It's About Time We All Begin to Get a Little Angry.

I believe in anger. I also believe in fighting. Not fighting with our fists up, spewing words of hatred, creating resistance, defensiveness and separation. Not fighting against someone or something, but fighting for what we know is possible. Fighting for a better way, a better life and a better world. Fighting for what we believe is beautiful when we are conscious, and tapping into our anger is the first step. 

Anger means our boundary, our rights, our safety or our future has been violated or threatened.

Anger, a human emotion, is not wrong or bad. Demanding that justice be served or speaking out against the abuse of power stems from the beauty of anger. Using anger to pull our self up after another knocks us down, is healing. There is nothing more powerful than channeling our anger into what we believe. 

We need to allow our anger to rise to the top, so it does not come out sideways on an unsuspecting innocent victim or take a U-turn, where we may use it against our self. It is the stuffing down or denying that creates the explosive anger that is harmful, giving anger a bad rap.

Anger is a beautiful emotion giving us the fuel to fight for our rights, our dignity and our honor.

Fighting means we have hope. We have not given up. We know that change is possible. We need to tap into our anger and take action. We need to find our voice that urges us to leave that abusive relationship, make that phone call, demand that meeting, write that email or grab that picket sign. 

Fighting means we have the courage to say no. Not on my watch.

Fighting begins with anger and continues with passion. Fighting with respect and honor, helps us figure out with a clear head what needs to be done to make permanent changes in our life and our world.

We are all connected, and when we fight for our self, we fight for another. When we fight for another, we fight for our world.

Yet, we need to fight for, not against. We don’t want to fight a war on drugs, we want to fight for recovery, where we people feel safe enough to heal their addictions. We don’t want to fight a war against cancer, we want to fight for prevention and health.

When I feel into the world, I am blessed to see fighting happening at all corners of our earth. 

I see a boy in a coma fighting for his life after being hit by a drunk driver.

I see a mother fighting for her child who is being bullied in school.

I see a couple fighting for their marriage, creating new patterns of communication.

I see a store owner fighting for his livelihood.

I see a professional soccer player fighting for her right for equal pay. 

I see a survivor fighting for those who have not yet found their voice. 

I see a courageous girl fighting for the world to take notice about the seriousness of our current climate crisis.

I see a soldier fighting for the freedom of others.

I see a teen fighting for her self-worth within the lure of peer pressure.

I see an addict fighting for recovery. 

I see a protestor fighting for the rights to control her own body.

I see a husband fighting to keep his home from going into foreclosure.

I see a football player fighting for the rights of shelter pets.  

I see patients fighting for their health.

I see a homeless man fighting to stay alive one more day.

Our world is not hopeless, even when we seem to be dragging our feet.  Don’t stop fighting. In fact, when we up the ante, we encourage others there is hope. That our life, our families, our country and our world know better. That we can do better.

It’s about time we all begin to get a little angry. Our world depends on it.

Grief has its own Timeline & that’s Beautiful.

When I lost my son in 2004, I hid myself from the world.

There were days I did not get dressed. I did not want to face anyone who would mistakenly ask, “How are you doing?” The answer was too long, horrifying. It felt like agony to even think about how I was doing.

I don’t hide any longer, but I still go it alone. My grief likes to be by itself, without company. And I allow it to take as long as it likes.

As an empath and intuitive healer, I’ve been tapping into a collective grief. Whether you are reacting to the devastation of the Australian fires or facing the loss of a loved one, grief is one of the deepest human emotions we experience.

I also feel an opening around the energy of grief, an invitation for people to process it on their own terms, which has not always been the case: Grief has been put on a timeline—either by ourselves or another. Grief has been an inconvenience, a feeling we would prefer not to feel.

But when we open to it fully, grief doesn’t need to be scheduled or inconvenient. To allow ourselves to feel whatever is coming up is actually a relief.

Grief comes in waves, and passes when we allow it to come and go, much like ocean waves. At times, the current of grief is so strong that it pulls us away from shore, leaving us treading water. Do not panic. We will find our way back when the waters are calm.

