#BookReview: P S I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by D G Kaye @pokercubster | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

I came across a new review for my book, P.S. I Forgive You, from the talented author Harmony Kent, found on her blog. I need not tell any other author here how uplifting it is to come by a lovely surprise when someone takes the time to read our work, write a review and share it on their own blog. A truly wonderful community we all are and once again, I’m stoked that my book touched another person.

 

#BookReview: P S I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy by D G Kaye @pokercubster

Hi everyone. Good news: my long awaited chest x-Ray shows my lungs are clear! Yay! 😁🎉. The issues seem to be down to an overactive immune system, which the new tablets are helping with, plus all the inhalers, lols. I appreciate all of your well wishes and support over these many months.

I owe an apology for not being around online much this last week or so. My first COVID vaccine has hit me hard and left me tired and with headaches. I’m well on the mend, though, and glad I’ve had the first dose.

Today, I have a book review for an author I’ve known and admired for a long time, Debby Kaye. Her honesty and bravery shine through in this book of non-fiction, and I feel it’s one everybody should read >>>

About the Book:

32492158. sy475 Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts.

In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near.

Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

 

My Review:

5 star rating

As soon as I saw what this book was about, I had to read it, and I am so pleased I did.

Because of the difficult subject matter, and my own history, I had to take a deep breath before I plunged in. Not only has this writer’s honesty and bravery helped me to understand my parents a little better, it has also shown me precisely what my sister has become. I’d missed that, and this explains so very much.

It is a sad fact of life that, all too often, the victim becomes the perpertrator, unless we have the insight and strength to do something about it. I have long joked that I’m the reverse ‘black sheep’ of my family, and it seems to me that Debby is too. For all our successes, and the miracle of growing into well-adjusted adults in spite of it all, we will never be accepted by a parent who demands that we live their lies, manipulations, and abuses. The same with any sibling who demands the same.

Some lines that resonated with me in particular:

‘A narcissistic mother doesn’t have to be in one’s presence. She can still demand and demean no matter how far away.’

and

‘It is my decision to banish my mother from my life and a resolution to find peace within myself with my decision.’

and

‘[…] if we’re lucky enough to realize the bad, we have the opportunity to steer ourselves in a better direction.’

For a while now, I have struggled to think of what I will do when one or the other of my parents dies. I’m not even sure they would let me know, at this stage. And reading this honest and brave account from D G Kaye has helped me immensely. It has also helped to explain the till-now inexplicable behaviour of my twin sister. She has grown up with emotional neglect, as did I, and has now become a narcissist. This book has helped me to identify why she lives and behaves the way she does.

From my own life, I know how hard it is to go against the grain to become your own person despite your upbringing. It takes work, day by day, to resist some of those unhealthy habits instilled in us as children and to trust our judgements and motives. It takes courage to not give in to the insidious lack of self-esteem with which such adults are often left. The author has overcome much, and I admire her deeply both for her acheivements and for putting her journey into words so that others of us can also be helped.

PS I Forgive You: A Broken Legacy gets a solid and resounding 5 stars from me. A difficult read, but a book everybody should read.

 

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

Original Source: #BookReview: P S I Love You: A Broken Legacy by D G Kaye @pokercubster | Welcome to Harmony Kent Online

©DGKaye2021

 

Sunday Book Review – Not Just Quotes by Dorothy Sander

Today’s Sunday Book Review is for Dorothy Sander’s beautiful book – Not Just Quotes. This book was a beautiful read, written from the author’s perspective on life through her aging and wisdom experiences. Besides the author’s perspective, there are also pages added after each short chapter with questions we can answer for ourselves, along with various quotes on each topic from some of the greats in literature.

 

I was delighted to receive a paperback copy from the author after she emailed me and asked my permission if she could add my review of her earlier book to the editorial page of this book.

 

 

Blurb:

Quotes, essays and reflection questions entice readers to explore the fundamental principles that guide their lives. Essays from the author on topics that include Change, Courage, Beauty, Friendship and Wisdom are paired with quotes from well-known teachers, writers and spiritual guides and reflection questions. A perfect companion for exploring personal beliefs, especially during times of transition and change. Use as a practice for those who wish to align their external life with their internal beliefs and values.

