Jeff Brown on forgiveness – The real benchmark of resolution is …whether we have gone through our emotional process authentically and have arrived at a place where the negative charge around the experience has dissipated. Perhaps we learned some lesson, or perhaps we just feel liberated from the memories- the important thing is that we feel at peace again. Focusing on our responsibility to forgive a wrongdoer sidetracks the whole process. If it’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. Just because you don’t choose to forgive doesn’t mean you haven’t let go yet. Maybe you just realize its not essential to your healing and not your responsibility.
And on wounds –
It is one thing to work hard to own and clear our emotional debris. If we don’t, the wounds eat us alive. We must acknowledge our victimhood and work through our memories so that they don’t continue to plague us. But it is another thing to make our wounds our identity. I know many who do this- hiding in their therapeutic process, delaying their happiness until they work through ‘one more issue’, perpetually focusing on what is missing from their lives while ignoring the beaut…y before them. When we affix to our wounds, when we wear them like a habitual cloak, we prevent them from moving through to the transformation at their core. On the healing journey, it’s always good to ask- Am I healing my wounds, or attaching to them? Am I letting go or grabbing on? Am I committed to healing my way to a new way of being, or am I simply hiding in my process? Therapy is not a place to hide from happiness. It’s a place to clear the obstacles to happiness. It’s a place to come alive.
How often we see those who let their wounds “eat them alive”. I’m sure we can all cite examples and talk about those we know or have discovered, maybe searched for, who have not been able to make it a priority to “own and clear” the emotional debris of adoption, the legacy it has left us. Many don’t get as far as engaging in a therapeutic process and it takes courage and strength to do so. For some, all too many in adoptionland, the hard work of coming alive and of casting off the “habitual cloak” is something they eschew in favour of victimhood and clinging to the past with it’s wounds and traumas, it’s losses and griefs. Daily we read tragic stories of this clinging, which hurts, damages, wounds and sometimes destroys others who have been the innocent victims of choices made long ago and choices which continue to be made which exclude, sideline, marginalize and stigmatize. It is a cruel outcome for those who might have longed for something other, to be loved and wanted perhaps or even just to be acknowledged, validated, informed and told the truth. DNA testing has added a whole new element to this ghastly brew of deceit, lies, misinformation, false facts and deliberate fabrication. It sometimes eases out the truth which can be got at in no other way. It can never replace simple, spoken truth from the heart, honesty, or the commitment to that which is owed and to which the receiver is entitled, morally and through respectful humanity.
And to end, a little bag of stuff on feminism for anyone who is interested. Since I have declared myself a feminist for around 50 years or so, I thought it was time to do some updating for myself and have a closer look at what is going on right now and see how a new generation is thinking. Of course my own dear Daughter keeps me on my toes as daughters do and I smile wryly when she takes me to task in much the same way I might have done at her age and for much the same reasons. It is encouraging to see that there has been some shift in thinking and responsibility in all those years. If I’ve learned anything, it is that change takes time, effort and patience. It will take profound commitment from men and women if we are to live in a fairer, safer society where children can be raised in loving, secure households in which all behave equitably, respectfully and honestly. Raising children is the hardest job there is, the most responsible and the least supported or valued. Children’s lives are cheap or commodified and made expensive, but whichever, their rights are not valued or even at times considered. They are pawns, bargaining chips, status symbols, earning points and useful labour. They are abused, bought and sold, traded and trafficked. While adults see that as acceptable or where poverty or privilege ensures it, we will still have a long way to go……..