Thursday, September 20, 2007

No Blame

I received several private emails about my previous entry, centered around that last phrase I wrote. I just wanted to make a clarification on it so that you don't get the wrong idea about what went on then or after.

I wrote an email to my father the other day with this being the central part of the message:

"The other day I was on my bike and I started thinking about my childhood.
I just had these flashes of things that had happened. It must have lasted about
five seconds but I had images of going to Muir Beach when I was about eight,
playing on the fire station lawn on a summer night, barbecueing at Stinson
Beach with you and Mom, all those fairs you used to take us to, La Ginestra,
that Triumph you used to cram all five of us in, hiking on Mt. Tam, all the great friends
I used to have. And I thought "what a great childhood I had".
And then I laughed to myself.
I thought it was funny because if anybody knew what we all had gone through
together, maybe they wouldn't see it that way. And I did go through a phase
where I resented it, but then I realised that whatever had happened had made me
the person that I was today and so it was all for a purpose - and maybe perfect in
its' own way."

I had what a lot of people might define as a difficult childhood. I don't want to list all the events or elaborate on who did what because I don't think it really matters anymore. You can drown yourself in blame and resentment and feeling like you got the raw end of the deal. You can actually do that for your entire lifetime and then drag it onto other areas of your life that had nothing to do with the initial trigger event because you go back and use that event as the reason why things aren't working out now. When that happens it's really difficult to let go, move on and start living life in the here and now.

I was able to let go, though it took me a while to do it. Like twenty years. And in the meantime there were more family deaths and divorces and remarriages to add to the heap.

Everybody has had some terrible thing that happened in the past, be it five, ten, or thirty five years ago. Ask. You won't find anybody that has had a perfect life. But the one's that are presently the happiest are the ones that don't put any blame on the situations.

After I let go and stopped blaming, I could start remembering all the wonderful things that had happened and it was truly liberating.

I never had a trauma because I wasn't able to say goodbye to my Mom before she was killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street. I was sad, but not traumatized. Besides, I absolutely believe that I will see her again, in one form or another. That still makes me happy to think about.


IM Able said...

Such a powerful sentiment. It takes great courage to release events of the past and move forward. I think there is something instinctual and evolutionary about carrying fears and pain forward, yet it is our choice to reject that an let it go. But it certainly is not easy. I work with families every day picking up the pieces in wakes of divorce, abuse, disappointment, and poverty. And the irony of the metaphor is that often leaving those pieces on the ground and walking away is a large part of healing. Thanks for reminding me of this this morning.

Shauna said...

this is just the most wonderfully wise post in the universe :) xx

Anonymous said...

Many people think that "forgive" means "forget", and they don't want to forget the fear, the anger, the resentment that... keep them alive.

Facing all that is not easy, often it may seem a too easy solution to many... But it works, and your wise words, and your life, are a crystal clear example.