 

My 5 Star Review:

This is a most beautiful book – from cover to words. Sander takes us with her on these short. yet, powerful self-reflections on the various elements of life through aging and wisdom. Some of the many topics covered are about love, joy, friendship, fear, forgiveness, and many more. Each chapter is written from the author’s perspective on the aforementioned topics, accompanied by questions she leaves with us to fill out on our own with lined spaces for us to express our thoughts in answer. To end each chapter there are beautiful quotes the author has compiled from some of the literary greats of our time, which relate to the topic of each chapter.

Two quotes that stuck out to me from Sander’s writing are on forgiveness and happiness.

Forgiveness – “The first step in finding forgiveness is to turn away from the other and turn toward ourselves.”

Happiness – “You cannot become unstuck by focusing on something outside of yourself, because the stuck-ness lives within you.”

This book is timeless and one I now keep by my bedside for a daily dose of inspiration.

Book Sale! Two of my Books Going on Sale This Week!

Double Header Book Sale!

book sale

It’s been awhile since I’ve put any of my books on sale so I’ve gone all out and doing a double-header!

 

Starting TODAY, running through July 23rd, my book, P.S. I Forgive You for the first time will be FREE! If you haven’t yet got a copy of this book, hop on over to Amazon and download a copy!

 

P.S. I Forgive You - D.G. Kaye

Universal Link, Click to go to Amazon

 

Blurb:

 

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

 

What are people saying?

 

5 Stars

on May 13, 2018
The author’s honest account of her relationship with her mother is a deeply emotional read. The unresolved longing of being loved by the person who, by nature, is the most capable of it.
A thought itself of such a mother D.G. Kaye was unfortunate to have is disturbing. Yet I can’t help but express my sadness about her mother’s plight while she, herself, was a victim of the unloving family.
The scene where the mother wanted to console her daughter at the news of her (daughter’s) upcoming heart surgery and was denied by her broke my heart.
I think the book will appeal to the broad readership – who suffered in a dysfunctional family may find inspiration in the D.G. Kaye’s story, who grew up in a loving family may appreciate it even deeper.

Something else I’ve yet to do is to put my latest book, Twenty Years: After “I Do” ON SALE. Also, beginning today, and running through til the last day of July, I will be putting this book on sale for .99 cents!

 

Universal Link, Click to go to Amazon

Blurb:

 

May/December memoirs.

In this personal accounting, D.G. Kaye shares the insights and wisdom she has accrued through twenty years of keeping her marriage strong and thriving despite the everyday changes and challenges of aging. Kaye reveals how a little creative planning, acceptance, and unconditional love can create a bond no obstacle will break. Kaye’s stories are informative, inspiring, and a testament to love eclipsing all when two people understand, respect, and honor their vows. She adds that a daily sprinkling of laughter is a staple in nourishing a healthy marriage.

Twenty years began with a promise. As Kaye recounts what transpired within that time, she shows that true love has no limits, even when one spouse ages ahead of the other.

 

What are people saying?

 

on December 21, 2017

Are you thinking about getting married? Worried about the future? What happens twenty years later? Most women marry older men when they are younger. Twenty Years: After “I Do explains what you might expect twenty, thirty or forty years later.

Debby G. Kaye writes what I would label as memoirs. Her editor calls this one a self-help book. Deb has a story so compelling that her memoirs work their way into being helpful. She inspires me, not to write my memoirs because I’m not as brave and forthright as she is. However, as an educational consultant, my gut reaction is that her book needs a study guide, and I’m just the person to write it.

Are you married or thinking about getting married to an older man? Maybe not, but if you are married for very long, you will be married to an older man whether you set out to do that or not. D.G. Kaye points out some authentic problems in Twenty Years: After “I Do that you are going to encounter when your husband reaches his 60s or 70s. Probably if you thought about all of them in your 20s, it would paralyze you, and you would never get married. However, as she points out, you think you are invincible when you are that age, and you just jump in. Yet, many people jump into marriages in their later years. They will face these problems without as many years of understanding of their partner.

