We forgive ourselves not for shutting down due to our lack of skills but for our judgment of that clumsiness
and the damage we’ve done to ourselves in order to survive.
And more importantly:
for all the times we’ve passed up opportunities to repair said damage as adults.
I have a woman in my workshop who feels compelled to use the essential oil blend Forgiveness but she isn’t sure why exactly. In honoring her intuition though she’s clearing the way for those answers to those whys to come forward.
I’ve been using the same blend along with one called Finance in order to forgive myself for not making it my business to learn more about money and the handling of it as a so called grown up. I have books I haven’t read, books I have read but implemented only in fits and starts of enthusiasm that ebbs more than it flows and books I’d like to read sitting in my Goodreads app. I’ve made a mess of things in my unskilled approach to finance. My numbers look something like a spilled jigsaw puzzle and I know I should know where the pieces fit but the fact is that I don’t.
In judging my factual incompetence with wild stories about shoulds and shouldn’ts creating shame storms I’ve wasted a lot of time I could have been learning about money instead. So I chose the blends, these are Young Living brand if that matters to you, Forgiveness with Finance in order to get over my Fuck Its and try to move on.
However, what came forward was something entirely different. A clear awareness of how often we judge and shame ourselves which of course we all know but an answer for why that may exist long after we know it’s at best a waste of time and energy and at worst a lash of viciousness applied to our backs on a daily basis. Over time that daily lashing is creating far more damage and pain than the original trauma(s).
Even that shaming is easier sometimes than remembering the pain of cutting ourselves into bits. Empathic children in our culture and a lot of other cultures are never taught the skills to handle the Big Feels that flood through their tiny bodies. We are left unskilled and it’s no one’s fault in particular…I personally blame the Puritans but that’s beside the point.
In that lack of skillfulness we compartmentalize sections of our energy. We slam the door on the energy centers of the body, chakras if you will and please pronounce it however you like it’s a commonly understood word at this point. We hide our hearts, carve up our hopes and joys hiding them away along the trail of life as French trappers hid caches of food along the Cache La Poudre river in Colorado. My favorite river in the world held a metaphorical answer all those years of biking and walking beside it that at the time I missed seeing.
We judge because we don’t want to remember or don’t feel capable still of moving through the pain of opening those doors when really the pain of swinging open doors nearly rusted shut is far less than what we do to ourselves to avoid it. We’ve refused to learn skills choosing instead to stumble around incomplete and inept in many areas.
Empathic children become empathic adults who still can’t handle the Big Feels and so slide into addictions or hermit type lifestyles among other things. We’ll do whatever it takes to stay in the cocoon of ignorance even as we study the way out, we choose not to act on it. Acting on it would mean feeling in our bodies and isn’t that what we were trying to avoid in the first place?
Yes. And it doesn’t work.
When the day comes you decide to make some lofty ambitious statements about living an authentic life and healing the hurty bits and getting right with God something in the Universe perks up and listens. It doesn’t matter that those enthusiastically grand statements were fueled by too much coffee that day more than true well thought out intent, the Universe heard you and you can’t take it back.
Synchronicity activates and brings you knowledge of tools and puts you in front of teachers that kick off the process of recalling your Wholeness with a bang. It’s cool! You love it! You wander around your internal house finding all kinds of lost treasures carefully ignoring the darker unlit parts but sooner or later you’re faced with staring down that dimly lit hallway of doors. Your knees knock together as you contemplate going in there. You may catch yourself sucking your metaphorical thumb standing at the threshold of deep changes.
Well, maybe not right now, you think. What I call Reverse Synchronicity then activates and you “lose” your tools, spill Coke all over your books, misplace your library card and insist you can’t afford to replace them even though you’re paying a zillion dollars a month for high speed internet and cable TV and Starbuck’s.
The first step out is forgiveness. We live in a world that shouts to do more, hustle, get going, make that sale, move that mountain and if you don’t you’re a weakling not worth the $497.00 you spent on that online self-help course.
That way is not for you if you’re reading this. Empathic adults who are fragmented don’t respond to that, they already believe they’re incapable so you telling them and pressuring them to do more of the things they cannot do because they literally lack the skills is wasting everyone’s time. Empathic adults who still can’t handle the Big Feels cannot overcome the fears of moving forward so those bullhorn messages only create more withdrawal because seriously no one wants to feel pain from the past!
