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Forgiveness and Abundance

By Julie Ann Cairns | Abundance

May 11

“Forgiveness is key. Forgiveness sets me free. Forgiveness isn’t something I do for the other person, it’s a gift I give to myself.”

Yada, yada. I know. Argh.

Sometimes it’s easier said than done. But if you want an abundant life, it’s important to pay attention to it.

This month will be the second anniversary of my father’s death, which has me feeling a bit melancholy. And yes, there are things about our relationship still lingering to be forgiven. Things I need to forgive him for, forgive myself for, and forgive others who played a part.

I mean, I do believe that forgiveness is key. The ability to forgive is one of the cornerstones of an abundant life because resentment poisons the beauty and wonder of life. No matter how much freedom and choice I have, or how many beautiful trips and experiences I can enjoy, if I’m carrying a heavy resentment within me then that pervades everything.

I know this.

It was in January this year that I realised I still had some inner work to do around Dad’s death. I’d thought I was done! Ha. That was naive of me, maybe. Because with this particular nugget of resentment, in truth I was not fully there yet. I’d come a long way, but I still needed to work on it.

Grief taught me a lesson too. It said: “I’m not running to your schedule, honey. I run on my own timetable. Sorry if this is inconvenient for you, but you can’t just tick me off like an item on your list. I’m back, and you need to sit down and listen to what I have to say. Attendance is not optional.”

So I took some time, cleared my schedule as much as possible, went into a period of contemplation and sat with my feelings.

I sat with our imperfect relationship, and the fact that Dad had chosen to disown me as one of his last acts on this earth – something he’d done, admittedly, while in the grip of dementia. (Still, he was with it enough mentally for his lawyer to let him do it.)

I reached a deeper acceptance of the way that our relationship had never been easy, and neither side was entirely blameless on that score. He wasn’t a bad person. Neither was I. But we had our issues.

I loved him, he was the only father I had. Sometimes he tried to be a good father. Other times he was too wrapped up in his own stuff, too caught up in his own unresolved traumas, to be kind. He disappointed me, often. I guess I disappointed him too, because he sure did deliver me a nasty blow on his way out. And that’s not something he can go back and make amends for now.

The conversation is over.

So I have to process it without him. I have to find my way to forgiveness, so that it doesn’t become a festering wound of anger and regret that ends up poisoning my abundant life.

One way I process my feelings is by writing songs. Today I want to share the lyrics of a song I wrote after my Dad’s death.

Of course it’s just my perspective. Of course it’s baked in my own grief and disappointment. But if you’ve ever struggled to figure out what’s your own ‘stuff’ and what’s someone else’s ‘stuff’… or if you’ve ever struggled to hold in your heart a love that’s on the one hand strong and beautiful, but on the other hand full of contradictions, pain and confusion… then perhaps these lyrics will resonate with you. Because they’re full of contradictions too.

A bit like life.

*****

Forgiveness / Reckoning

I know why you were hurt

Truth is hard to take

I know why you couldn’t stop

Excuses we’ll all make

 

But I won’t be your whipping post

So you can pass it down the line

You won’t push your pain on me

Not this time.

 

It’s funny how it all repeats

The patterns and the crimes

Will I let it get to me?

That choice was always mine

 

Oh I won’t be your whipping post

You won’t pass it down my line

You won’t push your pain on me

Not this time.

 

… I will pray you’ll find peace,

And God will heal your wounds.

That if you find your way back here,

You’ll play a different tune.

You’ll play a sweeter tune …

 

Now it’s time to let it go

No changing what’s been done

Let love and light, forgiveness flow

‘Till we shine bright like the sun!

 

No one can be your whipping post

You can’t pass it down the line

Because in the end, there’s a reckoning …

And it’s that time.

*****

Wish me luck, grace and the support of the universe on my forgiveness journey my fellow Abundance Coders! And as always, let me know in the comments if this post has helped you in any way.

To YOUR Abundance,

Julie Ann Cairns

Julie Ann Cairns

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