Fear & Forgiveness

March 8, 2005 at 9:58 am (Uncategorized)

One of the multitude of things I thought about on my trip to and from Nashville was forgiveness. Not just forgiveness towards others but also forgiving ourselves and letting go of any fear associated with the mistakes of our lives, and the fear of repeating them.

I have done a lot of stupid things in my life. I have done things that have hurt other people. Some of these have been bigger than others. Sometimes I was the one who facilitated allowing others to hurt me.

I own my pain. It is mine. In as much as I allowed others to chip away at me, the person I am, my self-esteem, and assisted in building the wall of self-doubt and mistrust, it is I who chips away at that very thing. I have gotten somewhere, finally. It feels good to look back and say, “I made it.” I recognize the ways these things have shaped me and why I am sensitive about particular things. I have also learned that people coming into my life have no idea why and its time I open my mouth and say it. I don’t seek sympathy. Life sucks sometimes, we all know it.

What I do seek, is to share for the purpose of understanding. Understanding why and how and looking beyond the surface. Fear, in my opinion, only happens when one of two things happen: 1) The situation is, or could be, very, very bad; and 2) The situation is, or could be, very, very good. It dawned on me that when one fears happiness, its not the happiness we fear, its the fear of losing it. Its the fear of giving ourselves over to it, and the fear of it biting us full force on the ass.

I believe I have confused some, not just in my life, but in Blogland with my attitude. I think its lead some to believe that I have become so effective at “moving on” that I am callous, unfeeling, and I have numbed myself to any type of emotional pain. Here is where I share for the purpose of understanding, not necessarily so you understand me better but so you may understand everyone better.

I have worked my ass off in the past nine months to get where I am. Actually, its been much, much longer than that. The past nine months of blogging have pushed it further than it has ever been. Can I just say, I’ve learned from the past? I’ve learned to trust that inner voice? I’ve learned to heed the tap on the left shoulder? I’ve learned to listen to myself as opposed to the voices of others? And by voices I mean those from the past, the ones that cut me down. Its not easy. It will never be easy, but its getting easier.

It easier to make decisions without questioning myself. Whereas before, I may have bent over backwards to make sure you liked me, anyone for that matter. (Not singling anyone out here or in real life, just speaking in generalities) You may have sensed the fear in me of losing you. It wasn’t you though, it was the fear of you leaving me. Why would anyone want that kind of love? That’s not love, that’s fear. Living under a cloud, the cloud of abandonment. It tickles still. Before it was like a case of poison ivy, now its just a tickle.

Excuse me if I have learned to finally see, as clearly as possible, those things which are unhealthy for me. I have learned if it is unhealthy, I don’t need it. If I don’t need it, I can forget it. I make no excuses for shutting the door on anything which could set me back on my path forward. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel pain, or disappointment, I’ve just learned to assign them as much worth as is due them. Do not think there aren’t people in my life who if I were to lose them, through whatever means or ends, that I wouldn’t be devastated but it wouldn’t be because I’m afraid of losing them because I’m psychologically sick. It would be because they mean so much to me, to my heart, and because they hold my heart just as dear to them.

I have a letter to write. This is what brought all of this to mind. Its time to close the door a little further on a rough chapter in my life. The Holland Chapter… that’s the Ex-Drunk-Boyfriend. The one who is sitting in jail, awaiting his turn for a personalized prison cell. I have every reason to wish him a long and difficult life. However, he’s had enough of a difficult life. I could blame him for everything and get by with it. I won’t though.

I know that he feels guilty for what happened between us. I know he feels guilty for walking out on me and leaving me with all of the debt he had promised to help pay. His AA sponsor told me recently, “He knows we are probably the only two people in his life who ever loved him for who he was, instead of who he could be.”

We’ve each had enough. He should not have taken advantage of my love for him. I should not have let him take advantage of me. I have forgiven myself for allowing it to happen; for facilitating it even. I want Holland to know that. It doesn’t mean I’m happy about him shirking his responsibilities, but the time for finger pointing is over.

I want Holland to let go of any guilt he feels over me, Nate, and our relationship. I also want him to know that Nate still talks about him, almost three years later. I want him to know that Nate loved him just because he was Holland. Because he took time to let Nate help when he was more of a hindrance. I just want him to have that to hold on to. He made the remark six months after he left, that he was surprised that Nate remembered him. Nate has never forgotten. Nate will never forget. I think having the unconditional love of a child is worth holding on to. I just want him to know that I’ve forgiven him and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him having been in my life.

As for me, I’ve spent most of my life, not all, but most, either being in unhealthy relationships or recovering from them. I don’t ever want to forget that. I never want to forget where I have been. For 34 years I’ve learned how adversity, pain, poverty, unhappiness, and unhealthiness can change me and how I can change myself. I’ve learned how one child can bring out more love and inner strength than I ever imagined.

Its time though, to find out what love can do. Its time to learn how sharing the inner machinations of myself doesn’t have to make me vulnerable in ways I don’t want to be. Intimacy is born from vulnerability. Intimacy cannot be achieved without revealing our innermost workings, desires, dreams, disappointments, insecurities, and trusting the other person will realize when we reveal ourselves, they are then entrusted with the most fragile seeds of our heart, as we are their’s. Tend their garden, yet tend your own just the same.

And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

Khalil Gibran (from The Prophet)

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