If you read this book, you will learn how Debby managed to “navigate companionship challenges and show love and kindness to her partner, handling life together gracefully and in harmony.” Some of the hard challenges she shares must have been excruciating to write. What happens when or if wee willy wimps? How do you talk about death, burial, wills? Does your partner have grown children? They certainly play more of a part in your relationship than you might expect since they are out of the home.

This is the perfect gift for the holidays. It’s an easy read with lots of good advice.
Twenty Years: After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through AgingTwenty Years: After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through AgingTwenty Years: After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging

 

Please feel free to visit all of my books HERE

 

Books by D.G. Kaye

 

Sunday Book Reviews -New Reviews are in for Books by D.G. Kaye

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

 

Surprise! Today’s book reviews are not by me, rather there are three new reviews I’m thrilled to share here for my own books. I thought it was an appropriate place to fill in my Sunday reviews because I haven’t yet finished my latest read so I’m sharing these new ones I recently received for my books. Hey, they’re reviews right?

 

Twenty Years by D.G. Kaye

Get this book on Amazon

 

on May 20, 2018

Twenty Years: After “I Do” by D.G. Kaye highlights the fact that love can conquer all…only if you understand what is real love. Love is not just passion for each other, laughing or going out together. It is also listening intently, it is being emotionally present in those conversations, it is cleaning the mess of your partner who may get sick just after you marry her. Kaye has shared her personal story of marrying Gordon, who is twenty years older than her but age didn’t deter her from her decision of marrying a man whom she loved. Despite the challenges, love strengthened their relationship in the face of storms of life, taking care of each other in all situations.

This book may be based on the personal experiences of Kaye but it makes an in-depth analysis of marriage, which is not just a commitment that brings blissful joy in the lives of a couple while they are healthy and energetic but also demands care, unconditional love, respect and trust that the partner has to give spontaneously.
In a successful marriage, romantic love morphs into a loving and eternal relationship if we understand that forbearance and patience are as essential as passion and sex. A spouse who can’t pick up your luggage from the carousel or who needs a wheel chair at the airport to board a flight just after 20 years of marriage just needs your smile and support.

Conflicts are natural in a marriage but Kaye illustrates with real situations how she copes with them, giving a message that one has to devise one’s own ways to resolve them. Any married person can feel the connect with the thoughts of D.G. but if you are at the threshold of this new phase of life, you could collect some pearls of wisdom from the experiences that she shares in this book. The last two chapters of the book are heart-wrenching and left me wondering how could mortality be discussed in so many words. Kudos to Kaye for her bravery!

 

Colleen M. Chesebro rated it it was amazing.

Have Bags, Will Travel is a humorous memoir written by the transcendent shopper and traveler, Canadian author, D.G. Kaye. Be prepared for hilarity as she relates her travails with customs agents and international flights, while she bemoans the capacity limits of her baggage.

Her love of shopping is a recurring theme in her writing resulting in some of the funniest pieces in the book. Imagine you and your best friend traipsing all over Paris, literally wearing holes in the soles of your shoes while looking for the best deals. A great excuse to buy more shoes, right? Classic D.G. Kaye!

The author shares her adventures in much the same way she would if you were her best friend laughing over a glass of wine. Her voice is genuine, drawing the reader into her escapades. Numerous times, I found myself wishing that I had been on some of these trips with the author… if you could stand all the laughter.

Preparing for a trip? Include this book in your carry on baggage. You’ll be glad you did!

MY RATING:
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 STARS

 

P.S. I Forgive You - D.G. Kaye

 

Get this book on Amazon

 

 

on May 13, 2018
The author’s honest account of her relationship with her mother is a deeply emotional read. The unresolved longing of being loved by the person who, by nature, is the most capable of it.
A thought itself of such a mother D.G. Kaye was unfortunate to have is disturbing. Yet I can’t help but express my sadness about her mother’s plight while she, herself, was a victim of the unloving family.
The scene where the mother wanted to console her daughter at the news of her (daughter’s) upcoming heart surgery and was denied by her broke my heart.
I think the book will appeal to the broad readership – who suffered in a dysfunctional family may find inspiration in the D.G. Kaye’s story, who grew up in a loving family may appreciate it even deeper.

