Guest Post – Tina Frisco on #Forgiveness

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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

 

Visit Tina’s books on Amazon

 

Gabby and the Quads by Tina Frisco

Plateau by Tina Frisco

Vampyrie by Tina Frisco

 

 

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From Tina:

 

I invite you to share your thoughts and feelings on my blog posts. My hope is that we affirmatively broaden our perspective on what lies ahead for our species and our planet. I look forward to meeting, sharing, and dialoguing with kindred spirits at TinaFrisco.com

 

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64 Comments

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  1. Thank you for asking me to be a guest on your lovely blog, Deb. It was my pleasure to write this post for you. It has given me an opportunity to look in the mirror being proffered by those in my life who have challenged the very foundations of what I hold to be true. Your request for a guest post was a priceless gift for which I will be forever grateful. I hope you make great strides writing your new book, and I wish you every success in doing so. Love and blessings, my sweet friend. My heart to your heart ?

    1. Thank you Tina. As you know, we both share the same sentiments about forgiveness and processing our emotions. It was my absolute pleasure having you here today. <3

    2. A lovely and heartfelt comment following an incredible article, Tina. There is so much here I shall have to return to read it a second time to let it really sink in to my brain, but I wanted to let you know how impressed I am by your thoughts on a topic that is so important for ALL of us to embrace and understand.

      WONDERFUL topic for a guest post on Deb’s blog.
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to transform a world!”

      1. Thanks as always M. <3

      2. Thank you, Madelyn. That is high praise coming from you. I am both honored and grateful ?

        1. My pleasure, Tina – and not so much “praise” as acknowledgment. Well deserved.
          xx,
          mgh

  2. A really lovely post, Tina and Debby. It is very hard to overcome the pain of hurts inflicted on us as children. They burrow into our soul and germinate, shaping our characters. It is hard to stop this happening. I salute you Tina for recognising and overcoming this pain.

    1. Thanks so much Robbie for sharing your compassion. <3

    2. Thank you for your insightful comment, Robbie. I hope your experiences have helped you to grow as mine have helped me ?

  3. As always wise words Tina and you are right in that we do need to forgive those who have made us feel less than we should be. And sometimes that is very easy to do in this world where we are all trying to keep several plates spinning at the same time. I am sorry that you were hurt recently by your friend’s behaviour. ♥♥

    1. Thanks Sal, for visiting and for your kindness and compassion. <3 <3

      1. As someone show speaks her mind on occasion and treads where angels fear to go.. I am sometimes on the other side of this.. xxx

    2. I appreciate your kind words, Sally. Thank you ?

  4. Fabulous post Tina, and, I am sure it hits home to many, including me. Thank you. Hugs.

    1. Thank you Patricia. Glad to hear it resonated with you too. <3

    2. You’re welcome, Patricia, and thanks so much. Hugs back to you ?

  5. Life is indeed full of hurts and slights from the minor to the major. We think we’ve overcome something only to find it popping up again. People say and do things they shouldn’t but we always have a choice of how to respond–it just takes time and effort to get there. Then we can forgive and forget and accept that something our lives brings the pain about. For me, as a Buddhist, it’s typically the result of some cause I’ve made. Sometimes it’s simpler than that–it’s just an opportunity to overcome an obstacle. Thanks for your wonderful post.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts John, on this often complicated process. I think forgiveness is one of the biggest words in the dictionary. 🙂

    2. Thank you, John. I always appreciate your insights, well-thought-out and enlightening ?

  6. A beautiful post. Thanks Debby for hosting Tina today. I was most struck (and could relate to) that spiral of forgiveness – that we think we have let something go and then up it rears again, over and over. We dig deeper and deeper until the roots are finally unearthed. And while we are going deep we are also clearing the way upward for greater healing, peace and compassion. And you’re right, Tina, that the final release, the true forgiveness is not cerebral and rational, but deeply emotional. For me, that space forgiveness created was filled with love. <3

    1. Thank you so much for sharing of yourself here Diana. Forgiveness is a process. Just saying the words aren’t enough to compensate for what we still must internalize. <3

    2. Thank you for the wonderful comment, Diana. Your image of forgiveness creating a space for love is beautiful ~ as are you ?

  7. Always a pleasure to see you team up! Tina, such eloquence in the descriptions of your pain and painful memories. Forgiveness is an art that is given and received freely. You hit the jackpot here, my friend. Xoxo

    1. Thanks so much Terri for your lovely comment and for reading Tina’s heartfelt post. And thanks for visiting on your break! 🙂 xx

    2. Bless you, Terri. Your words touched my heart ?

  8. Quick comment, Deb, to let you know that I have begun research and writing on my article for you — featuring the brain-based benefits of reading BOOKS, inspired by a study just a few years back. Will give you a warning as it nears completion.
    xx,
    mgh

    1. Oh yay M. What an amazing topic!! I thank you so much and look forward to it. Please don’t rush, we all know how we don’t need to put pressure on ourselves, lol. You’re a gem! 🙂 <3

      1. I’m finding so MANY advantages of reading books – a few neuro and linguistic studies, statistical compilations, etc. Editing it DOWN is the anticipated pressure – lol.

