We are so excited to share this guest post by Ester Nicholson. Ester is a recovery coach, author, speaker and recording artist. You can find more about her and her work at her website, esternicholson.com. You can also listen to this post, and the beautiful prayer she offers within it, on our SHE RECOVERS podcast, here.
Forgiving someone who has abused you—blind-sided you with abandonment, betrayal and rejection—is the hardest frigging thing you will ever have to do. I know from first hand experience what it’s like to be born to a mother who couldn’t show you love, but freely showed your face to the back of her hand. I know what it’s like to give your heart to a man who suddenly forgets that he loves you and speaks to you as if you’re his fifth cousin’s gardener. I have felt the cut of betrayal by someone who I thought was my ride-or-die-sista-girl-friend—but who apparently was having a totally different relationship with me. I have had the sick feeling in the pit of my gut by having my name omitted out of my own brother’s obituary. OUCHHH!!!
But I had to forgive. I had to—or I was gonna die. I had to be willing to die to my story—my seemingly justifiable blame and need for revenge—so that I could truly be alive again—and so that the “years that the locusts had eaten” could be restored back to me.
I’m writing this blog because, I’ve learned something really profound this time around in my life. My life experience has provided something of real substance to teach. But the biggest reason for writing this blog is because I need you to know that true emotional and spiritual liberation is real. It is possible and it is your divine birthright. But in order to have it, you must want it more than you want that relationship, that career, the money or anything else. You’ve got to want – the Real You more than anything else in the world! She’s waiting for you to return home to your authentic bad-ass self!
Trust me, if I can do it – anybody can!
As I said: forgiveness is the most challenging thing you will be called upon to do for yourself. Not for them. You.
Because if you don’t deal with your stuff, your stuff will find a way to deal with you.
It is an emotional and spiritual requirement to forgive if we want to experience true freedom, fulfillment, health and prosperity. Not because there is some judgmental Higher Power up there somewhere that requires us to forgive others in order for us to be forgiven (“forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespassed against us”), No. That is an outdated power dynamic of forgiveness that will never work because that kind of forgiveness is based in the illusion that you have to kiss up to the big guy (and there is no big guy up there – the power is within you), and be a doormat for people who were abusing you.
I later learned (when I got up off the floor for the millionth time), that I must profoundly forgive others in order to return to my authentic and essential nature of wholeness, empowerment, confidence and safety. I must raise my energetic frequency to the level of that desire and that reality. Because until I did that, my life was like having one foot on the accelerator and the other on the break – I was pushing and pushing – and going absolutely nowhere but under.
Let’s get real, sometimes it feels downright delicious to hate on, judge and have a running negative commentary about the person who has harmed us. When we are in resentment, we run an automatic program that incessantly cycles our negative narrative over and over again – even when we’re pretending to think about other things. It’s so insidious that it feels normal because some of us have held on to anger and resentment for so long—and have identified with it so completely—that we can’t tell where the “real” vs. “imaginary” us is anymore. We are unconscious to the realization that resentment is the very reason we are blocked from vibrant health, success, financial abundance and fulfillment.I’ve been in recovery for thirty-three years, and have written twenty Fourth Step inventories on my mother [editor: For those who may not be familiar with the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” the Fourth Step is a truthful, deep life-inventory of the issues that contribute to our addiction].
The Fourth Step may have saved my life – but didn’t restore it. It gave me relief and released layers of false perceptions and pain, but it didn’t get me home. I still quite enjoyed hating and blaming my mother for every terrible thing that ever happened in my life—even though the pain was easier to bear.
Through years of experimenting with every healing modality I could think of, so I could finally feel safe in my own body, empowered, confident and free—I uncovered the necessary steps to achieve deep and lasting forgiveness. I call it The Healing Code of Forgiveness.
It is the forgiveness process that is based on the teachings of Soul Recovery, which are effective, powerful and guaranteed to work—if you are willing to see things from an entirely different perspective and commit yourself to it. There is a link at the end of this blog for more information, if you are interested.
Soul Recovery Forgiveness acknowledges that we have been deeply hurt, and must make room on our healing journey to fully process our pain about the situation. Often the people we are holding resentment towards have caused us much more harm than we’ve ever caused them.
While we acknowledge that fact and show ourselves deep compassion throughout this process, we also cannot pull over and park in the pain and story of the past, or be in competition about who did what to whom. It is our story that holds us in place. Once we have identified, acknowledged and processed wounded emotions, we must go deeper than the event or circumstance, and get down to the elemental causes and conditions – because that’s where the boundary to our freedom lies.
Our business is to heal and to set ourselves free, no matter who caused more harm. And the first step is to be “willing” to understand that—while we may indeed feel abandoned, rejected, betrayed, unsafe and not good enough—we must also accept that a particular person, though connected to those emotions, is not the cause of our suffering. They simply point to our deep core beliefs and attachments that were likely present before we even came into contact with that particular person or situation.
Our minds are so powerfully adaptive, that we have inadvertently and subconsciously attracted the people, conditions and experiences that are a perfect match to the core wounds and hardwired negative beliefs we hold about ourselves.
