Thinker Thursdays -Fall Forgiveness
In Autumn It’s Time To Think About Letting Go
Happy Thursday Readers and Writers! It’s Amli, your everyday Lightworker, coming to you live and direct from the Life-in-10 Minutes Community.
Check us out at Life in 10 , we are an actual (as well as virtual) writing community based out of Richmond, Virginia in the US of A. The media will have you thinking it’s all blood in the streets and utter chaos over here, but honestly? There are plenty of absolutely lovely, magical, mystical wonderful experiences happening, all day every day here in America. Life-in-10 Minutes Community is one of those places that cultivates those kinds of experiences!
At Life in 10, we write about life. Real, raw, true, straight no-chaser kind of life. The, yes, I was-raped-behind-the-dumpster-at-the-local-grocery-store-when-I was-ten, kind of life. The, there was a time when I had to steal just to eat, kind of life. We hold nothing back. We get it all on the page.
We keep it real.
And then we heal.
Because real talk, life is traumatic. And trauma requires healing…and that healing happens through forgiveness.
A Traumatized World, A Time for Healing
It has been one hell of a year. And…it’s almost over. We made it! We made it yall! It’s the fall. In the fall, I always think about my life. Where has it been? Where is it going? What do I need to let go of, to begin fresh in the coming new year. Fall is a good time to think about forgiveness.
Here and America (and all across the globe really), we have been traumatized. We started this year, Winter and Spring, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic scaring the bejesus out of us. I don’t know about yall, but I was pretty shook by it. I didn’t want to leave the house! I didn’t want to wear a mask. (I can’t breath in them!) I didn’t not want to wear a mask and catch the COVID! I couldn’t see anybody! Icouldn’t touch anybody! I couldn’t go anywhere! Introverts were in their element, but an extrovert like me was slowly dying inside.
That’s why, we all took to the streets, summer of 2020! This summer of massive social and racial unrest had us protesting, rioting and yes even dancing in the streets! I was out there! It was a very moving experience at times. Ask me about the Marcus David Peters Circle in Richmond! Just ask me! Also about Juneteenth and the sound of cannons. It was a wild summer.
Now, it’s autumn and we’re all limping to the 2020 finish line after surviving the election from hell.
The politics here are so triggering and traumatizing. Our American Democracy is being held together with duct tape, perhaps a bit of thread, and the back bones of black women who have always carried this country, like so much water.
Hopefully, it’s all under the bridge now. Believe whatever you like about Joe Biden, (maybe he’s your Satan, maybe he’s your Savior I really don’t want to go there with anyone right now, the politics is not the point), I just want to say whatever your thoughts are about him you have to give him this, cause he’s right about it: It’s time to heal.
Because how long can we stand as an embittered, beleaguered, embattled, divided nation? Enough. I am so done. Let’s start moving into a space of healing. That starts with forgiveness.
Is there anyone you might be needing to forgive this fall? Maybe…hmmm. I don’t know…I’m just going to throw it out there. Maybe we could start considering forgiving Donald Trump?
I’m going to say something really crazy, and suggest that we work on the really intense and deeply negative feelings we have toward Mitch McConnel? (Oh GAWD. That’s a tough one for me. I am mainly suggesting this to myself.)
And this exercise isn’t just for progressive liberals. You Trumpsters out there…maybe you ease up on the intense hatred of Joe Biden? Can Kamala Harris maybe catch a break and not be called a demon succubus for a day? Just one day?
How about we cut some slack to the entire congress? If we are really honest with ourselves as Americans, we have to admit that our entire political system is in need of a drastic and dire overhaul.
Maybe we start by forgiving it. The whole corrupt system, It can be as simple as saying:
I forgive the system, for all of the wrongs, and injustices and crimes against humanity it has committed and perpetuated in the name of greed and late stage capitalism.
Come on! Let’s do it. It will feel good, I promise! Just see how it feels! Then write about it (for ten minutes.) Then you can Submit your Life in 10 here.
And keep checking us out on our Facebook group. Different Life in 10 teachers are always throwing out different life management ideas and prompts and posts. We also teach classes, which due to COVID-19 restrictions, have all gone virtual. You can join us at Life in 10 from anywhere in the world! We’d love to have you.
Who Do You Need to Forgive in Your Daily Life?
If you’re ready for a real, real challenge, forget the macro. Forget the United States. Forget Russia and China. India too. Forget all of that. It’s just a vast and highly pervasive illusory 3D reality whose entire purpose is dedicated to keeping us distracted, distressed and all together miserable. That highly bizarre external reality is not what matters most, nor where our focus needs to be. Coping with all that can be really easy, if you want it to be. All you have to do is ignore it; and by that I mean simply don’t give any of your precious energy to it. But this requires a lot of deprogramming, which is exactly what A Course in Miracles teaches us.
We can completely ignore both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, if we want to right now. This is entirely doable for most of us. I don’t work at the White House, do you?