Memoir Bytes: Forgiveness? Love? The Power of Money – Backstory from Conflicted Hearts

Memoir Bytes

Vision perception - Memoirs

 

Sometimes I look back in reflection at some of the poignant moments in life, at some of the characters in my family. I like to analyze in retrospect, how I felt about a certain situation while emotions were running high, and interpret them later in time by dissecting some of those events to see how I handled the situation while experiencing the emotional moment and if my perceptions were accurate.

 

This particular incident recently resurfaced in my memory. I try to look for the compassion I may have missed back then while originally feeling confusion and resentment. As a memoir writer, I tend to do this with many of life’s difficult situations I’ve encountered to assess and better understand not just my perspective but what the other parties concerned may have been feeling. So today I’m going to bring up a sad memory about my father’s death. It seemed only fitting to write about this today when January 9th was the day I buried my father in 1991.

The situation was tragic enough that my father had died suddenly and out of country, but with a dysfunctional family background to add to the mix, there were many more mixed emotions presented at that time.

My paternal grandmother had been dead for a few years prior to my father’s death. And my dad was the only child left of my grandfather’s – a man who’d been dominated by his overbearing, bossy wife throughout his marriage. My dad had one older brother who had been disowned, completely banished by his parents, and consequently, from all of our lives when the edict had come down from my grandmother twenty-five years prior. “We shall speak no more of his name” were her words. And so it was written. And so it was done.

Dad and my estranged uncle Don ran the family business with their father up until that fateful day when something huge went down. I was only about 6 or 7 years old at the time and my investigative listening skills were already fine-tuned from growing up in a volatile and emotional roller coaster household, where listening in the shadows always gave me a leg up on what I could expect come tomorrow. But despite my efforts, I wasn’t permitted to ask questions without being reprimanded for doing so, consequently, much about what I learned about this occurrence was from the chatter that went on after the event at my grandparents’ house and afterward in my own home while I listened to my mother tell her sisters and friends.

To this day, I still don’t know the whole reasoning behind the incident that had my uncle banished for life, but what I got from it was, my quick-tempered uncle grew very angry at his father one day at work and pegged his dad up against the outside brick wall and was stopped short by my father who heard the ruckus and he restrained my uncle from throwing a brick at my grandfather’s head, as he shouted in anger with what seemed the end of his tolerance for his father’s orders. After the feud was broken up by my dad, my uncle was thrown out from the family business – and the family.

When my stern grandmother was informed about what had transpired, she made an instant declaration ( I heard it with my own ears), her son Don was now dead to my grandparents. They even sat the traditional ‘Shiva’ period as we do in our religion to mourn the dead.

We never saw my uncle or our cousins again for almost a quarter of a century.

On January 9th, 1991, 4 children and their grandfather sat in the mourner’s room at the funeral home before it was time for the funeral to begin in the chapel. The door opened and a strange man walked in. He looked as though he was in his early 60s, dressed in a dark suit and tie, slighted hunched over with age, he kept his eyes focused toward the floor as he entered while adjusting his yarmulke (skullcap). I leaned over to my one brother and asked him who this man was that just invaded our mourner’s space. My brother replied, “It’s Uncle Don.”

My heart skipped a beat. In my dire moments of grief, I didn’t know what to make of the sudden appearance of my long lost uncle. Within the same one whirlwind moment of emotions, I felt curious, angry, and heartbroken. I never said a word to him and moments later we proceeded into the chapel for the ceremony then out to the cemetery. We buried our father on that freezing cold day in January and my Uncle Don stood along right beside us.

After burying my father, we proceeded to my younger brother’s house to commence the Shiva where we’d sit in mourning for one week from morning til sundown and receive guests and visitors who would come by to keep us company and pay their condolences.