Whether grief lingers for a moment or a year does not matter. We jump back into life when we are ready. There is no shame in feeling like we are too sad to take part in life.

And even when we allow ourselves to feel grief outright, it can also burrow itself into our body. For me, I feel it as an ache in my heart, which is why the term “heartache” feels so appropriate.

Although my son passed away 16 years ago, I unearthed more grief around his loss a few months ago, unexpectedly.

On my way to the mall, I drove past a turtle trying to cross the road. Wanting to help, I turned my car around. By the time I got back to the turtle, it was too late. Another car unknowingly ran it over.

I was devastated and began sobbing. I sobbed for the turtle, who simply wanted to cross the road. I sobbed for myself, who witnessed life and death so up-close-and-personal—it burned a hole straight into my soul.

I also sobbed for my son.

It appears, even after all this time, I still had some grieving to do. There is no better time to heal past grief that we unknowingly push aside than when life gives us the opportunity to do so without asking.

I feel we all have an opportunity to process our grief, both obvious and hidden, within the chaos we are confronted with these days.

Do not underestimate the effect life has on us. We live in a chaotic world that seems to play with people’s lives like a casual game of tag. Taking time each day to care for ourselves helps. When we release what we take in, we breathe easier.

Our world is changing, shifting. We are taking off the masks we used to hide behind and walking toward truth and humility. The time is now.

We can wake up kicking and screaming, or we can take someone’s hand and walk away from the past’s brilliant disguises toward a future that is more authentically us. The energy is right.

Let’s welcome our grief and come face-to-face with the unconditional love within our hearts.

Feeling stuck? As an intuitive healer and certified Reiki Level II practitioner with a Masters in Psychology and Wellness Coaching Certificate, I offer one on one Intuitive Healing Sessions.

Follow me on Facebook for daily inspirational posts.

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Previously published on Elephant Journal: https://www.elephantjournal.com/2020/01/grief-has-its-own-timeline-and-thats-beautiful-beth-mund/

The Light of Hope

Through hope, we find the strength to climb from the hole we call grief. When facing loss, we have no choice but to let go, discovering both humility and faith within the pain of a shattered heart. Humility helps us fall to our knees and admit we are powerless over what shows up in life, and faith carries us through our pain to the other side. We cannot know what awaits us, but we must have the faith that we can face whatever arises.

It is for us to someday rejoice. Not in the struggle we endured, but in the knowing that we had the strength to climb out of the hole, walk through the dark, and emerge into the light of hope.

Should we have loved at all? Why risk the pain of loss?

It is why we are here. To feel deeply. To love deeply. And yes, to lose deeply.

For the family who loses their son to suicide. For the mother who loses her sister to illness. For the daughter who loses her father to addiction. For the child who loses his friend to an accident.

We may blame God. We may blame our self. We may blame life. We have a right to our anger. We have a right to our sadness. We are entitled to grieve, and to heal. We will one day smile again. We will know that sadness is as much a part of life, as laughter. And when we embrace both equally, we do not resist what life brings. We welcome it all though our sorrow and joy, ease and challenges. We move beyond the stories, we feel the depth of grief, knowing it is a part of life.

Someday our scars, made of gold, will be shining for all to see. We will know we made it through our darkest moments. Step by step. Tear by tear. Heart by heart.

We are never alone, for grief touches us all.

If we continue searching, we will see that although we have lost, we have also loved beyond what is safe, or comfortable. When we allow our hearts to burst open in sadness and joy, we know that the love within us never dies. It gently guides us forward towards hope.

No matter how our story ends, we would not change a thing. For we know, to have loved is to have lived.

-For the families in our community, and those around the world that are facing unimaginable grief at the loss of a loved one.

#hope #grief #loss #love

What is Healing?

