Thursday, March 19, 2009

Which is most important?

Just because you make a mistake doesn't mean you are a mistake. Georgette Mosbacher
A friend and I were talking the other day about 'mistakes' we've made and their impact on our lives. One of the first times I met her, she had approached me and stated that she couldn't understand how I had done what I had done when I deserted my daughters and fled with the man who was abusing me.

"I have the same thought sometimes too," I laughingly told her. "I look at that woman who was me and wonder, What on earth was she smoking?"

Truth is, I did what I did. That woman was me. I can't change what she did. I can love her for all I'm worth today and hold her tenderly in my mind. She was abused. She was in pain. She was very very emotionally ill.

My friend wondered how my daughters and I put it into perspective with who we are today. How did we heal?

"None of our healing could begin until I acknowledged what I'd done." I told her. Until I was willing to face the truth, and love myself for who I was in that moment, healing could not happen. At least not healing that was based on truth and honesty, dignity and grace.

At this time, six years ago, I was living a life of pain and angst. Every moment filled with the dread of knowing my life was a lie and I was subjugating myself to the man who had created the biggest lie of all, I was only worthy of his love.

Six years ago, my daughters didn't know if I was alive or dead. They didn't know where I was. They waited every day for the police to come and tell them my body had been found.

And then, a miracle drove up in a blue and white police car and I was set free. I had my life back. I had the opportunity to heal.

To heal, I had to face the truth. I had done many, many things to hurt the people I love most in my life.

I wanted/needed their forgiveness.

I had to forgive myself first.

To forgive myself I had to acknowledge what I'd done -- no but's about it. I couldn't say, I forgive myself for X but Y was not my fault. Forgiveness isn't about 'fault'. Forgiveness is about acknowledging the wrong and being 100% accountable for my role in it -- without the 'but it wasn't my fault' addendum.

Six years ago I deserted my daughters. Six years ago, I returned.

Which is most important?

For me, being here. Living my life with grace and dignity, moving through each moment with ease, filling my life with beauty, truth, honesty, trust and integrity is way more important than the mistakes I made that took me so far from my path.

In healing, walking this path joyfully in love with all of me, the woman who made the mistakes, and the woman who has the courage to stand up and be counted for all she's worth today, is what makes the difference in my life. It is what creates the joy in my life today.

If I were to hide from the truth of what I did, I would be denying myself, and my daughters, and those I love the gift of healing, the grace of forgiveness and the joy of love.

The question is: Are you focusing on the mistakes, trying to avoid being accountable for your role in what has happened in your life? Or, are you opening up to the truth of what you've done, or said, or been that hurt you and the one's you love? Are you joyfully loving yourself enough to give yourself the grace of forgiveness?

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