Like attracts like.
Have you ever disconnected or dropped someone from your life because they hurt and abused you or didn’t respect your boundaries, just to find yourself having the same experience with a different person over and over again? Why? Because the core wounds and beliefs embedded in your awareness follow you wherever you go, and will show up in most of your relationships and experiences. Remember what I stated earlier: “If you don’t deal with your stuff, your stuff will deal with you.”
I used to think that I had an invisible banner written across my forehead that read “all really screwed up and emotionally unavailable men – please come be my man”, because I kept repeating the same unhealthy relationship patterns with the same man—in a different body living in a different zip code—over and over again! I have come to understand that it wasn’t the men in my life that was at the root of my problems – it was the belief system I held about myself and the core wounds I lugged around with me every day.
I also used to believe that my mother was the cause of my core wounds, until I came to the radical understanding that—as awful and abusive as she was to me—that she was not the cause of my pain, but the mirror of it.
Trust me, this was not easy for me. I came into that understanding kicking and screaming – because I was invested in my story: that my mother was the reason for every terrible thing that ever happened to me. But my ultimate realization set me free.
This is a pretty radical idea because—from our wounded perspective—we justifiably think, “how the hell am I responsible for my pain when I was the victim of the abuse?”
I totally understand any resistance that may be coming up for you right now. This was a difficult transition for me to make as well—but it is the very releasing of your resistance to seeing your pain from a different and higher perspective that will set you free.
What I’m about to say is radical and extremely sensitive – but I must share this perspective with you – not to give you back your power, but to help support you in remembering the power within your very being that has never left you.
Beloved, we are eternal beings!
Our souls are infinite and unlimited. We live in an orderly Universe—and are indeed expressions of that Universe. We are not independent of it. We are IT! If the Universe were not orderly, harmonious and perfect, it would implode and destroy itself. It would not have existed for billions of years.
From this larger perspective, we have soul contracts and agreements that are working out on many different levels. We are so powerful, that we have courageously chosen to heal at this time in our existence—no matter what it takes—and there are times when it has taken us to our knees in pain, confusion and despair. We didn’t choose our experiences on a level that we are consciously aware of. And we don’t become consciously aware until our souls know that we are ready for it. You are not to blame and there are no mistakes.
But you have chosen to be here in this lifetime. The opportunity is given to heal our karmic vows and agreements to unworthiness, shame, abandonment—and all of the other life diminishing addictions that keep us disconnected from our highest self. Our souls do not require that we suffer. But it does require us to awaken to our authentic, amazing and powerful selves. Our egos, on the other hand, sometimes have to be shocked, traumatized and dragged into re-awakening to what we really are and who we are destined to be—as whole, perfect and complete expressions of the infinite.
Holding others to account for the offenses they have perpetrated upon us is not wrong. That’s called discernment and not being in denial about the facts. But the facts of our life do not have the final say about who we are. Blaming the guilty for our core beliefs about ourselves is disempowering, because it means that we are enslaved and in bondage to our suffering until they change or apologize. And even if it came to pass, has any apology ever really set you free? Probably not. An apology may temporarily validate the position and perspective you are holding onto, but it doesn’t have the power to set you free.
It substantiates your rightness, but not your joy.
Healing the core wounds that “others” have ripped the bandages off of and re-triggered, is independent of whether anyone ever apologizes, changes or forgives us. Our freedom is independent of any person, circumstance or condition. Forgiveness sets us free and gets us home! Where is home? Your real, authentic, empowered, clear, centered and confident self!
For every condition, there is a divine and perfect solution, and the perfect tools to reveal the healing that is perfect for you. You don’t have to figure this out or do it alone. Let’s get down to the core of your forgiveness process and get you safely home!
If you are interested in using the “Healing Code of Forgiveness” process, I have created a powerful video series that takes you step by step through the forgiveness process, which includes inner child healing; EFT (emotional freedom technique); healing karmic agreements with your core wounds; and energetically facing and releasing the person who you have been holding resentment towards.
In this course, I take you through the forgiveness process from beginning to end, and you don’t need to know anything special to follow this powerful and transformative path. I highly recommend it!
Here is the Udemy link.
A Prayer of Forgiveness:
There is a divine infinite power within me, that is love, safety, harmony, order and grace. I am one with this power. It is not separate from me, but is indeed within me and is the reality of my being. From this place of oneness with all the love and power that there is, I speak my word for myself (insert your name here), knowing that all past traumas of abandonment, betrayal, rejection and shame are uprooted from my very core and dissolved into pure love. I am healed at the deepest level of my subconscious mind, regardless of people and conditions. It is the power within me that forgives and transforms my pain into the good for all concerned. I don’t have to make it happen. I simply show up for myself in a way that I never have before, and allow the love within me to make the crooked places straight and to bring me safely home to my true and authentic self.
I am so grateful for this realization, this understanding and my perfect healing through the power of forgiveness.
It is done. It is finished. Amen!
I love you,