We’d just arrived from the cemetery, and took our respective seats on the cushionless couches, as tradition warranted for the immediate mourners. Immediate family of the lost loved one are the mourners – parents, children and siblings. And then into my brother’s home walked Uncle Don. That’s when emotions were escalated. My siblings and I were dumbfounded, wondering why he had suddenly showed up after a quarter of a century to his brother’s funeral and for mourning. This was a brother who never even went to his own mother’s funeral a few years earlier.

Suspicions, doubts, and curiosity ran through each one of us and before any of us even voiced our opinion to the others, my grandfather stood up, embraced his long lost son and announced aloud, “I lost one son, but I gained another.”

Who does that?

Resentment built up within me that the complete stranger to us could walk into my brother’s home the day we buried our father and our grandfather greeted him like he was the consolation gift God had given him – the man who threatened to kill him a quarter century past, when his only other son who had been nothing but obedient at his beck and call for all his life had saved his father’s life.

Many thoughts rolled through my head that day – why did he show up decades later? Was there remorse? Was his sudden arrival back into my grandfather’s life for monetary gain?

I felt heart-broken when I lost my father, but I also managed to feel sorry for my grandfather too, for losing his only son who had stood by him all his life. I was never close with my grandfather because of the years growing up around him, feeling no love or compassion from him or from my grandmother – the price I paid for my mother’s deceit when she purposefully got pregnant with me to get my father to marry her. I was a constant reminder to them of my parent’s union.

Because I harbored a life-long resentment toward my grandfather, it wasn’t difficult for me to speak to him with snark and sarcasm. I never had a problem letting someone know what I thought once I moved away from home and found my voice. The four of us confronted him when we were alone together, questioning how he could welcome our uncle with open arms as though the past had never happened. We didn’t hesitate to let him know we suspected the only reason our uncle had shown up was because he knew he was the only child left and there was plenty of money to be gained if he got himself back in my grandfather’s good graces and ultimately back into the will. My grandfather didn’t seem to care. In his own moments of grief I think he felt alone with the loss of his beloved wife and no children left, and so he clung to whatever rope was thrown to him despite motives. Sad.

Us four kids had spent much of our growing up years at my grandparents’ home, despite our reluctance or desire to do so. We were to become the inheritors, but as suspected, my uncle did manage to get involved with the finances. Sure there was some left in the end of it all, but not much. And whatever was left was not divided evenly between us four. I got the biggest shaft of all of us, and that was quite expected. But I never used that against my own siblings because, as I learned well, money had the great potential to divide a family.

@DGKaye 2018

 

Sunday Book Reviews – New Reviews Are In!

Book reviews by D.G. Kaye

Thrilled to catch two new reviews for my books this week – First one in for my newest book Twenty Years: After “I Do” and one new one for P.S. I Forgive You.

Read and reviewed by John Maberry and I was elated to find John posted it on his blog.

 

P.S. I Forgive You

 

Get This Book on Amazon!

 

5.0 out of 5 starsForgive another and yourself too!

on November 30, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

I just posted a review of P.S. I Forgive You on Amazon and Goodreads. It’s worth your while to read! Get it on Amazon. I’ve read two very different books by D.G. Kaye already—Have Bags, Will…Continue Reading

Source: P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye–a great read | Views from Eagle Peak

 

Twenty Years: After "I Do"

Get this book on Amazon, now available in Paperback!

 

I’m pleased to announce my book Twenty Years: After “I Do” is now available in paperback! Just in time for Christmas! And my book has received it’s first review I’m thrilled to share here by Carol Balawyder:

 

Twenty Years: After “I Do”

I am always enthusiastic about reading a book by D.G. Kaye. I have read all of her books so far and have enjoyed them all. Her May/December memoir Twenty Years: After “I Do” doesn’t disappoint. In fact, it’s probably her best, which is normal I guess. We do tend to get better with practice.

Although Twenty Years: After “I Do” focuses on growing old with a partner who is much older than herself, D.G. Kaye’s message is ageless as she tackles the issues of health, finance, mortality and children with clarity, authenticity and her usual grace.

D.G. Kaye is known for her ability to tell it like it is. There’s no sugar coating here although there is a lot of tenderness, affection, kind heartedness and insight drawn from her life experiences – sharing her life experiences to offer a helping hand is D.G. Kaye’s trademark. Much of her blog is about that and this munificence is evident throughout this book.

