Tag Archives: Forgiveness

Yes, Samantha, You Are In The Flow

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Yes, Samantha, You Are In The Flow

I hope you get on this site soon Samantha. We met last night in a serendipitous turn of events and had a lengthy conversation covering so many topics. I want you to know that you are in the flow of life and more importantly, you are the flow. And, you inspired my flow here on my blog.

I have been where you are and when so many doors close then it is easy to reach out and close more of them – making the assumption that this is the outcome that will happen anyway, so let’s just get it over with. It becomes an instinct to hesitate walking through another door, fearful that it will close on our nose too.

You are resilient and strong. Just from a 2 hour conversation, I know this about you. Be bold. Put yourself out there again with your voice and your musical gifts and say Yes when doors begin to open.

We talked about Efforting vs. Being. Efforting is when we struggle to make things happen, exhausting ourselves, and sometimes others, in the process. Being is allowing action steps to be inspired and intentional that feel good rather than heavy and burdensome. Our to-do list comes from our mental mind more than our heart when we are full of efforting – and we feel weary when we think about doing these things. When we shift into having our heart engaged, we shift into inspired actions that leave us feeling excited and hopeful.

You are a beautiful being that I am happy to have met you in the alley behind Goodwill on a lovely Friday night in Boulder, CO. Start asking yourself, what if I am doing everything right? What if I am right where I am supposed to be all the time? What if this experience is to help me learn more about me and about the world around me? What if this is to help me grow and stretch myself in ways that I cannot imagine?

Stay tuned, Samantha for posts about other things that we spoke of that I feel compelled to share here –  neoroplasticity, pain and letting go, movement and stillness, there are no guarantees, why did this happen to me?, travel and serendipity of events, and more. Thank YOU for showing up and getting my voice rolling again – YOU inspired me to publish some shit!

You are having a Great Life Samantha. Enjoy.

Love, Angela

 

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What Forgiveness Meant to Me – Literally

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What Forgiveness Meant to Me – Literally

I wrote about the 3 day retreat that ended with an unforgettable experience here. And I wrote a poem expressing my pain here. Now it is time to share exactly what freedom meant to me after the exercise of forgiveness. I had no idea what to expect – the possibilities were endless.

In the days following the retreat, I felt that my heart space had doubled in size. In my daily prayers I asked God to bring things up so I could let go of even more. I would think of old painful experiences and I forgave myself and others easily. Since I had tackled the biggie in my life, all these other wounds were senseless to hold on to. Sometimes tears accompanied my prayers of forgiveness, but overall, each time I practiced forgiveness, it just got easier and easier.

It seemed pointless to hang on to anything that weighed me down – forgiveness was my new happy pill and I dosed myself frequently.

The second miracle is that the SHAME that clouded my whole life, simply evaporated. I had not understood the roots of my shame until now. I had worked on it from so many angles, and now with the choice of forgiveness, it was gone.

An old journal entry describes my feelings:
“I feel like I am drowning in shame. I take more of it in with each breath. It stinks like rotting flesh. Its voice is eerily comforting as it fills my ear with lies. Sometimes I play hide and seek with shame trying to escape its grip. But I end up feeling naked and exposed and put out the SOS – Shame Oh Shame, please return. Wrap yourself around me like a cloak and help me feel safe again.

My head knows that being raped was never my fault, but I cannot release the grip of shame in my being. Ok, God, let’s heal this shit. Enough already. I am 46 and I have proven I can do shame – with gusto, flair, and grit. It is time to make a change.”

I don’t know if I can adequately express how much shame was woven into my being. I always had shameful thoughts about myself running my brain and body ragged. I used so many tools to neutralize this shame, but they only helped me keep my head above the drowning level.

Obviously this shame took root in my being just from the nature of the violence I endured. I think it was easy to allow shame to grow and perpetuate because so much of the world mirrored that I was not enough as a girl, as a woman, as a human.

I do still have moments when I feel vulnerable without that cloak of shame. I feel exposed and yet I realize that I was always the first one to attack myself. Being and sitting with vulnerability is a worth while practice.

There are many layers of vulnerability and just when one gets comfortable, another emerges, inviting us to expose more of our heart.

Freedom from shame and old wounds of unforgiveness would not have happened if the seed of wanting forgiveness to happen had never been planted. Even if it seems impossible for you to experience forgiving someone that harmed you, I encourage you to say, “Someday, I would like to be free from the weight of unforgiveness. Prepare my heart so when the moment arrives I step into the miracle of unfolding.”

The last little miracle to happen from this is that for 3 days after the retreat ended, I heard my grandpa saying “Angie” in quiet moments. Just before bed on the 3rd day, I said, “Ok, grandpa, I am listening.” He appeared in my mind’s eye sobbing and repeating “I’m sorry.” I thanked him for his apology and released him to continue his own journey. While it was completely unexpected to hear from him (he died 25 years ago) it was beautiful to feel his sincerity and hear his apology. I certainly was not anticipating this experience.

So, if his soul found a new level of peace, that was previously beyond imagination, I am a-ok with that.

Won’t you plant some heart seeds today?

In case you missed it, here is Part 1: Forgiving the Unforgivable

My Poem Related to this post: Feisty for $25

Read more about who the heck I am: https://iamangela.org/about/

The other “F” word

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Forgiveness is a difficult topic for many people. We just don’t want to go there – it seems too hard and what does it really do for us anyway? We have all heard how it is something we do for ourselves more than the other person. But, really, what does it do for us? In the end we don’t do anything without recognizing how we will benefit, right? Well, here are some what ifs to consider:

What if some of our body pain was rooted in un-forgiveness? What if some of our shitty mental tapes that we keep hearing (perhaps even listening to) were rooted in un-forgiveness? What if our capacity to love and connect with others was limited because of our un-forgiveness? What if our ability to love and accept ourselves was limited due to our un-forgiveness?

