In the process of separating from and divorcing my Narcissist there have been many things I have struggled with, but honestly I am having the hardest time forgiving myself.
I’m a smart girl (3 college degrees and an impressive career track), I am a beautiful girl, I grew up in a ‘normal’ family with stable parents who are still married, and despite a bit of a carefree college wild streak I have made pretty wise decisions throughout my life. I’ve never been a drug addict or an alcoholic, I’ve never suffered from mental disorders… so what on earth is my excuse for landing in a relationship with a Narcissistic and abusive man… and (gasp) staying in that relationship for 8 freaking years?!?!?!?
I’m working through this daily. I keep wondering what the purpose of it all was, what the lesson is that I was supposed to learn. I think for me what I have realized so far is that the lesson that I needed to learn was to never compromise myself for a relationship. (I’m still not convinced that I needed 8 years of reinforcement to learn that lesson, but I will have faith that there were other reasons why I came out of the fog at this very point in time.)
You see, throughout my relationship with the Narcissist I gave up little pieces of myself, and let go of the things that I cared very much about slowly over time… until one day I looked at myself in the mirror and had no idea who was staring back at me. In the beginning, I justified the changes as improving myself. I thought that the Narcissist was more worldly than I was, had learned more about life, had lived a better lifestyle before meeting me. I was a little bit insecure, a little bit naive, and ready to do anything that I could to prove to my Narcissist that I was worthy of his love. As the years went by I realized that I was giving up the things that were at the very core of myself… my family relationships, my desire to have children, my need to establish a home, my creative and passionate sides… everything.
I truly thought that having that amazing, attractive, charming, attentive, and fascinating man would be worth every single thing I gave up. I thought that having his love mattered more than having anyone else in my life… and I was wrong.
I can promise you that where I am standing today (still with a long road of healing ahead) I will never compromise who I am or the things that make me happy in life for a relationship again. I will hold true to myself, and I will find someone who loves me for all of those things, instead of wanting to mold me into something else.
So while I work on my forgiveness, at least I am finding some solace in seeing the important lessons from it all.
And for those of you who are struggling still, I hope this DailyOM reminder will help you start thinking about forgiving yourself!! (It popped up in my mailbox this morning and got my gears turning!)
Holding onto regret is like dragging the weight of the past with us everywhere we go.
It drains our energy, leaving less available for life in the present because we are constantly feeding an old issue. This attachment can cause illness the same way watering a dead plant creates decay. We know that something new and beautiful can grow in its place if we only prepare the soil and plant the right seeds. We also know that we create our lives from our thoughts, so dwelling on the past may actually recreate a situation in our lives where we are forced to make the choice again and again. We can choose to move on right now by applying what we have learned to the present and perhaps even sharing with others, transforming the energy into something that is constructive and creative for ourselves and others.
Forgiveness is the soothing balm that can heal regret. In meditation, we can imagine discussing the issue with the self of our past and offering our forgiveness for the choice. In return, we can ask for our selves’ forgiveness for keeping them locked in that space of judgment for so long. We may also want to ask forgiveness from anyone else who may have been affected and perhaps offer our forgiveness. By replaying the event in our minds, we can choose a new ending using all that we now know. Imagine that you have actually gone back into the past and made this change, and then say goodbye to it. Release your former self with a hug and bring the forgiveness and love back with you to the present. Since we are usually our harshest critics, it is amazing how powerfully healing it can be to offer ourselves love.
Keeping our minds and our energy fully in the present allows us to fuel our physical and emotional healing and well-being today. This action frees our energy to create the dreams we dream for the future. By taking responsibility and action in the present, we can release our hold on the past. Want more DailyOM?
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