The Power of Forgiveness.

Bitterness, jealousy, shame and guilt. These are all things that are associated when we are unable to forgive those around us and sequentially ourselves.

One of the things I found to be the most challenging for me when processing my loss was forgiving myself. There are some situations in our lives that we cannot comprehend, they make no sense and they are entirely tragic. One of these was when my Son died in my tummy. We had a myriad of friends and family sending us rich messages of compassion and letting us know that they did not understand why it had happened but that they would be by our side all the same.

Forgiving Myself
I found myself obsessing over anything and everything that I could have done wrong. I pleaded with the consultant to let me know if this was at all my fault. I spoke with my husband, worried that I had somehow accidentally neglected to look after myself in the right way. I scrutinised vitamin packets, Googled foods I should have avoided and ultimately all that it left me with was deep-felt guilt. Guilt that I had outlived my child and that I would lose another baby just at age 26.

I don't know what it is that you need to forgive yourself for today. Maybe a loved one died and you have consistently questioned whether you saw them enough or whether you used the right words. Maybe your dream profession has slipped out of your hands and you're examining every move from your interview. Maybe your friendship has shifted and you are analysing your communications between each other. I don't know what it is, but I know how troublesome it is to carry the burden of unforgiveness towards yourself.

The truth is, there is absolutely nothing that I could have done to save Zachary and I'm convinced that even if you have messed up the most that you have ever have in your life that you are so worthy of forgiveness towards yourself and that our paths are lit up with grace and mercies that are new every morning.

Forgiving Others
Welcome to grief... the forbidden subject that everyone wants to avoid. The topic of discussion that typically starts and ends with a "how are you?" followed by a rehearsed answer from the one in grief "I'm okay thanks", it seldom goes any further. I have spoken in previous posts about releasing the expectation of those around us to consistently pick us up and notice every minute shift in our being as it causes too much needless heartache.

Though what do we do when it goes further than this? What about when you get a comment such as "Never mind, chin up" or "At least you're young, you can try again" or "Well, at least you know you can get pregnant". These kinds of remarks ate me up in the early days of my grief and I fumbled for an answer that would mitigate the harshness of their tongues and words that cut deep into my soul. In my head, I am answering honestly "It doesn't mean I will bring a baby home" and "Would you say that if someone lost their child when they had time to create memories with them?". The real truth of the matter is that people don't know what to say and sometimes clumsy remarks can be well-meant, even when they hurt us. I started to cut people more slack, and appreciate that even though they may have said the wrong thing that at least they tried and they were just trying to soothe my wounds.

Forgiving Your Thoughts
I've let you know before that I know how heartbreaking it is when a thought crosses your mind when you see what you so long for and what has been torn away from you. I know how it feels to look around and continually ask the question "why me?". It really isn't always the easier option to feel happy for someone or not to feel an intense pang of pain when you see groups of Mum's chatting about their pregnancies knowing that your womb still feels hollow.

I am in no way saying that it is okay to not want to support other people in their journey or that you should not want the best for them, you really should as you know what it feels like to lose. Though what I am saying is that it is okay to feel wounded and to feel deep sorrow sometimes in these situations. I must encourage you though to learn to separate your journey (it isn't an easy decision and it takes time) but in doing so I have been able to keep friendships that are dear to my heart while our seasons have shifted, I have gifted maternity presents, I have held babies, I have babysat, I have fed and I have winded but more than all of this I have loved. I have felt intense joy for people who are further ahead on the journey.

I have found that a full circle of forgiveness whether that be for myself, others, or for how I think and feel has delivered me and thrown me into a present reality of remaining thankful in my waiting and how deeply humbled I am to be on this journey with both mothers with arms empty and those with arms overflowing. Who and what will you forgive today?


Comments

  1. Forgiveness is so powerful!! Forgiveness has the power to set us free and others. It encourages healing and has the power to free
    Great post!!!

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