Sitting across from me in a safe house. He was just released from prison and had nowhere to go. I was doing an informal intake on him, to see if I could place him in the shelter. During our conversation, he told me about the abuse that he suffered for many years, at the hands of trusted people. (I will spare you the graphic details.) While he spoke with anger in his voice, he said something so profound, that it still sits with me 2 weeks later. While speaking of the torture and abuse, he said “I’m not mad at what they did to me. I am mad at how they made me feel about myself.” Mind blown!
I walked away from that meeting with an eerie feeling. I sat with this for a few days, and realized just how powerful that statement was. He was not mad at what they did to him. Meaning he has forgiven them. He was mad at how they made him feel about himself. Now he was fighting to forgive himself. It’s a power play. He took their power away by forgiving them. Now he is fighting to regain his own power, so he can get on with his life.
How many of us have given our power away over much less? Someone didn’t pay you back that $20 you lent them. You didn’t get invited for a last minute gathering. Or, you got passed over for that promotion at work. I get it. It hurts. But to carry that around with you for the day, week or year is unhealthy. We take our power back by not playing.
When we hold onto anger, we block blessings
Sometimes life is unfair. Other times it can be downright cruel. But forgiveness lightens the load. It literally set you free. It will not make the wrong, right. But what it will do, is create space within your mind and body for something positive. When we hold onto anger, we block blessings. Don’t be mad at yourself for how they made you feel. It maybe time to cut some people out of your life. It maybe time to let some things go. It may not be easy, but there is help. And asking for it gives you power.
Today, this hour, right now holds promise. And the minute we affirm it. We take our power back.