I know that the concept of forgiveness feels like we are saying:

“It was ok that you hurt me.”   and/or   “You can keep causing pain and I will keep forgiving you.”

On a subconscious level, we may be super attached to that particular story of pain. And if we forgive, then the story isn’t as appealing. BUT, what if the story becomes MORE appealing because of our capacity to forgive? What if we started a super-hero like tidal wave of forgiveness? Sounds good, but how do we get there? What are the basic tools of forgiveness?

The BEST tool is WILLINGNESS. Just be open to experience forgiveness. Each path is different. We cannot begin to tell each other how to forgive. There are many stages and processes that we might need to travel through. The first stage is planting the seed of WILLINGNESS to arrive at Forgiveness as a whole-heart experience.

Just begin to ask yourself a few questions:

What might forgiveness of this person or situation feel like in my body?

What might it taste like on my tongue?

How might it shift my capacity to breath?

What might it sound like?

How might it create space in my mind? My heart?

I can only share that FREEDOM is on the other side of forgiveness. I know this from personal experience and witnessing the release of pain in others. Freedom to be more, to live more, to experience more.

Keep it simple today and plant the seed. Start rolling the “F” word around on your tongue and hearing it in your head. And continue to express willingness.

Letter to Grandpa

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Letter to Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,
It has been 3 years since the first memory emerged of you violating me in my tender years, revealing
that my persistent nightmares of rape were rooted in truth. These memories have been fragile shadows
always present in my life, waiting to be unearthed with care and respect.

In the earliest memories I did not know you, the perpetrator. The face on this male energy was a
black cloud of pain, rage, and self-loathing that pulled compassion from me. As unbelievable as it seems,
my compassion for you was spontaneously more palpable than for my Self; your pain was wildly vivid
and accessible to me. My core Being felt the enormity of your angst, your struggle.

I think of this witnessing as a gift.

The impact of your self-loathing during my remembering brought me to my knees inside because I,
too, have loathed myself so completely that I was left gasping for breath and fighting with life. I finally
understood the errant seed that had taken root so long ago.

After a few weeks, your face, your smell, your voice emerged from that black cloud. I had two
grandpa’s then, one that was in the photos of my recorded milestones and the other that was this monster
and master of violence.

Soon, I found anger for you and your choices. I yelled until I lacked voice once again and punched
the boxing bag wishing it was you, except then you wouldn’t be dead. You did make things easier by
exiting before you harmed another generation. I think it was the only way you knew how to stop. My son,
your first great grandchild, was due any day so you exercised a rare bit of courage, and you died.

It seems a strange package, but anger for you delivered me to compassion for my Self. Finally
my unexpressed childhood was exposed. Grief and sorrow were first in line for all the years of black
depression, migraines, anxieties, and unfounded fears that left me feeling gutted of the ability to
experience basic pleasure in the micro or the macro of living.

It seems ridiculously backwards: compassion for you before my Self. However, I have accepted that
healing unfolds in mysterious and miraculous ways. Grandpa, I know you hated who you were. I don’t
believe in hell as an afterlife. I believe in healing. And healing in hell would be next to impossible.

I keep searching for healing, Grandpa, seeking more freedom. What if you had chosen to feel the
world through my heart? What if you had stepped into my skin, felt the vast cavern of fear and silence
that held no markings for the path to healing and voice? Perhaps you would have found the strength to put
a stop to this cycle of violence. Maybe you would have found compassion for your wounded Self in that
space of Me.

Because compassion was my deliverer, I see a Circle of Compassion that holds every living being. I
believe if we intentionally move through the circle, we will be richer and deeper as individuals, naturally
stronger and more connected as a community. It means we find our place on this circle and diligently
move forward until we experience the weak, the sick, the young, the old, the strong, the healthy, the rich,
the poor, the neglected, the abusers, the victims, the rapists, the advocates, the care givers, the judges and the animals, the Earth —leaving no living being untouched.

What if by visiting the depths of all that we have in common with each other we heal our deeply held
wounds?

Living with compassion does not mean a life free of pain, but rather a life where communication,
reconciliation, restoration, and healing are honorable, sought after experiences.

What if we begin to imagine a world that does not understand the words violence, abuse, rape, neglect, and discrimination?

Somehow I know you are listening, Grandpa.

—Angie, The Feisty One

Healing Intentions

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Healing Intentions

I believe setting up intentions early in my experience has helped me to trust that the journey is unfolding in the way that is most beneficial for me. If you think intentions are helpful, feel free to use these as a guide and make them your own. I have modified them a few times, so visit them regularly.

I intend that I honor truth and awareness as a first step to healing. And engage my Divine wisdom and discernment in the process. Healing from suppressed memories is more common that you might imagine. It is a normal reaction of our brain to hold back pain and events that we are not yet capable of working through. Many of us have hurts and wounds that come up to the surface when we are ready to move through those old experiences to heal. I believe we cannot heal from that which we are not consciously aware of, however some details are not required to heal. I intend:

  • That I remember only that which is necessary to heal on all levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and sexually.
  • That I visit each memory only as long as is necessary to heal on all levels.
  • That if any part of my healing can directly impact others in a healing way, bring us together.
  • That my healing serves the collective in an amplified way that serves the highest good of all, especially in regard to the sexual imbalances in our world. The Ripple Effect with direct, expanded intention.
  • That I begin living life from the healed part of my heart, mind, body, and soul.
  • That I find complete and total forgiveness.
  • That radical and complete healing is my experience.
  • That I always remember Love.