The book is an easy and enjoyable read. But make no mistake; it is by no means frivolous or meaningless. The book is filled with insights regarding the author’s reflections on keeping the flames of a relationship alive.

Sure, it’s not always easy, as she points out. Her and her husband do have disagreements, as all couples do, but their commitment to each other in sickness and in health, till death do us part and even after is a model for anyone to follow.

One last thing, Gordon (Puppy) her husband is a lucky guy to have such a loving wife.

Source:  CarolBalawyder.com

Please Vote for P.S. I Forgive You, Nominated for Reader’s Choice Award

Vote for P.S. I Forgive You

Reader's Choice Awards Nomination for P.S. I Forgive You

 

I’m thrilled to share here that my book, P.S. I Forgive You has been accepted as one of the books for nomination at the TCK Reader’s Choice Awards 2017. I would be delighted if everyone reading this post would just click on the link below and once there, go to page 6, Memoir books and vote for my book. The voting is open until December 10th, so if you can remember, or see this posted numerous times everywhere I can (lol) please click on and vote before Dec. 10th. Soooooo appreciated!

 

And just so you don’t forget, I’m adding the vote reminder under every post from now through December 10th. Thanks in advance!

 

Please click on the link below to vote. *Note: I appreciate the feedback from some of you who went to vote and had some navigation problems to cast a vote, so just to help you navigate better – when you click the link and land on the page it takes you to, wait 2 seconds and a box will open asking you to vote. It is in that box that you click the right arrow to take you to the 6th page – memoir. Just scroll down til you get to my book and click on it. It won’t thank you, it won’t tell you you’ve voted, but after your vote you can test it by clicking it again where you’ll find it won’t allow you to vote again. Yes, I know so complicated for such a simple thing. Thanks for your patience and your votes! 🙂

https://www.tckpublishing.com/readers-choice-voting

Guest Post – Tina Frisco on #Forgiveness

D.G. Kaye quote

 

 

 

As many of you know, I enjoy sharing posts here by Tina Frisco. And I was elated at Tina’s agreement to write a guest post to feature here today while I’m knee-deep in re-writes on my newest book.

Tina has an inner wisdom, which opens our eyes to simple things we often take for granted, or sometimes hold a place within us that we sometimes struggle with but may not be able to come to terms with. In this post, Tina shares her experience with finding forgiveness and methods she utilizes to delve deep within her soul to find resolution.

 

Author Tina Frisco

 

 

Forgiveness

Flower

Image Courtesy of Terri Webster Schrandt

 

“We tend to think of the rational as a higher order, but it is the emotional that marks our lives. One often learns more from ten days of agony than from ten years of contentment.” –Merle Shain, Canadian journalist and author, 1935-1989

 

Forgiveness is the highest form of virtue. It requires a strong and open heart. It challenges faith, trust, and understanding. It demands a willingness to let go of judgment. It moves us into compassion and elevates our consciousness. It fashions a deeper awareness of ourselves and others. Its gift is a more peaceful and fruitful life lived here on Mother Earth.

 

Forgiving someone a deep hurt is one of the most difficult challenges I have had to face.

 

As a small child, I was abused and often overlooked in favor of my younger sister. I was an afterthought. Because children have embryonic coping mechanisms, this neglectful behavior by the adults in my life carved a deep hole in my psyche. Desperate to be recognized, I became an overachiever and a slave to codependence. The imperatives of service and recognition fueled my desperation to a point where it imploded. I fragmented, and many took advantage. I was a walking, breathing wound.

 

In my teenage years, salt was added to that wound by those who mistook my need to help for egoism. Fortunately, I have a strong will and was able to rebut such claims. Unfortunately, this got me nowhere. I was labeled stubborn, angry, selfish, and a know-it-all. I would be the first to volunteer and the last to be selected. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get people to see me.

 

These labels followed me into early adulthood. Every time my eagerness to serve was mistaken for arrogance or selfishness, I either lashed out or fell into despair. My life had become one of emotional extremes – a roller coaster ride of peaks and valleys, racing fast to stand still.

