I am beginning a weekly blog called “Ask Me Anything…” and this is the first question I received:
Heidi, I want to forgive my mother for hurtful words and actions but I am so angry. You’ve helped me realize that I am angry and yet I can’t let it go. Help. TH
First of all, thank you for asking your question. You’re the first! When we risk being vulnerable, we often open the door for others to heal as well. They see that you’ve opened a healing space and they walk through too. Big and brave stuff!
As we’ve talked about during your sessions, we hold anger and resentment in our bodies as well as our thoughts.
- The first place we need to address is what are you thoughts about your mom? The truth. The petty stuff. The stuff you hope nobody will ever know you think about. Giving voice to this layer of thinking has magical power. It seems scary and like a terrible part of us, but it’s really like a weed with a shallow root. Once you pull it, the roots aren’t that long and you can get to the truth faster.
- The second is where do you feel that thought in your body? Is it your heart, your feet, your belly? This gives us clues about how we release this and what type of action we can take to move forward.
- Third, what if you could never think that thought again? Seriously? Most of the time I would be kinder, gentler, and more calm. Sign me up!
- And finally, what would you do with your time instead of holding anger and resentment? It’s a valid question because sometimes we are in such a habit of feeling the way we feel that we can’t imagine our lives without it even though we desire change.
The book Loving What Is by Byron Katie has been a gem for me. The above questions are my version of what she calls The Work. She asks four questions that help you identify your thoughts and guide you through a journey of self-discovery. I have been angry, relieved, irritated, and overjoyed as I’ve done The Work. Worth it.
I think of forgiveness as a way to release myself from the pain of a situation. It does not mean that I agree with how I was treated or am accepting of poor behavior. It does mean that I continue to unplug from my thoughts about the situation and plug in to my Source which is love. And I forgive as long as it takes. There is no time limit. Sometimes I find myself in a new place where I am triggered. I forgive again. Usually after some sort of temper tantrum that I have to forgive again, but nonetheless, I do it.
You got this!
If you have a question for me, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s all anonymous. 🙂