The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.
"I've been tryin' to get down to the Heart of the Matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it's about forgiveness
If I have any chance at all of helping my children heal, learn these arts and practices of both gratitude and forgiveness, my arse better be in shape,so as much as I sucktasically fail at doing much of either thing I am 'trying' to practice that of which I teach. UGH.
So I went to Vegas.
Cause you know it's the place to go for Inner Peace and absolution, right?
But I really did, with my two baby (*cough* they prefer "younger") brothers in tow to visit our biological Father.
You see, we for a short time were raised by both him and our mother, together until their marriage collapsed with us three at ages of 7,6,and 3 caught in the cross fires. It was ugly, hard and difficult for everyone involved, much like many children of divorce and broken homes could testify. He moved far, far away and visits were limited. I know our story is not rare, there a specifics too private to share, but lets just say in the wake lay trauma, lots, and lots of trauma.
Do I ever question my parents choice to divorce? Never. I wouldn't be the person I am with out every exact moment that has led me and my siblings to who we are...and not to toot, whoot, or blow my own horn, but we three are fantastic people.
We have shared losses, and trauma, protected one another from abuse and taken the brunt in turn. We came out on the end of a childhood and adolescence together scared and world wise, but most of all together. For the most part, despite our Fathers best of intentions, he was unable to protect, be a part of or emotionally support much of our growing up years, you see as his right was, he started life a new, with a new wife and children. There is still pockets of loss I have felt in lacking the relationship I wished I could have had. Cynically rolling my eyes at the song "Butterfly Kisses", hating movies with "Father/Daughter" tear jerking scenes...because being angry at them, thinking them sappy and ridiculous, covered my pain, and yes, even jealousy towards our Father and his other family.
As the years have passed, visits had been on behalf of Funerals, and occasional Weddings.Then as a grown woman and adult, in my own marriage, and motherhood set in, I began to let the loss create anger, and judgement, hiding the hurt, of what I felt he was missing, the best parts of me,within my children.
As I have grown older (oy) and wiser (debatable) , I have learned, in order to fit certain things in your heart you have to kick out some of those old tenants that are no longer doing anything for you but messing things up and making way more noise than peace.
So after a bi-annual phone call on Fathers Day, I shocked myself into an idea, a sibling trip to visit my Father and Step Mother....just.us.three.kids.
and so we did.
It was special, he made so many efforts to ensure we had an incredible time. No huge life altering conversations, but time was spent, laughter was present, healing took place. Boundaries were kept.
I think sometimes we confuse "letting things go", forgiving as forgetting and putting ourselves at harm. That is the beauty of boundaries, they are the catchall for how far it is safe for us to go without getting hurt.
Much like my INSANE, debilitating fear of heights (imagine crying, puking,shaking mess)...we went to the new bridge over Hoover Dam, the height is indescribable...I had the option to walk on the bridge or wait, tentatively. I decided to "do it", BUT, 90% of the time I held onto the outside wall holding fast to the concrete side where I could not see the distance between me and the bottom. Only when breathing deep and making the decision to cross did I, and when I was ready returning to the safer, more stable side, and on that day, I let go of some of that debilitating fear, on my terms.
Within my boundaries, I accepted the relationship my Dad has to offer with open arms, letting in that redefine my expectations and past hurts that were mucking up any hope of anything healthy. I moved much out of my heart this weekend, and surprisingly the old resentment of "what it can't and won't ever be", made room for someone new, "acceptance for what is".I think I may let them stay.
In that same apartment building in my heart, there are some other rascally tenets that are having an eviction notice signed as we speak. Sometimes our forgiveness needs isn't for one specific individual, but an experience, and all encompassing 'thing' that slowly eats us up, and knocks us around a bit. For me this 'thing' has been the Quintessential of the early 1990's "Guns and Roses" hotel guests of my heart. My inability to safely bare and deliver children naturally.
You know me the freaky, all natural, organic when possible,essential oil using, free ranging my chickens in my suburbian backyard chick....well I am having to learn to forgive myself, my body,the Universe and even God for not allowing me the gift and experience of safe, natural pregnancy and child birth. It is something I have mourned and been so very sad over. I may sound like a gluttonous-baby-hoarder, good crap I have 10 children, Right?!? I should shut my ever-living-yapper. Understand I have so much gratitude for ALL of my babies,and the beautiful ways they have entered my home. But, truths, of truths, as many true honest adoptive mother would tell you. I wish I had been able to give birth to each and everyone of my children, sparing both them and I loss and pain.At times I wish I alone could carry their story with them, from the beginning. Selfish? Maybe, but after multiple, and I mean M-U-L-T-I-P-L-E, miscarriages and pregnancy losses, I still do sometimes wish I had the sacred opportunity to carry and give life without hoards of I.V's, feeding tubes, constant stress tests/Ultra Sounds, though those modern day things saved both me and my children's lives repeatedly. I wanted an at-home water birth, with a Doula and Midwife. I ended up with hoards of Dr.'s and Nurses, tubes every where and two miracle babies of myself and my husband, and eight Miracle babies of other warrior women, whom I am blessed to share our children's stories with.
In this forgiveness for myself, and absolute belief that women in their beauty and strength to create and sustain life, should have the right and option to have the birth experience they wish to have (the one I was denied due to my high risk) I am seeking my healing by becoming what I lacked. My passion for natural childbirth, respecting and advocating a mothers wishes has evolved in my passion to become Doula certified.
As this journey of healing, and wonder of the amazing, AMAZING power of women and creation, being allowed to be apart of that heals parts of my loss, crying with them, soothing their pain, creates light in places dim with resentment. Amazingly as winding as this journey is, in the next three days, I will be helping my Baby Faiths Birth-mother give birth to her next child.
Beautiful aint it?
Forgiveness is a Gift, oddly the receiver is 100% you.