Month fourteen is upon us, and another challenge from Kozo at over at everydaygurus.com has been laid out for us. This month’s challenge, however, isn’t the normal run for peace that I’m used to. In fact, I think it will be the hardest one of all. Here is the challenge in Kozo’s words:
Yep, I went there. Let’s deal with it. This months challenge is to make peace in yourself with someone close to you. Here are some suggestions:
- Write a letter to someone that begins “I resent…” Explain exactly how you feel about this resentment in this letter. Let your anger out if you have any. Release all the negative energy surrounding this person. Sending the letter or reading the letter out loud to the person is optional.
- Write a letter confessing all the secrets you have been withholding from someone close. Check out a book called Radical Honesty for examples. You might also want to listen to some Byron Katie CDs to find the courage to do this “work.”
- Write a love letter to someone in your family who you can’t seem to connect with. Tell them all the wonderful things that they have brought into your life. What events do you remember that you enjoyed with them?
- Describe an event from more than one perspective where someone caused you misery.
- Tell a story about a family event that included “necessary suffering” and healing/forgiveness.
Forgiveness of someone is such an easy thing to ask, if you have the courage to go there. I for one do not wish for anyone’s forgiveness. Too much time has passed and too many things have been said to even contemplate how I would react. So instead, I have decided to write a letter of forgiveness to myself.
Well here we are.
Who would know back when we were little how our life would turn out. We both know it hasn’t been one of the easiest lives to have lived.
Let’s start at the beginning, when innocence was taken away from us. Let me first say, I am so proud of us. We faced those demons for years, kept the secret locked away inside where we thought no one would ever reach. We never envisioned our secret exposing itself for others to know. Strange how a life changing moment many years later could release such pain and anguish, allow it a voice to speak the wrongs we could not say ourselves. But our inner voice found a way regardless.
We carried on with life, the secret locked tightly away for no one to reach. Then something big happened, a moment we still feel the ripples of to this day. Dad passed away. We were sixteen. Sure, death is a natural occurrence, but how many people can say they faced that death as it happened in front of them. How many can say they could do nothing to prevent it even though they tried and failed. Dad was our reason for living. Our thread of hope that there was good in the world, that not everything had a dark side. We found our dark side that day.
Years passed, our bitterness grew. The pain and anguish grew with it. We self-harmed, thinking it would relieve the pressure-pot of emotions boiling away inside. And it did, for the briefest of moments. We eventually married, had a son, and we swore our child would never have to witness those dark days which consumed us. We kept that promise for years until the pain was too much to bear. No one but us knew of the darkness eating away at our soul, the nights where we held a photo of our son in one hand and a bottle of pills in the other. No one knew of the cuts we hid so expertly. But it found the tiniest of holes in our defenses and slowly seeped out.
At last, our inner voice screamed to be heard, and he heard it. We are thankful for such a caring and loving husband, for without him, we wouldn’t be here today. He would have lost a wife, and our son a mother. It took us a year to tell our therapist how we felt. A year for her to extract the painful memories, which in itself was the hardest thing to have done. We berated ourselves. Put the blame at our door. But we were wrong, no child that young should hold themselves accountable for the wrongful deeds of others, but we know that now.
We grew stronger. Started our life anew. But life has a funny way of throwing obstacles in the way to trip us. So we were never close to our mother. She made it clear enough we were never wanted. An accident she said. Oh we put up with the remarks, the ‘our sister has done this, or our sister has done that’, right at the moment when we had something important to tell. No, we were never good enough to really listen to. But when she repeated the same process with our son, we knew we couldn’t let it continue. So came the day we abandoned our family.
Mum passed away over three years ago now. We have no regrets. Okay, maybe one. That wasn’t our fault though. Our sister took it upon herself to make a remark. So we got angry. So we shouted. So we left the hospital feigning tiredness. We weren’t to know she would die a few hours later. Forgive us for not being there, we tried, we reached out although mum didn’t know who we were. The worst part of all this, we allowed our sister to push ourselves away from the rest of the family. We took the decision to cut all ties. We took the decision to be alone.
We can not forgive those that know our secret and act as though nothing happened. We can not forgive their ignorance, or lack of understanding. We can, however, forgive ourselves. Stop beating us up. Stop allowing those dark days to take hold of us again. Just… stop. We have a husband and son who love us. We have a beautiful (hopefully soon-to-be daughter-in-law). We have a wonderful mother-in-law, who we adore and cherish as though she were our own mum.
It’s time to let the past go. Time to forgive ourselves. Time to allow the pain and grief free passage out of our heart. It is time to live again and breathe the air of peace and freedom until it has our lungs singing. Singing that we are at last truly free. Singing for the family we can truly say loves us. Singing because we are alive.
So forgive the battering of this tired body. Forgive the painful memories of life. Forgive me.
It was hard to write this letter, it is not a work of fiction, but a tiny reflection of some of the darkest points in my life. I didn’t want to spell it out in detail, that is too personal to expose for everyone to see. I do still battle with depression, I am after all, a manic depressive, so I suppose I can be forgiven for not always believing what my mind wants me to. I do, however, wish for it all to end, the depression I mean. I wish for that day to come when I can breathe and not feel that knot inside my stomach, which stops me from letting go and really embracing the idea of living again. For now, I’m thankful I have that choice. Maybe soon I can truly forgive myself and put my demons to rest.
Thank you for reading. Until next time people, peace out. Oh, as per usual, please take a look at these contributions to B4Peace. I’m sure their stories were just has hard as mine to tell.
A Letter To My Mom – (fishofgold.net)
Dearest Daughter – (brainsweets1.wordpress.com)