Forgiveness.  There is a lot of talk about the need to forgive.  I have a belief about this.

You don’t necessarily need to forgive someone who perpetrated abuse or hurt you.  We need to forgive ourselves for how we have used that abuse or pain to continue to hurt ourselves.

Forgiveness is always more about ourselves than the Other.  It is often the work of forgiving ourselves that is the hardest.  We push away the damaged/hurt part of us.  It feels ugly.  We want to annihilate that part as a way of getting rid of the abuse or pain.  We end up hurting ourselves in the name of killing the part that was hurt.

In order to be free in this life, we must forgive the part of ourselves we banished to get distance from the pain.  Welcome back home the disavowed, disenfranchised part of us.  Invite the abused and hurt part back in and feel into that part.  Nurture it back home like a lost child.

Undiagnosed ADHD

When I was young, (my growing up years from early memory to young adulthood), I constantly got in trouble, I was always making mistakes.  Being impulsive, breaking things, and losing stuff.  “Borrowing” and forgetting I did.  Telling lies to cover all of this up and then forgetting the lie and getting caught.

Taking things that weren’t mine because I was too afraid to ask for it and get in more trouble, “Who do you think you are wanting or needing that?”

Or just tired of feeling bad so wanting to avoid the rejection of “No.”

I was that kid in class who couldn’t just walk down the aisle, I had to dance or skip or run.  I literally couldn’t help myself, I couldn’t just sit in my seat – I had to hum, whistle, tap, sing, talk, blurt out answers.  Everything was always slightly over the top, (read: Undiagnosed ADHD).

Thankfully I soared in various pursuits in terms of being able to perform in many ways in the world.  Without realizing it, I constantly overcompensated for the felt sense of my “badness.”  Most of me knew I was not a bad kid, but another part of me could not accept or forgive myself for simply being who I was.

Looking into Windows of Life

There are many transformative experiences that led to changes in my experience of myself, most notably the cracking open – fear, wonder, and vulnerability – of birth and death.  (More about those topics in another blog).  For now, I will say both birth and death allowed me to look into windows of life and see how deeply I had misunderstood.

Wasted time on things that don’t matter.

For not seeing into the vast sweet reservoir of spirit that we all are.

By witnessing and becoming a part of the dissolution and reorganization of birth and death, the shame distancing me from some of my parts melted away.  Allowing me to welcome home some of the parts I had banished.

By making friends with more of your parts, you can access more of your self and who  you are.  Allowing your whole self to fully occupy your bodymind.

Ways to Nurture and Join your Gentle Animal Nature

Ways to nurture and join your gentle animal nature and invite all your parts to make their way home to you:

  • Look around and within.  What feeds you, keeps you sturdy, provides love and light, pride and courage, strength and acceptance?
  • What is draining you of these same things – your life force?  Get distance and space from these things: people, places and activities.
  • Journal the process of tracking what fills you.
  • Pull from everything and everywhere to build your capacity to hold your life energy.  These resources will buffer you from whatever life throws at you.  Build the internal capacity to hold, process, metabolize and transform the hurt/trauma.
  • What do you need to connect to your inner warrior or goddess?  A sound, a smell, an image, a symbol, idea/word or a memory?
  • What allows you to tap into your inner knowing?  Immerse yourself in that.  Connect to this and flesh it out with colour, depth, sensation, and volume.

Kathlyn McHugh RCC, RSW Counselling Practice takes place at the Vitality Clinic in the West Shore Area, close to Victoria BC.

Visit the website at: Home – The Vitality Clinic