Surviving, forgiving and moving on is a topic that is near and dear to my heart because as I get older I realize how important it is to forgive people and move on past them. I know that the reason to forgive anyone is for me, not for them. The most amazing blessing that comes from forgiving – when it is done with peace and conviction that person no longer can tug at my heart strings which means your heart strings are safe too.
Years ago I wrote a letter to my breast cancer forgiving it for coming into my body.
There is forgiveness that has happened that I have been totally unaware of until one day when I thought about these people nothing hurt. My heartstrings were not twinging. The former best friend who preferred the bubbly in a bottle to true friendship, the narcissistic business partner who dissolved our partnership on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, the bully, the ex-lover who showered me with gifts of a particular perfume and broke my heart and then wrote a novel in which is main female character wears the same perfume (that one made me smile).
I don’t want these people in my life, would never want them back, they brought pain but when I realized the pain was gone I had gratefulness to them because I can pick these people out of a crowd now and avoid anyone even resembling their persona.
I had to learn emotional self-defense mechanisms and one of the first things is that I had to be more choosy with the people I trust with my head and heart. I also went back to the theory of like attracting like and I really looked for people whose mind and spirit were like mine. If/when someone makes my hairs stand on end I back off. I have been fooled, and it will happen again. However I am more in tune now and fooling me is a little more difficult.
I was watching the TV show “The Good Wife” and Peter said “You are being used.” Alicia said “Who isn’t.”
There will always be users in my life, in your life too. Set boundaries. I do. You know when someone wants something and it’s OK as long as all eyes remain wide open and we all get something in return.
I ask for something in return most of the time. A friend recommended me to be a mentor in a startup incubator program, I asked them to refer me some paying clients too. A friend asked me to do all the social media for a big charity event, I asked for acknowledgement in the program. Even my wonderful husband asks for things and we bargain nicely. Nothing should ever be one-sided.
I also realized that the happier I was the easier it was to move on, obviously holding onto hateful thoughts and wanting revenge will always be roadblocks on the highway to forgiveness.
Also in forgiving people you find you don’t allow them to rent space in your head any more.
I also had some help along the way. My wonderful husband would listen and occasionally render an opinion, but it was the listening that really mattered. The truly good friends I have now are the kind of friends I always wanted. They are reliable. I have an amazing career I love. I don’t have a “real job” I have a real career. Forgiveness opened my heart and my eyes. I no longer take just any client, there has to be a good fit and they have to understand boundaries. This is only part of the reward system I get from giving forgiveness. When I let go of the ugly really good things started to happen. It does work.
I do know and understand that there may be somethings in life so tragic forgiveness is way out there and unattainable or so I thought. Then I remembered that I am forgiving for my inner peace, not their inner peace. I am forgiving for myself and moving on – and that’s how I do it.
That and one last thing – advice from my cancer surgeon who always tells people to put things/people/happenings in a balloon and float them out of your life.