Ever have one of those experiences where you want to curse it and thank it at the same time? I just finished a retreat where, once again, I got so much more than I expected. During a RIM (Regenerating Images in Memory) meditation, my adopted mother appeared and stirred up some old crap I thought was long gone. Dammit and thank you. I felt a need to share how it ended to anchor my own experience, and perhaps help someone else who might be carrying around similar crap.
I wrote you a letter because there are some things I’ve never said and I’m sure you would never listen anyway.
You’ve been gone from this earth for years and gone from my life for years longer. I forgave you many times, I swear I tried again and again. Every new chance I gave, you blew it. I knew you needed love as much as I did, I just didn’t have any more to give.
So, I worked on me, I forgave me, I learned to love me or at least like me more than I did. I learned to embrace my own life and made it good. I found the love I was missing inside me. I found happiness, it was all around me, I was just blinded by sadness. I stopped crying for these things. I gave up much, and then I gave up trying so hard.
I have no more tears for you. Tears just blur my sight and I see now I have much to see now. I see my purpose, I see my value, and I see I don’t need you.
As I wrote those words, my body shook, and my eyes leaked again. No this is not tears, this is the water here to snuff out the ashes, the embers of hate, rage, anger, sadness and pain still smoldering inside. This water flowing freely from my eyes wash away the remnants of you that still cloud my vision, the remnants I thought were long gone.
So yes, I wrote you a letter, and as my pen hit the paper, my fingers wrote out their gratitude, it seems my hand remembers being little, when you adopted me and gave my life a second chance. It knows you chose to help me. It remembers being given a new space to grow, learn and be safe. As my heart was inspired from what my hand was writing, it too, remembered feeling loved and supported. Then my shoulders looked into the eyes of my heart and joined in reminiscing, remembering how they first felt wide and strong, ready to handle any weight given me. My arms and legs shivered with the vibration of all that is. My pen could hardly keep pace with my thoughts, my feelings and my heartbeat, so my gut gave it some advice. My gut told the pen to just say what it wants, let go of editing and just tell you what has never been said completely, what it felt has never been heard by you. The pen shocked my unaware intellect as it expressed gratitude for all the advice you gave me, for the times you encouraged me, for the lessons you taught me, for the love you gave me, for the honesty you always shared, you were always so fucking honest. It wrote down how much I hated your honesty and the judgments it carried. It told the paper everything. I hate you. I’m angry with you. I hate you. Do you hear me? I fucking hate you! I’m through! Then it knew I was really through. My hand automatically went back to the word "hate" and added a "d" to the end. I hated you. Past tense. I was angry with you. Past tense. I am through. Present tense. I am through with hate and anger. I let it all out, including all the smoldering remnants. This is what forgiveness is, it’s turning the tears of pain into the water that snuffs out the still-glowing embers of pain, anger, sadness and hatred. I put all those things in the letter, then I put the letter in the fire. As that letter burned, I watched with crystal clear vision through the blur in my eyes, as the smoke carried it all away. And as the smoke rose into the clouds, the setting sun sent forgiveness to dry my eyes, and a new fire flickered in my heart. A brilliant jewel appeared in my chest and reflected the light of the fire into the night air as love. The sky sent it back to me. I am grateful that you teach me still. I learned tonight, I can take light and warmth from the fire and it still has light and warmth. I learned that you needed love as much as I did and I can give you love and compassion, and it costs me nothing, for this is the light and warmth of my new fire.
Yes, I freely give love and compassion, for this is the light and warmth of my new fire.