are details that escape me, but she closed with a line that changed it all for me and I have shared with many when discussing these issues. She said, “forgive and forget? That’s bullshit! We forgive and remember without pain”.
By: Manuel Tefel
Title: Forgive and Remember
Sourced From: www.thefix.com/forgive-and-remember
Published Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2020 06:38:05 +0000
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