At first, when trauma first strikes, grief covers the tapestry of your life. Every waking thought is about the divorce, diagnosis, beloved dream, pet or person you’ve lost. It’s all-consuming.
Then, after the initial trauma, you can get mired in the identity of grief. The dragons of sadness, longing, fear, and guilt drags you around. Sometimes for years.
You wonder, what is wrong with me? Will I ever feel like the person I was before?
Others may say or imply, “What’s wrong with you? Get a grip. It’s time to move on.”
And you think, don’t they understand how fragile I am? I am barely holding myself together!!
You’re stuck in the identity of grief.
Freedom in Forgiveness
This past July 4th I attended a Freedom Celebration Party. And met a bright, handsome, 40’s something young man whose grief was palpable. It colored his tone of voice. His eyes held depths of grief his cheerfulness couldn’t hide. Grief had changed his whole demeanor. It limited his ability to connect.
Later, sitting on the deck together, he shared his divorce story. I heard his deep regret for decisions made. He’d married her despite the warnings of close friends and family. A lapse in judgement, he’d ignored their advice.
“Who do you blame for this divorce?” I asked.
His answer revealed he knew his part. He was taking rightful responsibility. And, he was blaming himself. His self-critic was vicious. Guilt, guilt, guilt.
Oh, I know that story well. I had blamed myself for my son’s death for years. Guilt, the feeling that keeps on giving.
So, I asked my new friend if he was ready to forgive himself.
“Yes, but how?”.
So, I introduced him to Ho’oponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) the ancient Hawaiian prayer ‘to make right.’ It brings balance to the self and all relationships.
He discovered its powerful simplicity. Four statements of truth:
1. I am sorry.
2. Please forgive me.
3. Thank you.
4. I love you.
His eyes lit up brighter than the cigar he was smoking. “I say these to myself?”
“Yes, aloud while looking in the mirror,” I replied. “Happy Freedom Day. Free to forgive yourself day.”
It appears that this mantra was ‘in the air.’ The next morning, I opened Anam Cara Connections and read Kathleen Verigin’s July 4th Prayer based on Ho’oponopono.
She shared this quote:
“If we can accept that we are the sum total of all past thoughts, emotions, words, deeds and actions and that our present lives and choices are colored or shaded by this memory bank of the past, then we begin to see how a process of correcting or setting aright can change our lives, our families and our society.” – By Morrnah Nalamaku Simeona, a Hawaiian Kahuna Lapa’au
Wishing you the Freedom of Forgiveness this day.