Read This if You’re Struggling with Forgiveness and Resentment
For the past 9 months, I’ve been spending a lot of time alone and in solitude, most of my days spent with a four-legged companion.
Here in Peru it has been no different. I traded the ocean and beaches of Mexico for a mountain lake and jungle in Peru.
As I’ve been here alone, I’ve had numerous occasions to remind myself of why I’m here doing this quite unusual thing.
I don’t know many people who would come out to a remote village in the mountain jungle of Peru to live semi off-grid.
And here I am, doing it.
Initially, it felt scary. As I lay my things down in my room the very first night, the feel of the darkness felt so vast, so blank … It surrounded me on all sides, I felt like a pinprick in space.
But the next day the morning came, the week pressed on, and I learned the sights and sounds of this new place as well.
The roosters crow way too early in the morning but I wake to feed them, the hens, and chickies, the ducks, and the guinea pigs — all of us clucking and crooning good mornings …
I practice my meditation, breathwork, and yoga and make a morning cup of tea in the kitchen …
I go about my day, stringing up laundry to dry in the sun or hiking into town on the well-worn foot path through the hills …
I sit out under the wide, night sky now appreciating its vast darkness for the incredible view of the Moon and stars…
And, as I do all this, the thought I keep returning to is how strangely intoxicating it is to be alone and how little I gave myself the opportunity for this in the past.
Today, I ease into my skin, my knowing of myself as my self, apart from any relations to another.
The temerity present in my current circumstance surprises even me, but given where the twists and turns of the past three years have taken me, it makes sense that suddenly I find myself capable of something that was impossible in the past.
I’ve learned a hell of a lot on this journey: it all started with sobriety, Vipassana meditation, and yoga and moved into mindfulness, breathwork, self-compassion, self-love, boundaries, feelings, validation, communication, generational trauma, embodiment, energy work, hormones and the monthly bleed, mother wound, divine feminine, masculine/feminine polarities, safety, Internal Family Systems, Gestalt Therapy, and continues on ….
Recently, I learned that the resentment I had towards experiences and people in my past was NOT because of the events themselves and/or the perceived injustice of what happened.
It’s easy for me to understand why people do the things they do because everybody makes mistakes and for whatever reason, I tend to have a lot of generosity in that area. But even when I consciously forgave, I would still feel anger and resentment and I didn’t understand why.
Turns out I was deeply attached to the “negative” feelings that arose in me during the events. The resentment was towards how those experiences had made me feel — powerless and worthless — that was keeping me rooted in the past. They were incredibly visceral and primal and I wasn’t aware of the hypnotic power they’ve had over me these past few decades.
I was having difficulty forgiving the people involved because I couldn’t forgive them for how I felt because of their actions, not because of what they did.
When I realized this tiny perception switch, it made true forgiveness within reach for the first time. If I can let go of my attachment to those feelings, I can then forgive.
And for a very long time, I’ve been identified with these old feelings that came up when I was still unconscious and sleeping.
The time is now and I’m ready.
Because I’m tired AF of resentment.
I’m tired of being stuck in the muddy bog of the past, the present a hazy dream because I’m so preoccupied with ghostly apparitions from over 20 years ago.
I’m tired of poisoning my own well, so I’m letting go …
I’m letting go of resentment, guilt, and criticism.
I’m letting go of being so measured and careful so I don’t make a misstep.
I’m letting go of searching for the ways each person I meet will hurt me.
I’m letting go of expecting cruelty and unkindness from the world.
I’m letting go of my fear of people…
And mostly I want to let go of that deep belly laugh that’s been stuck at the bottom of my stomach for decades, just waiting to be released, waiting to be freed …
Free to express the raucous joy that lives inside, it bubbles up when I’m alone… but I want to share it with the world, to dance and sing and shout and giggle and cuddle and make jokes like I used to … Free to feel joy and excitement and enthusiasm and express it … Free to soften and open my body, eager to meet and welcome the world like a friend. Free and safe to be known. Free to just exist from a place of no pressure to be anybody …
I’ve discovered why I’m here in Peru: to let go.