The last words to me from my dying mother were, “Have you forgiven everyone?”
“Yeah, I think so,” I replied.
“Well, dig deeper! It is so important!” came her whisper. She believed it was her inability to forgive someone that ultimately led to the cancer that killed her.
Forgiveness is usually a process, but sometimes it happens in a quantum leap. When I found out that the man I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with had been having an affair with my sister, I thought I forgave them. But the confusion, anger and blame were really suppressed for 12 years and it affected ALL my relationships with men.
Yet I really wanted to get free from whatever it was that kept me so jaded with men. One night I had a profound dream that enabled me to let go. As I explain in my spiritual memoir, Dancing with Duality, “It was 1989 and until that moment in time, that dramatic summer of ‘77 had felt like yesterday. Now, 12 years later, that summer of ’77 became for me a distant dream, completely irrelevant to my current life. Iwas free. Forgiveness is a process, but this time it happened in a quantum leap. Suddenly not only did I feel no bitterness toward anyone involved in that drama, I had no desire whatsoever left for Burkhard.”
Once you get the hang of forgiveness, it becomes a habit. My memoirs include my facing so many of the issues we women who pioneered the sexual revolution encountered: abortion, date rape, sexual harassment, physical abuse from a partner, eating disorders. I believed I had forgiven everyone, including myself. Yet in writing my memoirs, I was able to uncover ever so deeper levels of pain, and experienced a freedom by forgiving even deeper!
In the process of forgiving, I have always found some bit of responsibility for what happened, even if it goes back into a past life. Because of this, I have noticed that the hardest person to forgive has always been myself. Because the ego, the “self” is who we live with constantly, this is the most important one of all to forgive!
If we can’t forgive ourselves and others, it means we are hanging on to all this garbage from the past. It means we expect the same negativity in the future. Forgiveness is for the benefit of YOU, not the one who “did you wrong.” It rewires your brain and sets you free from the past.
Stella Vance, author of Dancing with Duality: Confessions of a Free Spirit