We hear the word healing so often in life. In the doctor’s office, on the therapist’s couch, in the spiritual community. Healing can be seen by a surgeon cutting us open or felt by a child whose mother kisses his skinned knee. We know our bodies, minds and souls can heal from many things in life. But what is healing really?

Healing is messy, as well as beautiful. It is heart wrenching and uncomfortable. Healing takes courage and strength. Healing is moving from feeling like a victim to knowing we are a survivor. Healing is finding our voice, even after it was stuffed down for so many years.

Healing is taking a risk to change jobs, move our home or stand up to the person who has been bullying us, no matter how afraid we feel. Healing is reliving our worst nightmare and taking a stab at our grandest daydream. Healing is facing our demons and feeling what it brings up for us. Healing is walking away from a relationship that hurts us, no matter how much we still love them.

Healing is going to the store for a gallon of milk and having a meltdown because the size we want is not available. Healing is also realizing that a half gallon would have been fine, under normal circumstances. Healing is looking inward at our self and asking what makes us happy? What we can do better? How are we really feeling?

Healing as doing what we came here to do in this life, no matter how distracting life becomes. Healing is following our gut, and pushing through our doubt and fear. Healing is changing the way we have always thought because it simply is not working anymore. Healing is taking care of our self, giving our self what we need for the first time. Healing is saying yes to what we want and no to what we don’t. Healing is taking a chance and asking someone to be there for us, risking rejection.

Healing is asking for that raise, knowing we are worth more. Healing is knowing we will find strength in overcoming adversity. Healing is doing as we say. Healing is putting down that drink, or other addiction that is wreaking havoc on our life and asking for help in doing so.

Healing is walking through vulnerability and showing our true self to the world. Healing is knowing the shame that comes from this raw exposure is temporary and we can do it all again. Healing is putting away our technology and looking in the eye of the person sitting across from us. Healing is simply being alive.

Healing is not reacting to another who triggers us on social media, nor blindly following a politician who is leading us astray. Healing is no longer separating the message from the messenger knowing this never works. Healing is addressing someone’s character even if it affects your bottom line.

Healing is putting away those negative thoughts, the ones that come time and again, because they are not who we really are. Healing is doing something different, than we did the day before. Healing is cursing, screaming, running, journaling, walking, painting, gardening, noticing, exploring, meditating, listening, adoring and inviting.

Healing is learning something new, even if we are afraid to fail. Healing is making a mistake, losing our job, or experiencing divorce, death, illness or injury. Healing is seeing our anxiety as trying to reveal something to us that we have stuffed down, and understanding our depression is the space we are given to breathe, feel, change our thinking, our behavior and our life. Healing is addressing our past and choosing our future.

Healing is moving one inch to the left and seeing the bigger picture of a traumatic event. Healing is forgiving our self and another, when we are ready. Healing is showing up at court and doing our community service. Healing is taking a class at sixty years old and taking time off before college at eighteen.

Healing is breathing, sleeping, smiling, laughing and loving. Healing is a bear hug, when we feel like frightened fawn. Healing is speaking the truth, finding our voice, and calling out injustice for what it is. Healing is knowing we are not our zip code, the numbers in our bank account, our our children’s achievements.

Healing is saying no to a tyrant, a racist, a perpetrator, a bully, a dictator for another, who does not have the courage or strength to speak out for him self. Healing is manning up when we are caught, finding the courage to admit to unconscious behavior even when it affects your popularity, pocketbook or freedom. Healing is recognizing an agent of change, no matter what he looks, acts or seems to be.

Healing is protecting our children at all costs from unclean conditions, dirty water, abuse, neglect, and harm. Healing is hearing the screams within the sounds of silence. Healing is taking risks to believe the first victim that comes forward, not waiting for more to collaborate the story.

Healing is nonviolent protests and open conversations across cities, states, countries and continents. Healing is entertaining another viewpoint, for the sake of respect. Healing is no longer putting entertainers, politicians, musicians, the wealthy, the white, the educated, above the law, and on pedestals.