        Meanwhile, I’ve completed & queued some articles on my own blog to be able to turn more of my time and attention here. Lovin’ the topic.
        xx,
        mgh

        1. Awesome M! I too found that spending a dedicated time to putting posts together once or twice a week was much more time efficient than writing posts randomly, especially when pressed for time. We live and eventually learn what works. And I love having you over! <3

          1. I usually write or research daily, but I don’t like the feeling of not being able to do so at a comfortable pace. When I don’t have a few posts stacked and waiting I feel the pressure on days like today, away from the computer for most of it. It’s like having food in the pantry – lol – always have something I can fix for dinner, even if I can’t get to the grocery store for a bit. 🙂
            xx,
            mgh

          2. Fantastic analogy! That’s exactly how it feels for me too! Go figure! LOL 🙂 xxx

  9. A powerful piece, allowing for much reflection. Thank you, Tina, for sharing this with us. ❤️
    Debby, thank you for such a warm welcome, as always.

    1. Thank you for reading and visiting Natalie. <3

    2. You’re welcome, Natalie. I appreciate your lovely comment ?

  10. Hi Tina,

    I too echo the value of this post, especially for those struggling to heal. They can look to you, Debbie, and others as examples of strength. I agree that we often chose to not take the risk necessary to put the pain behind us and move on. However, some pains will not heal and we need to learn to live with them without the pain controlling our lives.

    I have a favorite quote I found on the internet (Simple Reminders). “I never knew how strong I was until I had to forgive someone who wasn’t sorry, and accept an apology I never received.”

    I like to think I gain much of my strength through my faith. l firmly believe the following: In order for God to forgive someone who has hurt us, we must first forgive them ourselves.

    Thank you for a beautiful and helpful post. HUGS

    1. Thank you so much for chiming in here. And I love your favorite quote. That quote pretty much sums of my last book. 🙂 x

    2. You’re welcome, Chuck. That quote is powerful. Forgiving is not only a test of strength, but also shows us that releasing ill will is a gift to ourselves as much as it is to others. Thank you for your insightful comment. Hugs back to you ?

    1. Thanks bunches Sal. <3

  11. Hello Debby and Tina! What a wonderful post, beautiful and moving. The process of forgiving and moving on is difficult but when done can be so freeing. Thank you for the wise and insightful words, Tina.

    1. And thank you Vashti for your visit and your lovely comment. I’m glad Tina’s post resonated with you. <3

    2. You’re welcome, Vashti. Thank you for your sweet comment ?

  12. Thank you for sharing, Sally ?

  13. Tina.. thank you for sharing such a personal insight into the wounds we carry.. So often stemming from our childhood or beyond that as our souls carry so much hidden within our cores..
    Nurturing ourselves, and finding that inner child to bring her to the surface, to hold her and tell her she is loved and cherished..
    Understanding that it is we who have chosen via our conditioning to carry such burdens with us throughout our adult lives..
    I so resonate with all you have said here.. Many times I had thought I had dealt with those buried emotions.. Only to have them come and bite me hard one more time..
    Each layer, each peeling away reveals more of who we are..
    Even now, I know I still have some more layers to peel back.. In my total forgiving.. And in also forgiving myself as we tend to be harder upon our selves..

    Reading this dear Tina, was like looking into a mirror..
    Thank you for your wonderful insight into our need to learn to forgive.. And thank you to Debby for hosting your beautiful post..
    Love and Blessings to you both.. Good luck Debby with your editing process..
    Sending lots of Love for a Peaceful weekend to both of you
    Hugs Sue <3 xxx

    1. Thank you so much Sue for sharing your heart with us. I know the 3 of us have certainly had our share of hurts from our younger lives and we’ve all been gifted with compassion which helps us in the forgiveness process. Cleansing ourselves of those hurts can sometimes become a lifelong project.And sometimes, forgiving ourselves can be the hardest one of all, yet, we continue to strive to do so. <3 Big hugs, love and peace back to you. <3

      1. Exactly Debby… We are a continue work in progress.. 🙂 Yet I feel grateful, for it all made me, you and Tina who we are today.. <3 xxx

        1. I wholeheartedly agree Sue. Where we came from forms part of our personality. What we learn after is how we grow. <3

          1. Agreed Debby 🙂 Hugs xx

    2. Oh Sue, what a beautiful comment. You are most welcome. Thank you, sweet friend, for validating all I’ve been feeling and dealing with. You are such a bright light in the world. Love, hugs, and blessings ~ my heart to your heart ?

      1. You are most welcome Tina.. Sending love and Hugs your way xx <3

  14. Hurts can sometimes fester inside of us, growing… and coming out when we least expect them to. A powerful post from beautiful Tina.. I felt it in my heart! Thanks Debby for having her over xx

    1. Thanks for reading Christy. It is such a powerful piece. <3

  15. A lovely, yet powerful post. The pain we hold inside can be greater than any other.

    1. Isn’t that the truth. Thanks Michelle 🙂 x

  16. Wow! What a post. It really packs a punch, but a punch that says wake up and take notice, it’s time to let go, forgive, and love. I understand the one step forward and two back routine. I’ve done that dance before. Thanks for sharing so deeply and personally, Tina. I hope the healing journey is closer to the end than the beginning.

    1. Thanks so much for reading Norah. I know you’re only playing catch up now. 🙂 Tina’s post is an eye-opener, and I know she would thank you for your comment and will do in time, but she’s away right now on a blogging break, so I will thank you for her. 🙂

  17. Wow, well said, Tina. From the heart and true to yourself and to what you have learned, how you have grown. You have come such a long way! Knowing oneself is very difficult to do and you are on the right track. Opening yourself up is is definitely a good start, something I often have trouble with, the vulnerability. I find forgiveness difficult, but time seems to heal some of those wounds and makes it easier. Strangely, I find apologizing for my behavior even more difficult!

    1. Thanks for sharing Liesbet. I think it’s all part of a growing process. We live and we learn. Please note that Tina is away visiting family for an extended length of time, so she most likely won’t be responding to comments during that time. 🙂

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