A mom wrote: It took lots of years for me to forgive my father for abusing me. It took lots of years for me to forgive myself for not protecting my younger siblings from the abuse. I also had to forgive my mother for not protecting me.
I have found that you can never find serenity within yourself unless you can forgive. Forgiving is the secret to inner peace. I thank God everyday because without prayer and His guidance, I would not have been able to “feel” the overwhelming peace in my soul. That peace is forgiveness.
My reaction: My heart ached as I read this mom’s words. I felt myself welling up with anger and outrage at the heinous abuse by her father and the lack of protection by her mother. I felt deep sadness with her feelings of guilt for being powerless to stop the abuse and save her siblings. Her courage to face the memories and to forgive was critical to her own wellbeing. She has learned to forgive the person without excusing the act. As she writes, “Forgiving is the secret to inner peace.”
Today’s Promise to consider: Forgiving offers us an opportunity to find our personal serenity and freedom. It doesn’t mean we deny the hurt, lessen a person’s responsibility or justify abuse. What is does mean is that we move beyond the pain, despicable as the act might be, in the act of willful love. Today, I will pray for God’s help to move beyond the pain and turn my will toward love. Love will have the last word.
Powerful and very true
For me, forgiveness did not come easy. It took many years of contemplation, dissecting relationships, psychotherapy and most of all, prayer, to get to the point of the actual forgiving. With my son, forgiveness was always in my heart, but sometimes, the hurt overruled the feeling of forgiveness. Forgiving can be more of an emotion, than that of an “act”. Gosh, it’s so complicated isn’t it?
I continue to try and move beyond the pain. It’s a daily struggle for me and if it were not for my faith and my belief in God’s help and guidance, I would be a very lost soul. I also thank Libby for her contribution to my healing.
I pray for all parents who have addicted children. I pray that they will be able to find peace and serenity through forgiveness.
We are all blessed to read Barbara’s wisdom. Thank you for sharing with us.
My ability to forgive required a one on one relationship with God. A direct connection without outside human opinions. I then moved to training my mind to immediately stop, to pause, and pay close attention to what I was allowing to enter my mind. As I paused, I asked God to protect me from these thoughts and for me to have the will to trust Him completely.
In time I have come to experience so much more peace and serenity.
What I have learned is that revenge, anger, depression, doubt, heartache can not exists in the same space as God, so I give that space to God. It is as if there is this indescribable protective coating that He gently spreads over my mind, putting me to rest. Once rested I am able to continue the good fight.
My recovery is a spiritual journey. I am still a work in progress when it comes to forgiveness.
In prayer for the peace and serenity of each of my fellow travelers.
I appreciate your feelings, Pat. My heart feels for you and your wife, for I can relate to what you’re both going through.
I noticed that in my last posting, I thanked Libby for contributing to my healing. I really meant to thank Libby, and ALL OF YOU, here. You have all contributed to where my heart is, today. I have healed immensely because of all of you, here. I wish we could someday, meet one another, in person. Should any of your travels ever bring you to central Florida (east coast), please let me know!
Thank you all for sharing.
If you happen to peruse Libby’s blog again, I want you to know that I am praying for you. I am praying that your son will soon find his way out of addiction.
You will continue to be in my daily prayers. I hope the angels of God will descend upon on your son and allow him to feel their presence. May they sweep him up, out of the throes of addiction, and into their arms and may they never let go.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom, strength and love. Maybe this is addiction’s gift to us that through all the pain and suffering, we’ve found (are finding) a strategy to reach serenity. Jeff says the same thing as Pat and Barbara – that he’s found his peace in his God, in his spirituality. He says he surrenders his pain to God and refuses to live in angst. I learn from him and I learn from you all. This is surely God’s grace. I pray for continued and abundant grace. My love,
This post and comments stirred so much in me.
My son’s journey makes me go deeper- deeper in the journey of my spirit and faith and the understanding of my self and others. It led me here –where I see such courage and giving. For giving. For all the confusion of soul and heart pain that the disease of addiction of a loved one stirs in us, I agree with Libby, this surrender to God ( higher love force) is the only path to serenity. But this community helps in that. For me, it is not once and for all. As my son is still in active addiction I continue to work at finding the boulder to sit on and not be swayed by the next piece of information I hear — or do not hear. Last weekend I attended a workshop for women and rage– it involved Dance therapy. I stomped and roared from the rage of loss I feel in my body and life on many levels and when the storm passed, there was so much tenderness and space for forgiveness. Sometimes I hold all of this in my head and heart and I forget how much my body has been affected from the accumulated stress this disease has had in our lives. I’ve eaten to fill the emptiness.I’ve disconnected from my body. I felt it was time to take a hard look at this! When I got home from the workshop —re-invigorated — I had an email from my son –just one saying I love you and miss you and maybe we could have coffee sometime soon. I gies the vibrations travelled (: He is not clean and he never asks for money anymore which makes me wonder how he is getting food let alone his drugs — but he stays in touch to say I love you. I miss you. For now, that is what I accept as God’s Grace . For NOW, in this second, he is safe. I pray for his sobriety but am grateful, for now, for his safety and that he is again reaching out. But..well… I am working on me these days. I offer this because it might be helpful to some others. Sorrow is felt in every cell of our bodies. There is an onging grief that comes from watching a loved one in active addiction and I’m discovering another strategy — prayer with my body is a path to joy.
Love to all .
I love that you stomped and stamped and roared out your rage of loss. I understand. We need to take care of ourselves or all is lost. Your son is still there, reaching out to you, not for money, but for connection. Moments for giving, for forgiving, for love to be manifested in a simple, “I’m here.” Stay strong. Love to you and yours.
I’m so glad that you found some joy stomping, and stamping with dance therapy. How cool!
I remember like it was yesterday….my son stayed in touch from prison and he ALWAYS never failed to say “I love you Mom”. They were his last words at the end of every conversation. Cherish the times spent with your son, you’ll never regret it.
Love to you,