Healing is knowing that nothing is wrong or right in our life, but everything is here to help us.

Nothing is a coincidence and we are never alone. To take in the beauty of a flower, and the movement of a poem is to know healing. There is a bigger picture, and healing is stopping for a moment each day to look just below the surface, knowing that we are all part of something bigger than our self.

Healing is happening in every moment when we choose to live from our soul, and to become guided by our heart. Life will always lead us where we need to be. We never have to look too far for healing.

For more inspirational messages on healing, please visit our website at www.thesacredletters.com

What Humpty Dumpty Really Taught Me About Feeling Broken.

One of the most difficult things about living in our chaotic world is figuring out how to live beyond the fear, doubt and separation. How to remain loving and compassionate with our hearts open even when it seems as if loneliness, illness, divorce, job loss, addictions, and even death have been a part of all of our lives. Yet feeling broken, depressed, anxious, lost, bored, rejected, not good enough, or even like we have failed in some way, are all incredible opportunities.

If you are alive, you have been broken in some way. Some of us have been shattered, and the process of putting our self back together feels like walking up a mountain covered with ice. We finally figure out a way to move forward only to slide back down, losing our momentum. Others have been split in two or more pieces. Some of us, slightly cracked. 

Whether we need glue, cement or additional tools to help us mend is not important. Becoming whole requires the same process, whether you have been shattered or slightly cracked. 

Like Humpty Dumpty, we know we have fallen off the wall but do not know how to put our self back together.

Fixing our self in the broken places is the most difficult task we may take on in life. It means we begin to peel back the layers, dispelling the lies we so often tell our self. “I cannot change.” or “I’m fine, really.” And we must resist the urge to convince everyone that we are doing well, perhaps fooling nobody. It means we stop running, distracting, using substances – drugs, food, alcohol and the Internet. We understand we need not be a slave to our negative thoughts, or even self-imposed optimism. 

These are all simply defenses, coping mechanisms that have created a false self in order to get up after our fall; or even just to survive in our world today. But there is a far simpler way. And that is to feel – to get out of our heads and move into our hearts.

Living from our hearts is no easy task; but the most important ingredient to living a life of peace, joy and love no matter what happens to us. If splintering off, cracking or losing pieces of our self has left us broken, feeling through our hearts puts us on the path back to wholeness. Yet it is feeling the darkest of feelings, those we avoid on a regular basis, that is the key to putting our self back together again. 

Becoming whole is a process; one that takes courage, commitment and effort. Yet the rewards are enormous. The pathway involves becoming aware, releasing judgment, admitting the truth, finding support, and lastly feeling those hidden feelings of anger, loneliness, fear, doubt and grief. 

Becoming Aware

There is a voice, a watcher, an observer in each one of us. This is our higher self, consciousness, intuition and we all need to be able to tap into our higher self. In order to do so, we need to begin watching our thoughts and actions. We need to become curious. Why would I react in that way? What does this situation or person remind me of? We need to become aware of our critical thoughts, and where they come from. We need to learn how we think, and how we avoid feeling the hard stuff. 

Release Judgment

We are all beautiful human beings prone to making mistakes. That is how we learn. Judging these mistakes keeps us broken. We need to find compassion for our self so that we can heal or mend. Having judgment for what has happened to us by another person or something we have done to another, keeps us stuck. If we release judgment, we can free our self to speak the truth of how and where we have become broken. Releasing judgment requires moving beyond our mind, releasing those critical thoughts. 

Admitting the Truth

Opening up to what has been our experience or even what we are feeling in any given moment helps us heal. We need to admit the truth to our self that we have fallen off the wall. If we have been pushed, we need to accept the pain another has inflicted upon us. If we have jumped, we need to understand why. Pretending, denial, lying and covering up what has happened and how this has made us feel keeps us broken, lying next to the wall, unable to get up.

