Forgiveness and Letting Go
Written on Tuesday 27 January 2015
If you have been following my posts, I have no issue with just putting myself out there and being raw with my audience. This will definitely be one of those situations as the universe has taught me a very important lesson these past weeks and that is on the topic of forgiveness and letting go.
Before I begin, I have to give you some backstory. My father died unexpectedly in 1998. He was a rather wealthy man. When my parents divorced in 1984, my sister and I were still minors. His divorce attorney suggested that he make up a skeletal will naming his mother as the sole beneficiary in the event of his death prior to my sister and I reaching the age of 18; thus preventing my mother from getting a hold of his estate. My father never updated his will, therefore, upon his death, my grandmother inherited his entire estate. Mind you, my grandmother was a high functioning schizophrenic, illiterate and a very nasty person to my siblings and I as she had a deep hatred for my mother for divorcing my father. During the years following his death, my grandmother would berate and insult us, stating that my father left the will the way it was because we were horrible children to him and responsible for his untimely death. While she did do a few good things with my father’s money, she continually reminded us why we would never see a penny of it. Towards the end of her life, she began dementing and forgot her hatred of us.
Now, I was not the spiritual person during those years as I am today. I grew to hate this woman and often wondered how nice it would be if she were dead. No, I was not homicidal. I thought she deserved to die for being such a nasty individual. I tried to have a relationship with her, however, since I am “one of those people who don’t get married” (her cute way of saying I’m gay), she would have none of it. Finally, during her last years, I just withdrew from any kind of relationship with her and set out to prove that I didn’t need her nor my father’s money.
The morning of January 19, 2015, I received a call from my uncle informing me that my grandmother had died that morning. I was quite hungover from the previous night of partying with my friends and was actually paralyzed. I didn’t know what to feel. Part of me felt happy that she was dead and part of me felt relieved that she was dead and another part of me felt guilty for feeling the aforementioned feelings. I did something that I rarely do which was to reach out to my loved ones for advice. They all said the same things: fly down to Florida, forgive her, release her, and let go. I struggled with this as I didn’t want to spend the money to fly down there but I relented and did so.
At the viewing, she had requested a closed casket. Before approaching the casket, I bonded with my father’s side of the family as we are not very close (and never had been). After speaking with my family for a while, I approached the casket. Despite my ego mind wanting to say and do all kinds of inappropriate things, I kneeled before her dead body, touched the casket and repeated at least 10 times, “I forgive you and release you to the Holy Spirit.” This was something I heard Marianne Williamson say in one of her courses about improving work relationships and it worked wonders for me at the time. I felt that I had completed with her. Soon afterwards, before heading out to the cemetery, my uncle handed me a will naming me as the representative of the estate and my siblings and I as the beneficiaries. This was a total surprise to me as she swore we would never see a penny of the money. At this point, I didn’t need it as I spent many years growing my current business out of nothing and doing real good for myself.
So lessons learned: in my spiritual hubris, I thought that I was above hating my grandmother. Marianne says that saying you forgive because you are spiritual now is not real forgiveness but judgment. I had to honor those negative feelings to them let them go and forgive her. Forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. It is about me saying that the past will no longer affect my present. I am not condoning what they did; I am just saying that it won’t affect me anymore. Lastly, by forgiving and letting go, I made a clearing for things to manifest in my life. I feel free now from those years of pain, not because she is dead, but because I forgave her and let her go.
Tags: forgiveness, letting go