This famous quote from Oprah Winfrey on Forgiveness, "True forgiveness is when you can say, thank you for that experience." never really resonated with me.
I didn't deny it but it just hadn't been my experience until I starting digging deep in my forgiveness journey. What led me to this is seeing every experience as a gift. Not easy, I know. It is something I still struggle with. The fact that I've experienced it more than once makes it easier to get to. I've learned that it is easier fro me to forgive and it is indeed true forgiveness when I can see what I learned from this experience.
The Experience I'm thankful for with my mom
Recently, I published my own cookbook, which is an e-book and at first I wasn't planning on selling it on Amazon as it was just a small project that came to mind. I love cooking and am really into clean eating and wellness, and people constantly ask for my recipes when I share photos of my food on social media and also when they've had it. That's how it started and I recall when I shared my plans with my parents, they were like, what do you mean you're going to write a cookbook???? While they were supportive after that comment, it appears they were wary if I was qualified enough to write a cookbook. It bothered me but I moved on with my plans. I'm a perfectionist who is still in recovery so this wasn't an easy task but I did finished and published the book.
A few days after the book was published on Amazon, I offered a copy to my parents. When my mom started reviewing it, she called me to ask me a few questions about a recipe and made some comments about some ways I had written some things and the format I used in a recipe. She said: "You need to fix it before you publish it. I know people who are saying they want to get it. You cannot sell it like that." I was hurt and didn't say much before I hung up the phone with her. I was upset that night and started panicking for a moment as the book was already published. I reached out to a friend and fellow entrepreneur and she was very supportive and understanding of how I felt. While a part of me didn't see the big deal in what she was saying, the perfectionist in me started its rant.
I went to bed thinking one more thing I need to add to my forgiveness journey as I was getting ready to lead one in a few weeks. I needed to forgive my mom for not acknowledging my work and going straight into criticism. I prayed and meditated before falling asleep and the next day I woke up feeling better and thought about how my perfectionism had come from my childhood. My parents' standards for me are high and I grew up thinking I cannot mess up on anything, I have to be perfect, everything I do needs to be perfect. I then understood where my mom was coming from and this was passed on to her as well from her own childhood.
Thank you to my mom!
Once I got that, I chose to let go of the perfectionist side of me and not allow it to diminish my excitement for my accomplishment. I was more determined to market my cookbook and move forward with my other projects. I also realized that I didn't have to forgive her as I already did as I thank her for that experience. I spoke to a friend and she told me that while publishing the book is an accomplishment, it was more about who I became in the process. Indeed, I was able to let go of my perfectionism and let things be, and for this I thank my mom for this experience. The next time I spoke to her and told her the book was published as she read it, she made light of it and we continued talking about other things.
Thank you to my ex-partner!
For a long time I thought I was ready for a romantic/committed relationship and always thought the guys I was attracting weren't, were the ones with the issues.....But it wasn't until the end of a relationship that I started doing some inner work. I got that I was myself afraid of having a relationship. I wasn't ready, willing to put in the work, and they were just showing me a part of me that I wasn't conscious of. And for that I'm thankful because it pushed me to start working on clearing my own blocks to love and doing my own work.
I also learned from a prior relationship that I needed to trust my intuition as the signs were there that this person couldn't be trusted and I ignored them. I take responsibility for this and am thankful for the experience, as painful as it was it because it thought me to listen to my intuition.
Tweetable:It is easier for me to forgive when I am thankful for the experience. That's true forgiveness indeed.
Dig deep, do the work to find your blessings.
If you are willing to dig deep, see the darkness in you, allow yourself to be cracked open in order to bring in the light, you will then thank your ex-partners and other people in your life for the experiences they brought into your life. As I was reminded during my own relationship coaching, every relationship prepares you for the next one.
People who come into your life no matter how long they remain come to teach you something. I know many times, it's hard to get that but once you can move past the hurt and pain and really ask yourself, what is this here to teach me? You will learn the lessons, receive the blessings, and thank them. Even if you choose not to tell them in person, you can be thankful for what you learned as it will allow you to grow.
Every experience in our lives is made for us to learn, grow, and love more.
I want you to think about someone you are willing to forgive even if the experience was a painful or a situation in your life that is unresolved, ask yourself this question: What is this here to teach me?
I learned something from Author, Neale Donald Walsh when he said in one of his messages from God, to not ask why but ask what. Often we ask why did this happen? or why is this happening? I invite you to start asking yourself: what is this here to teach me? or what do I need to learn from this? Borrowing this line from I believe it was Oprah on her Oprah, The Life You Want Tour or one of her collaborators who said: "Life is always speaking to you." It's the truth, let's to our best to always remember this and asked life what is it telling us.
Life loves you, trust and know that you will be answered.
I'd love to hear from you, please share your own experience getting to thank you for the experience in your own forgiveness journey or share your own journey with me in the comments section.
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Love and light!