Support

Sharing with another how we have become broken helps to release not only our shame about falling but what we have done to hide the fact that we feel broken. For shame survives – in darkness and silence. Someone who has been shattered may need someone at the top of a mountain with a rope helping us climb the ice ridden jagged edges. Others, who do not need to climb a mountain, can find relief in journaling, walking, and healing in solace.

Once we walk through some of our defenses, we are ready to feel.

Opening our heart to powerful feelings is the ultimate piece in becoming whole. Feeling what we have stuffed down, ran from, what has broken us is not easy. There is a reason that we have not fully felt these feelings. We think they are painful. But the secret remains in knowing that what is painful is the resistance to these feelings. Feeling our shame, deep grief and rage feels beautiful. Running, stuffing, distracting, avoiding is what is painful. 

These steps are not linear but circular, and we must go back to them time and again. With each step backwards, or new insight, we must remember to continue observing, releasing judgment, admitting the truth and finding support. 

What would Humpty Dumpty look like had he took on the task of becoming whole?

He would have spent less time on social media in order to be able to pay more attention to his thoughts, feelings and actions. He would have shared his experience of falling off the wall in a journal, with a trusted friend or support group. He would have consistently resisted the urge to pour himself a drink to distract himself. He would have released judgment and blame about all of the king’s horses and men who could not help him, for he would have learned that he had to help himself. It was never their job to put him back together. And he would have continued asking himself as much as possible, what am I feeling

Why would Humpty Dumpty or any of us undertake such an arduous task of putting our self back together, becoming whole? 

We do it because it is why we are here – to evolve, heal and change. Healing and soul growth is the purpose of life no matter what our outside looks like. Our marriages, jobs, parenting or how we spend our leisure time is simply an opportunity to evolve and become whole. We do it because it leads us down the path of connection, unconditional love, joy and a life of unlimited possibilities. 

“There is nothing to fix and everything to feel.”Peter, Living Beyond Fear: Sacred Letters from the Afterlife.

We all deserve to find our way back to wholeness. The secret is our souls are always whole, no matter our experiences here in life. They are just hidden underneath layers and falling off the wall has given us the opportunity to uncover our hearts through pain, adversity and remembering how to feel. 

If Humpty Dumpty knew that everyone falls off the wall and he was not beyond repair, he would have been able to take the steps to put himself back together again. And then he would have uncovered the secret that he was never actually broken because he fell off the wall. In truth, falling off the wall was the best thing that ever happened to him. 

Please visit our website for information about our new book

www.thesacredletters.com

The Illusion of Control

Control is an illusion.

There, I said it. There is no such thing as control. We have no more control over what happens in our lives than we have over the sun rising and setting. We may convince ourselves of the opposite so we can rise in the morning and go about our day without worrying that we will fall victim to a drunk driver coming home from a bar or a tree branch falling upon as during a walk along a wooded trail. We convince ourselves we have control because this keeps us from going down the rabbit hole of what if’s.

It also ties us down, binds us to become small instead of limitless. We convince ourselves we are living a wonderful fulfilling life, when in actuality we are hiding within the confines of our mind.

We give control such power, and yet it still defies us. Things in life happen anyway. Whether we brace ourself or not, the unexpected occurs because that is why we are here – for the experience. It is not to have only good things, wonderful easy moments. Life lessons are hard, but that is how we grow.  This false notion of control keeps us from living our truest life; one that frees us to follow our intuition, heart and dreams.

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In truth, the more we let go of control, the freer we become.

My illusion of control was shattered when the stillbirth of my son, fourteen years ago life came crashing down upon me. For years following this devastating life event, I felt unsafe, unprotected. I knew anything bad could happen at anytime. Truth is, I was no more vulnerable after the loss of my son than before. I just thought I was because I was forced to confront the illusion of control.

Each time my husband was late, I would panic. Every moment my daughters went out to play in the yard, I would need to go with them. I had thought keeping a close watch on my loved ones would keep them from leaving me, leaving a pain, a hole in my heart, so deep, it could never be filled.

It didn’t work. Soon I began to feel worse. Anxious, fearful and depressed.