Hey I’ve got an idea! C’mon over here and put your hand on this hot stovetop burner ‘k? No, really, you’ll feel better once you do! Uh huh, yeah, no. Unfortunately it is true though that the burning and the heat is only melting away the armor and the steel walls constructed in order to prevent you from feeling the Big Feels and you need to learn how to feel them so you can move through and on to the other side where life starts to get really good.
You don’t have to burn that stuff away, you really don’t. You can take back your grand statements about wanting to live in Wholeness, speak your Truth and be Authentic. You can, but let me caution you my dearest friend, you will never be happy with that decision. Starting with forgiving yourself for wanting to skip all the hard stuff, for all the years that you have skipped all the hard stuff, makes the rest of the process so much easier.
Repeat after me, and thank you to Elizabeth Gilbert for throwing this process out on her Facebook page, “I love the part of me that is refusing to learn how to feel my Big Feels. I love the part of me that thinks this writer is full of shit. I love the part of me that knows I’m so much more capable and competent than I feel right now.”
Forgiveness for abandoning yourself, for refusing to take responsibility, for those who hurt you because they didn’t know any better is required. Simply sitting in the concept of it with light contemplation, curiosity and willingness brings you again to that dim dark hallway that has all the doors to all the rooms you need to visit. Like a child on a scavenger hunt you need to go down that hallway letting the quiet intuition of the body lead you. Use a tool like essential oils or crystals or affirmations if you need it but please do it.
You first need to summon your courage to restore the connections to your heart and your physical self that were severed so long ago and if you can’t find any courage you first summon a Superhero to stand alongside you in your imagination. Queen Courage or King Strength or Batman himself because he probably has a lock pick in all that mess of gadgets.
You approach these doors by whispering through the keyhole, “I’m ready to reclaim you. It’s ok to come out now, I won’t judge this area any longer.” It might take some patient waiting at each door so bring snacks and a magazine. Parts of you know that you’ve lied to yourself plenty of times and might want to see if you mean it before crawling out from under the bed or out of the dusty boxes.
You demonstrate that you mean it by showing up in real life every day to commune with yourself and whatever your concept of the Divine Beloved happens to be. You show up and you sit in silence, or say a mantra word or phrase, you write 3 pages every morning in stream of consciousness style a la Julia Cameron, you draw or paint or you make a hot beverage and stare out the window but whatever it is you do it every day. Every. Single. Day. You take steady consistent action on your promises because even to ourselves actions speak louder than words.
Synchronicity re-activates and you hear a song that was playing that one time you thought your chest was literally going to explode from the pain of watching a parent walk away so you slammed a door on that wee chakra. That old pain washes up and over you and, because you’ve been practicing staying in your body and feeling the Small Feels, you remember how to breathe and say Yes to the Big Feels and breathe and say Welcome and breathe and say I’m sorry I left you alone so long!
Look at you go! Claiming your Big Feels all Rumi-like and peaceful!
This process gets done over and over not until the Big Feels stop coming. they never stop, you’re an Empath duh! Did you think you were doing this to stop feeling? No, you’re doing it so you learn that you can handle it. You learn that you can stay in your body and fully breathe into and around and through the Big Feels. You teach yourself what in times past the tribal Shaman or Medicine Woman would have taught you, that it’s all just energy in different forms, bearing different frequencies that feel disturbing in the physical body until we know what those disturbances are.
They aren’t enemies, they’re wind currents. They’re the feel of a summer breeze or a gale force blast but whatever strength they are you can allow them to just blow right on through.
With more practice you learn that they carry a lot of information in them. After all they’ve sometimes been blowing around the people you interact with, even those that you just think about and they may drop snippets of information about those people. They may whisper to you of the secrets folks are carrying that are making them sick or preventing them from going where they say they want to go.
It’s rarely appropriate to do anything with that information other than send silent blessings and love, perhaps offer a gentle space for conversation. People do better when they wake up on their own terms however unethical people can use that process to manipulate others right out of their pocketbooks so exercise caution!
The important thing here is to start listening and feeling into those places where your mind crosses a threshold and you feel a part of you contract away from it. Breathe into that contraction, forgive yourself for not doing so sooner and find your way Home.