 

All of this began to change when, at age thirty-three, I apprenticed to a medicine woman. She was as brutal in pointing out my weaknesses as she was compassionate in acknowledging my strengths. She forced me to dive deep and breathe while in the grasp of fear. Upon surfacing, I saw that all emotion is self-imposed. I alone am responsible for the choices I make. As my awareness grew, I began to own who I am – a wounded warrior made stronger for having faced that which terrorized me.

 

A few years into my apprenticeship, an issue I thought I had resolved attacked with a sudden and nauseating potency. Once again, and painfully, I felt overlooked. The hurt cut so deep, I nearly lost my life. I thought I was regressing, but I thought wrong. Issues become lighter as they are resolving. The pieces we have dealt with rise toward the surface. The nearer the surface, the more clearly we see them and the more powerful the impact. As these pieces are released, we might feel we are exploding, much like an erupting boil or volcano.

 

Naively, or perhaps wishfully, I thought I had finally battled this demon for the last time. Again, I thought wrong. Releasing negative emotion is like peeling away the layers of an onion – we clear different aspects at different times, until we reach the core and identify the source within. Since I have not yet reached the central part of this devastating emotion, it made a return visit, and very recently.

 

A friend I had become close with unknowingly overlooked me. This time, I was not even an afterthought. The pain struck sudden and hard. I reeled for several days, wondering why this issue still haunted me. When I let go of asking why and instead asked what it was I needed to learn, I received an answer: forgiveness.

 

I closed my eyes and moved into the hurt. I gasped and caught my breath as the pain ignited and burned my heart. For the first time in my life, I willingly held and comforted that little child so brutally abused and ignored all those years ago. Once her needs were met, a voice spoke to me:

 

This is an old hurt. You may hold it or let it go. It is an ancient hurt with roots buried in the beginning of time. You may carry it until the new light dawns, or you may release it into the custody of Mother Earth. The choice is yours, and the result will be the same. We have crossed the threshold into awakening.

 

I had become attached to a pain that my inner child mistook for love. It was time to hold myself in my own arms. It was time to let go. As I did, I discovered that letting go is a process – two steps forward, one step back – the human condition. At times, my mind wants to refute that the pain I continue to feel is of my own making. Yet my heart recognizes this as truth.

 

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it.” –Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight

 

My friend does not know her action triggered this old hurt in me, for it was I who pulled the trigger. So often we want to blame others for our feelings, forgetting we have a choice. If we did not have a choice, we would not have free will. Yet we pride ourselves on free will being a hallmark of the human species.

 

Owning our feelings does not mean granting license to ourselves or others for the commission of heinous deeds. Emotions are raw and private. They harm or uplift only the being in which they reside. If we act on our emotions in a way that inflicts harm on others, we must be held accountable. We must take responsibility for our actions as well as our thoughts and emotions.

 

I have forgiven my friend her shortcoming. She has given me the gift of opportunity. The hurt is still acute, but I will not close my heart to her. Although the pain I feel is not of her, it stands in relation to her, so I need to step back a little in order to witness myself more clearly. I am not pulling away. Or am I? Perhaps a little. We cannot see our reflections in the mirror with our noses pressed against it. We cannot survive a fire if we stand too close to the flame.

 

It is interesting how one person or event taking center stage can actuate a lesson of a lifetime. I observe myself each day as my mind battles my heart, attempting to reconcile the vestiges of a deep pain conceived so long ago. In remaining witness rather than doer or receiver, I am slowly healing the hurt that has controlled my life.

 

It is both fascinating and excruciating to keep one’s heart open to someone the mind perceives as having inflicted pain. This has enabled me to own my feelings. It has moved me to feel compassion for my friend. It has rewarded me with the ability to forgive us both.

 

I have learned that divine love is born of wisdom, and forgiveness is born of love. I have learned that if we humans are capable of forgiveness, we are capable of germinating the seed of divine love within us. And most of all, I have learned that the more my mind does not want to forgive, the more my heart must …

 

Namaste, my friends

© Tina Frisco 2017

 

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