Traumatic events, unexpected loss, diagnosis, accidents, job loss, divorce, even natural endings of life’s stages all challenge our notion of control. Sometimes the illusion of control hits us over our head, other times, it can feel like a punch in the gut. It may even show up as a simple detour on our way to work.  Whether you get knocked over, or just feel annoyed by inconvenience, it is how soft you are, how flexible, how permeable, that will determine how soon you get back up. Let life move through you. Sit within the discomfort, become lost within the depth of grief, and it will pass. Eventually everything will move through you, if you don’t dig your heels in the dirt, or grip tightly to your surroundings.

In my darkest out, grasping onto control began to feel like nails on a blackboard. I knew it was no way to live. I had to reach beyond circumstance and begin to trust life again.

But how?

Just feel.

It is that simple. I had to move from my head to my heart.

We must grieve deeply, if life brings us loss. We must allow ourself to feel scared if we become afraid. The only way out is through the mud. Otherwise we risk getting stuck in quicksand.

We must give up our notion that nothing bad is supposed to happen, and release our expectations of what is to come. This is how we move through whatever life brings with a lightness in our step, nor matter how heavy our hearts.

Just feel.

I love to listen to music. For me, this is quickest way for me to get in touch with what I am feeling. It bypasses my mind, and goes right to my heart. You know what works for you. Maybe it’s music or writing. Watching a sad movie. Singing, dancing, pounding pillow, walking in nature. Do whatever it takes to feel your way back from your head to your heart.

Opening your heart is where you will find freedom. Anxiety will dissipate, depression will lift, and you will know what it is like to live within the magic and miracles of life.

Feeling is the pathway out of the illusion of control, and into the glorious wonder of life.

Please excuse all grammatical errors and typos. My editor is on a permanent vacation in the Bahamas.

 

 

When You Start Blaming, You Start Healing.

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At some point in my life, I made a promise that I would devote my life to helping others feel worthy, and this blog has evolved out of that promise. I made that promise because I spent so much of my life feeling the opposite – unworthy, ashamed, bad, and confused about why I felt this way. Perfectionism, achievements were my way out of this unworthiness, or so I thought. Wrong! We can become intellectually worthy, but that is not the same as truly feeling worthy.

Feeling worthy begins with getting honest, real, speaking the truth. Sometimes being inspirational is about lifting others up with a hand, and other times it is about keeping it real.

Today, I am going to get real. If it is too real for you, feel free to look away. But if you have ever felt less than, unworthy, deep down like you are not enough, then stay with me. Whether you have experienced exactly what I have or can just be helped in some way from my experience, read on.

I used to think being a good person was about being nice. Janet Straightarrow, a very wise woman once told me, that nice is just an acronym for:  Neurotic Insecure Codependent Emotional. Does not sound as appealing does it? Truth is being nice is not the same as being loving, having compassion or feeling through our heart. People pleasing often puts the pleasing away from us, and we are left feeling empty, hollow and wondering why we always come last.

Want to take back your life? Start blaming.

I know blame is taboo. I have heard it many times. “No,” they shout from the rooftops. “Don’t blame! Forgive.” Here is the thing.

If you feel unworthy, like you are not good enough, chances are you are already blaming; you are just blaming yourself.

Why are we so afraid to blame others? Blame is calling people on their shit. It is putting the onus where it deserves. It is giving the shame back to the abuser, the rape back to the rapist, the battering back to the batterer. Blame is empowering. It is about getting angry, and saying, you did this. You don’t have to take ownership, but I am no longer blaming myself. Someone is never responsible for our feelings, our reactions, but he is responsible for his actions. She is responsible for her abuse.

Why has blame become so taboo? The actual definition of blame is to assign responsibility for a fault or wrong. Why is putting the responsibility where it is deserves – wrong?

