I think I am onto something!
I have been reading like mad, wrestling with emotions and healing from a series of VERY PAINFUL experiences. I have had to work REALLY hard to deal in forgiveness while also dealing in truth. I have read "It's Not Your Fault: How Healing Relationships Change Your Brain & Can Help You Overcome a Painful Past" by Patricia Romano, Ph.d. Mcgraw (May 2004) and "Mommy Dearest" and "Mistakes Were Made..." and "Sway" and now "Spontaneous Evolution"-- and listened to numerous of the calls now abounding on healing. I am a fan of Phil Cousineau and his recent work "Beyond Forgiveness http://www.facebook.com/index.php?lh=df116eaa280320d8d9759370bb65af49!/BeyondForgiveness
I love D. Patrick Miler's "Little Book of Forgiveness."
BUT--I am confused because I am angry at some folks I love and/or have forgiven. I uncover more hurt... and the battle between anger and forgiveness begins anew.
It's a major conundrum!
Today, a contact posted something on a social networking site about my remark that we-- and all who have hurt us-- were "doing the best they could". Reading her comment I realized it was hard for me to feel that this was true sometimes--like now!-- even though I do actually believe it is true.
I began to believe it was true many years ago when I realized it was true of me, so I imagined that must apply to pretty much everyone. (And yes, it is hard to imagine it of some truly evil people, but it may still be true... but that may be a post for another day.) But it got me to thinking,and as I jogged an a FINALLY sunny day some things clicked--as they often do for me when I jog.
Maybe a week ago I was in a conference call with Bruce Lipton talking about his work, and in the last few days I have been revisiting the book he co-wrote with Steve Bhaerman. The key "aha" I had is that Bruce states that the UNCONSCIOUS mind has much more power in our lives (at least until we start to really work with it) than our conscious minds. I can't cite any studies... but it seems pretty true to me.
So-- here is what dawned in me--even the really harmful things many parents have done (and we are just starting to recognize the ease with which children can in fact BE harmed in the early years of life) were done by people who were essentially on "autopilot."
Alcoholism is an easy example. Surely the harm done by an alcoholic parent is bad-- and to forgive that would be almost impossible, even unjust. After all, drinking is a choice--right? But is it?
Well here is my BIG "aha"!
If we are programmed long before we have a reasoning ability-- Bruce calls it "downloading data"-- then we are acting of that old programing when we drink, abuse-- whatever we do that is suboptimal to us and ours.... IF THIS IS TRUE (look around and see) then we really are ALL doing the best we can. If we could do better we would-- wouldn't we?
I know I would.
So yes... these people who hurt us so amazingly much.... Joan Crawford in "Mommy Dearest"-- an alcoholic narcissist... are operating off the "TSR" program and cannot do anything else. Not without a lot of time, energy, and help. (Help our parents simply did not have.)
I do believe the ability to face ourselves, to learn what we were taught by Paul Larson at Summit--"there's no body out there" (but a reflection of us) is true we can loose the bonds.
But it's a lot harder than it sounds. So if we can't forgive "them" we can't forgive US. And that is REALLY the saddest fate of all.
So, as glad as I am that Christmas madness 2010 is now over... the art of forgiveness seems more important than ever. And this may just make the concept more palatable.
It does for me!