What is much, much more difficult to ignore, however, are those incidents in our daily lives that for whatever reason, trigger us, turn our pages, and just generally drive us batty! We all have these triggers, and encounters with the people who pull them. What to do?
Love them, unconditionally. But before you can get to that, we have to forgive them.
Who do you really need to forgive? Who are you dealing with in your life, right now today, that pushes all of your buttons? We all have these people in our lives: bosses, co-workers, neighbors, mothers, fathers, lovers, children, friends. At a certain point, it’s inevitable in life, that these people are going to do something that is going to hurt. But, we can deal with this. It starts with forgiveness.
AmLi is a light-working Forgiveness Aficionado
I can tell you a lot about forgiveness, because I have done a whole hell of a lot of it. I had to. If I didn’t, I was going to slowly lose my whole damn mind to darkness; and I couldn’t let that happen. I am of the light.
What is it that lightworkers do? We take on a whole hell of a lot of darkness and transmute it to light. We all agreed to do this (all of us light workers.) Transmutation, from light to darkness, is essentially what forgiveness is.
I studied A Course in Miracles, for many, many years, which is a light worker manual of sorts. The ability to forgive through the develop of a deep understanding of what forgiveness actually is — is at the center of this course.
One of the first people I found myself having to forgive was my sister. Trust…me and my sister, had serious trauma and healing work we had to get through with each other. You have no idea! But if you are curious I write all about it in my memoir, The Way Through, Lessons Learned on Life, Love and the Journey.
The deets are all in the book. Check it out there, because it’s just too much insanity for me to try and explain here. But there were times when things were really, really bad. At one point, I considered killing my sister. Yep. That was a thing. And I must have been a real threat because my ancestors were coming up out of their afterlives to try and stop me.
Oh. It was ugly.
Me and my sister just could not get along with each other. Although we grew up together in a highly unstable, violent and dysfunctional household (and were sort of allies in childhood) , as we attempted to navigate young adulthood, we had incredibly different ways of coping with all of that childhood trauma.
As the oldest girl, in a highly dysfunctional family, I did what oldest girls typically do. I became a hyper-vigilant, judgmental, highly critical, over-achiever, obsessed with projecting an image of impossible-to-maintain perfection, in order to cover up this gaping wound at the center of my being, that was eating me alive from the inside out.
My sister , of course, had that same hole. But instead of trying to cover it up, like I did, she sought to fill it with the drank. So she drank, and…she drank and drank and drank and drank; and lied. And stole things. And destroyed things. And crashed cars and hurt people. To say we were at odds is a massive understatement. We were at war with each other, most of the time, with me trying so hard to be perfect, and her trying to burn everything to the ground.
How did that end? With forgiveness. I have attached an excerpt below to get your forgiveness juices flowing…and I want you to know forgiveness is so worth it!
The excerpt below is a scene from over a decade ago. While memoir scenes stand still, frozen in time, your life KEEPS ON MOVING.
So… ask me about my sister, today. Go ahead, ask me! How do you think this story ends? In my memoir, The Way Through, Lessons Learned on Life, Love and the Journey, you don’t really know…because I didn’t really know! I was writing my life in real time, as it was happening
But a decade later, I know how it all turns out. And me and my sister? Best friends! Yeah! We got a happy ending yall! Yay! As she often says about me, “there is no one who knows me better.” And I know the same is true about her and me. We are absolutely the best of friends. I say all of that, to say this: forgiveness, is so worth it! So…think about doing it, today!
An Honest Conversation With My Sister
Forgiving my sister. Why was it so hard for me to forgive my sister? Because ultimately it just wasn’t about my sister. It was about my worldview and my reality. It was about everything that had happened to me in my childhood that my sister had always and most unfortunately brought back into my consciousness. It was, to me, about forgiving my father and my mother for the hideous writing on my bedroom walls, and all of the damage that this had caused me and almost everyone I had interacted with thereafter: my husband, my children, my extended family, my friends, associates from work. Everything and everyone that I had ever touched from that day onward had been tainted. It was about me moving on and letting go of all of it, finally. My ego felt as if I just could not do it. My spiritual self knew that I had to.
On the way to my sister’s house, I rehearsed the conversation I would have with her several times in my mind. I really did not know how I was going to do it. I really didn’t even know where to begin. How do you honestly, genuinely and truly forgive someone? I decided to take her out to dinner.
When I finally got to my sister’s house the energy around us was weird. Star looked good, better than she had in years. But it was clear that something was bothering her. She looked at me anxiously, as if she was preparing herself for all of my hostility. Surprisingly, (I surprised myself), I had none. I greeted her, she greeted me back tentatively. Next, I invited her to dinner. I told her she could choose the place. She chose the Olive Garden.
Once we were seated, and the appetizers and the main courses were ordered, the heart-to-heart that had been in the making for years began. I started with,
“Star, I forgive you for everything and I hope that you can forgive me too.”
