I heard a saying the other day… “bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to drop dead”. The futility of hanging on to grudges is that many times the other person or persons aren’t even aware that we harbour such negativity towards them. We are only hurting ourselves.
This was certainly the case for me regarding my dad. No other event coloured my childhood more than the separation of my parents when I was 3 years old. What I wanted most as a child, was to have a farther in my life. I would’ve given the world to be like the other kids at school. Today I want to share with you an extremely valuable lesson – a lesson in forgiveness.
I hadn’t seen my dad in nearly 20 years. After I finished writing my first book ‘Limitless – Reconnecting with the Infinite Power Within’ I needed to track him down before the book was released. After playing detective on the internet I managed to find his phone number.
Just before I made the call, I knew I had a choice. I could unload on him and blame him for all the shitty things that have happened to me, I could yell and scream and tell him how wrong he was to have left me feeling unloved as a little boy, or…I could close the gap and understand that he has his own version of events that is no more or less ‘true’ than my own.
I asked myself “what would love do?” and realised I didn’t need him to validate my hurt. I didn’t need anything from him. I’m a grown man now. I removed attachment from any particular outcome and decided to honour the truth of my experience while holding a space for him to speak his own. I realised that the life I have today – a life I love and would never change – came about because my parents separated. I made the choice to give love and expect nothing in return.
He was surprised and delighted to hear from me. I let him know I blamed myself for the family breaking up. I let him know that I had carried a lot of pain when I was younger. He replied with compassion. He said that it was a completely normal thing for a kid to do at such a young age.
He held a space for me to be vulnerable and then I repaid the favor – never placing my experience above his. I lead with love and we mended a rift that was nearly 2 decades in the making.
If I had tried to place my hurt above my dad’s version of events this reconciliation would have never occurred. I would still be sipping on the poison of bitterness. Because I chose to make peace with the past and lead with love I have a father in my life today.
Because I chose forgiveness I received a phone call just last week. Not just any phone call. It was dad. He called to check in on me and let me know that he loves me – words I hadn’t heard in over 20 years.
You have a choice in every moment to either live as victims, trapped in an event from your past, or as a creator, empowered and free in the present moment. What would you prefer?
I want you to look inside yourself today and ask, “who have I not forgiven” “who do I hold hatred, bitterness or negativity towards in my life”. What good is it serving? Am I just drinking poison and hoping that this person will drop dead? Am I secretly hoping that they know how angry I am? Then ask yourself “Is there another way?”
I’m here to tell you that there is. If you want the best from yourself and the best from your relationships, then do what I did – lead with love. I want you to see if you can find a place of peace and forgiveness within yourself.
See if you can fully surrender to the present moment and understand that right now no one is doing you wrong. See if you can understand that each one of us is doing the best we can from our current point of consciousness.
Then ask yourself “Is it time to let go of the grudge?” Ask yourself “what would love do?”
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