“I am sorry for blaming you and using you as an excuse to make myself small. I am sorry I haven’t shown you the respect and trusted you enough to allow you to show me how awesome you really are and can be.
You chose me because I was strong, and because I was strong- I carried you and it made us both weaker. I am stopping that now.
We don’t get to use each other as an excuse to not be all that we can be anymore!”
I have the privilege to bear witness to hundreds of people’s lives, during very intimate moments. I get to be present when people are waking up to the realization that they are strong and healthy and have been all along. This is a gift. The above quote is an excerpt from a letter written by someone I had the privilege to work with who gave me permission to share a piece of this experience with you.
I found this to be very powerful and it highlighted that acknowledging both our own role and the role others, in the painful or hurtful experiences of our lives does not excuse or exonerate anyone. It is freeing. When we can compassionately acknowledge what has happened in our lives and experience all of the emotions towards the people tied to those experiences, we get to move on.
This means making space for feelings of love, grief, anger, and guilt – and all of these are ok, even when they are uncomfortable. Lean into them and ride them out. Not everything that hurts is harmful.
This highlighted the following questions for me, and perhaps thinking about them might help you too…
- What if holding onto our old hurts is what is hurting us NOW?
- What if the way to move forward is to let go so WE can find peace?
What does moving forward look like for you?