Blame is a necessary step in healing. Do you want to feel relief like you have never felt? Do you want to honor all you have experienced and then be able to let go of whatever you are holding on to? Want to watch anxiety and depression melt away like an ice cream cone on a hundred degree day? Get angry, put the blame back where it deserves. Write return to sender on the package that you mistakenly opened and thought was yours, and give it back. images-3

We jump to forgiveness because we are being nice – the good daughter, the cooperative friend, the submissive spouse – and it is hurting us on all levels. We have no idea what self-care, nurturing, or true feelings, look, feel, taste and smell like.

I was the ultimate champion for running away – I literally began running for miles and miles to escape the past, those unwanted feelings that seemed to creep in when I was least expecting. Here’s the thing, the run always ends. It all catches up with us – every last repressed feeling. I had always known there was something very wrong with how I felt growing up. I just didn’t know the extent to the trauma and abuse I endured. I am learning that now with the help of an amazing therapist, among other things.

I know I am not alone. I know there are those of you out there, who also have endured trauma and abuse – whether it was a one time occurrence or over the span of years. The #metoo movement is just the tip of the iceberg, but it is one hell of a start. Whether it was a single event, or repetitive, it is time to let yourself off the hook. Educate yourself. And if you are or know of someone who is struggling with the effects of abuse or a traumatic event, please seek professional help. Please email me. I have resources, and information to share.

As a waitress in college, there was an old saying, I am in the weeds. It describes how we would feel when the hostess used to sit three tables in our section at once. I am currently in the weeds because I am doing the work. I feel at the moment like the hostess has sat ten tables all in my section and they all want a five-course meal with drinks. Before we can have a beautiful rose garden, we must begin pulling our weeds.I just keep pulling the weeds out, one by one. I also ask for help. There are food servers, gardeners and managers – all waiting to help us. We don’t have to go it alone.

One of the greatest strengths of those of us who endured abuse is our ability to handle  anything. Whatever life has thrown at me, I have handled it. But we can handle a lot more when we stop blaming ourselves. When we rush to forgive the abuse, injustice, assault, the lashing out – whether it is an internet troll lurking behind the tree, ready to toss off an angry post or someone who is close to us, who we least expect, hurting us. It can be a grandiose boss who berates us on a conference call, a borderline friend, who puts us on a pedestal only to cut us down the next week. A possessive boyfriend, exploitive controlling parent, or a narcissistic coach.

We have been taught forgiveness is the key to moving on, letting go. Yes, this is true. But not before we do the work, not before we blame.We rush into forgiveness because blaming, getting angry is about getting dirty. And it can cause us to roll around in the mud for years. We want clean, tidy, perfectly wrapped presents, complete with a beautiful bow. We put that neatly wrapped present upon the shelf for years, hoping that is where it stays. Until someone comes into our life – someone who is kind, compassionate, unconditionally loving, and she looks at the present on the shelf and he points and says, what is that? And we say, Oh, that? It is nothing. 

It is time to open the box. Picking up the phone or sending that letter to whoever hurt us, may be a part of your healing, but that is not what I am talking about. It means giving ourself the green light to send it all back, to finally honor what we really feel. It is not about getting someone to admit what she did, but getting ourself to admit it. If you feel called to reach out to the person who caused you to wrap up your pretty box in the first place, do so, not for a response or an apology, do it for yourself.

Rushed forgiveness does not break the cycle. Rushed forgiveness is not healing. Healing begins with blame.

I could not possibly cover everything about the effects of a traumatic event or long-term abuse in this blog post, but I hope this will be a springboard, a start. You can heal. It takes strength, love and support, but you can do it. Please reach out for help. I will continue to inspire you to believe you are worthy, beautiful, smart and enough because it is the truth. But you must find the strength to do the work or my words will bounce off of you like rain pelting down upon an umbrella. It is time to dance in the rain.

Do the work, get into that discomfort zone, and you will find yourself gifted to everything you ever desired – peace, joy, love and the greatest inspirational feelings you can imagine. Life is a gift. If someone opened yours, and cast it aside, it is time to take your life back. After all, it was never his to take.