This is a piece I wrote this past February, when I was struggling with some of my emotions. I thought I’d share it on the blog before posting it on the Survivor Creativity Page. I imagine many survivors can relate to these feelings!
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“I do not want to be angry,” she said. “I want to live in peace.”
“So, live in peace.”
“I am not.”
“Ah. Must you be at peace to live in peace?”
“I— But— My heart . . . ”
“It hurts. I have grief. I have rage. I have . . . shame. I want to forgive. Really, I do. But, I . . . can’t.”
“Then you are not ready.”
“So many buts! You cannot forgive until you are ready to forgive. And when you’re ready, forgiveness will happen of its own accord.
“It seems to me you are trying very hard to atone for something that is not yours. Stop punishing yourself. Stop hating yourself. Only then will you be at peace. It is yourself that you need to forgive. It is yourself that you need to love. Until you do that, you will be at war.
“Do not let what has happened turn you against yourself. Do not let his violence create more violence within you. Do not let his actions make you hate yourself. Let him bear his own shame, carry his own burden. Do not carry it for him. Cast it aside. You have your own life to live.
“You imagine he has contaminated you with his hatred. But you are the one who is holding onto it, letting it root and grow inside of you. Let go of his hatred. That is not who you are.
“You were created from love for love. Remember your light. Always remember your light. You are light.
“Shine through his darkness. Shine through your darkness. Let yourself be light. Let yourself be.
“You do not need to wage war against darkness and vanquish it. There is no need for battle or endless struggle. Let go of that. Set down your burden, and simply let yourself shine. There is no battle to win, no demon to defeat. The only war is with yourself.
“Struggle does not make you more worthy. It doesn’t earn you love, happiness or peace. It only wears you out and keeps you from remembering who you truly are. So— Stop fighting. Step out of the struggle. Let yourself live. Give yourself the love and acceptance you so desperately crave. That is your peace. So simple, yet we make it so hard. Let it be easy.”
“Thank you,” she said gratefully.
And, smiling, walked into the light.