F is for Forgiveness & Five Years Free

Today is my day. Five years ago today I gave up alcohol and cigarettes because they were making me sick and keeping me from living my best life. I AM FIVE YEARS FREE☺️πŸ’ͺπŸ¦„ This put me in a reflective mood as I drove home from Philly today.  

As I am transitioning out of Depression and beginning to move forward with my life, my life is changed by new awareness. This wasn’t my first encounter with Depression; I’ve suffered through it before. This was, however, the first time I made an Intention to learn and grow through my suffering. It was also the first time I completely surrendered to it, accepted support during it and was honest with people about how deep my sorrow was at the time. I allowed my darkness to open and change me.

The biggest demon in my life is my fear of loss which, in essence, boils down to a fear of and a barrier to love. I asked myself how can I be afraid of love; Love is beautiful, soft and supportive. But, the truth is in my life love has been a great source of pain. My first encounter with losing someone I loved was when my Grandmom committed suicide when I was seven and my father died suddenly two months later. After that many people I loved passed to other side. One by one I witnessed for them and let go with tears rolling down my cheek as they left my world. 

As a teenager, I experienced betrayal by a man in my life who I loved and trusted. While I don’t feel it necessary to go into the details of that heartache, it also chipped away at my trust and faith in love, men and the people who were supposed to protect me.

As I’ve been working to heal the dark parts of my heart and remove my internal barriers to love, I’ve had to be honest that I’ve carried the burden for what happened to me. I held onto it as shield. It was time to let go.

The first thing I did was I confronted my Mother about my childhood. I wasn’t trying to blame her. I am 49 years old and accept responsibility for who I choose to be. I did, however, need her to understand the impact events had on my life and how I came to be the woman I am. It was the most uncomfortable conversation we ever had. She looked like she was going to throwing up. As I sat across the table and watched my 77 year old Mother sob, she said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” I knew she was sorry. Our relationship changed because of this conversation. We are closer and more understanding with each other. My Mom and I have a confrontational relationship; we always will have that type of relationship but at least there is truth between us now too.

I also realized it was time to forgive people who never asked me for forgiveness. I was carrying their burden. I was using their deeds as my shield to love. If I continued doing this, I would forever be the victim – their victim. I made the choice for myself not for them. I had to let it go because it was blocking my ability to allow love into my heart and life. My lack of trust and faith destroyed all of my relationships with men. My lack of self love made me accept less than I deserve. I often chose men who were emotionally or physically unavailable out of safety. I now see a man in my life who I want to open myself up to. I want to swim in the beautiful blue ocean of his warm and comforting eyes. It wasn’t until I realized my fears were going to sabotage me again that I made a conscious choice to see the darkness in my very own soul and bring it to the light.

The F word – Forgiveness is setting me free. I’ve been working through these issues with a therapist but I’ve found some great books from Gabrielle Bernstein and Marianne Williamson that have been helpful too. I’ve also started working on the “Course In Miracles” which focuses on removing all of your internal barriers to love as a way to find inner peace. I’ve changed. I’ve let go of pain. I have deeper faith. I am no longer afraid. I am no longer suffering in the dark. I’ve grown through suffering. 

How do you feel about the F word? Can you forgive someone who never asked for it? Can you do it for yourself? Can you choose love? Will you let yourself be loved?

(C) 2016 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved

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Awakening the healer within...
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