During the months of my sickness, I had done a whole lot of soul-searching. What I knew, but had such a hard-time admitting to myself, was that I needed to be humble enough to ask for her forgiveness too. In the whole big ugly battle, I was just as much to blame as Star. I also realized that all through the years, I’d been so selfish in my relationship with her. I was always pointing my fingers, always placing blame. But what about me? What kind of big sister had I really been? Had I ever really been truly there for her? I’d made my fair share of mistakes from the very beginning. I’d burned up her Mickey Mouse doll on the trip to Mexico, for godsakes! It was only one of many, many transgressions against her. If Star had to describe me in her own words, she’d probably call me a psychotic bitch from hell. (In fact, I’m sure she has actually called me that, on more than one occasion.) She wasn’t lying. Admittedly, I can be a psychotic bitch from hell. (Well, maybe not psychotic, but pretty damn crazy acting.) I’d never been all that nice to her, Zeus or Raymond the whole time we were growing up. I was far too crazy and confused for such bland but helpful emotions. Each of them can tell the most vivid and descriptive stories of childhood terror, with me being the wicked child terrorist at the story’s center. I honestly do not remember doing all of these terrible things to them . . . and yet, I don’t doubt that I did them. All of this probably affected Star the worst. Had I ever loved her unconditionally? No. Had I ever truly listened to what she had to say without judgment? No, not really. Never, if I was going to be truly honest. How was it that after all of these years I’d been so oblivious to my own role in all of this?
Would you rather be right, or would you rather be at peace?
This was one of many meditations that I had pondered since beginning A Course in Miracles. What had trying to prove to myself and the world that I was right gotten me so far? Very little. My ego had blinded me to the truth. For all of these years, I’d been so caught up in being right, that I had completely overlooked the possibility of being at peace. I wanted to be at peace.
So, I gave up all of my defenses and attitude and anger and blame, and just talked to Star, about my life, our life really: all those traumatic early childhood experiences we had shared. Sitting in the Olive Garden, I cried when I told her about how we had starved together in Mexico, scared, powerless and dirty. I told her about how she kept looking at me, with the eyes of a four year old, as if I had all of the answers for us. I was scared because I knew that I had no answers. I told her that I remembered that she had run barefoot down the street to our neighbor’s house that time when our father was threatening to kill me. I told her that I knew we had walked a long hard journey together. Now that we were all grown up, nothing, had turned out like we had hoped or would have wanted. Everything was just one big mess, and nothing so much as our relationship with each other. But for once, instead of blaming it all on her, I realized that blaming was pointless. This was just life! I said to her,
“You know, you remind me so much of dad, and that is . . . hard for me.”
It was the first time I had consciously admitted this, even to myself. But this was the problem that I had always had with her. I’d never even given her a chance, just because of it. She surprised me when she said,
“Lisa, I know that.”
I was shocked. How could she possibly know something that I could barely admit to myself?
“I’ve always wondered why you never realized that I’m not the one who did all of those horrible things to you.”
I never said she did. I never held her responsible for any of that, did I? Was that what the years of fighting, anger, resentment, and rage were all about? Me being confused? In a way. We talked about all of the conflicts that had come between us over all the years. What was any of it about anyway? Like all conflicts, not really all that much, not when you really took the time to examine it thoroughly.
I told Star that the biggest mistake that I had made in my relationship with her was expecting her to be exactly what I wanted her to be, instead of taking the time to help her figure out who she wanted to be. I tried to force what I wanted, because I was so desperately afraid of her turning into my father. But I had reached a point of exasperation. I realized that she was going to be whoever she wanted. I really didn’t have the power, nor the right to demand anything from her. I told her that I was giving up all expectations. I hoped that we could go forward in our relationship.
Love, trust and respect, I’d discovered, was the formula for a good relationship. Did we love each other? Of course. Trust and respect? How could we with everything that had happened between us over all these years? Without trust and respect, I had no idea what kind of relationship we could have . . . and I told her that. But . . . at least we had love. All I could do was love her. I couldn’t change her. I couldn’t live her life for her. I couldn’t order her around and expect her to follow me blindly like she had when we were kids. All I could do was love her, and take it from there.
With that conversation, I forgave her and I let the past go. And then, when I least expected it, something amazing happened. We became friends! The more I talked to her, the more I got to know her; and the more I got to know her, the more I liked her! I began to understand how smart she was, (but also, how complicated, beautiful and strange she was.) I began to understand how, through my own assumptions, I had completely misjudged her. It was true that Star had made plenty of bad decisions. But when I took the time to really listen to her, it was easy to understand just how she had made those decisions, and how, given her life experiences, her options seemed limited and her choices made sense to her. We talked about these kinds of things a lot because, finally we were friends. And in all of this, I made an amazing, maybe even miraculous recovery.