Recently while writing my book, Came to Believe, A Journey of Trust, Faith and Perseverance, I learned the power of forgiveness. Most of us have done something in our lives where we felt if we were just forgiven we would feel so much better! Today, I am going to talk about a different side of forgiveness; the side of the forgiver, more specifically, when the forgiver hasn't received an apology.
I learned that TedTalk was coming to Pasadena and that I had an opportunity to apply to be a speaker! I do not have much speaking experience outside of my Alanon meetings, but about 1.5 years ago I had the opportunity to tell my transformational story at Gabby Bernstein's Spirit Junkie Master Class (Level 2). After I spoke, one of my Spirit Junkie sisters said, "That was TedTalk worthy!" I didn't believe her at the time. Now I do believe my story is worthy to stand on the TedTalk stage in Pasadena!
What topic would I pitch to TedTalk in my application to speak? I had two ideas; manifestation and forgiveness. My super power is manifestation, but I had a feeling the world needed to hear a much deeper topic. Forgiveness could heal so much anger and resentment that is going on during these times. I was driving home to Arizona to see my Mom last week when I asked for a sign. I said, "Angels, what should I speak about for my TedTalk?" I turned on Gabby Bernstein's Judgment Detox on Audible in my car where she talked to me about forgiveness for 20 minutes as I drove through my Grandma's hometown of Cherry Valley, CA (another sign) on the way to Arizona. I thought to myself, "Wow, my angels work fast!"
(Picture below is of a cactus in my Mom's front
yard during desert blooming season.)
For those who read my spiritual memoir, in Chapter 8 I asked the question, "Have you ever apologized and forgiven someone that you had waited for an amends your whole life?" That was me. I had accepted my Mom's alcoholism (she just celebrated 12 years of sobriety.) I had compassion, so much love and compassion for her that I was able to forgive her for roughly the 26 years that she drank during my life without receiving an apology from her. After my Mom read my book, we became even closer. She was able to hear what it was like for me growing up in a home of alcoholism, without a father in the home and being a survivor of incest by my adopted older brother. Once I was able to forgive her, my resentment and anger dissipated and I became free. My deep healing work continued, and I was lighter and more grounded. All this forgiveness offered me. By the way, she is so proud of me and my book.
It's been about six months since my book came out. I am home in Arizona, where I grew up to help my Mom celebrate her 71st birthday. It wasn't even ten minutes before I walked in the door when she called me into her room and shut the door. She said, "Now Tara, I need to talk to you about something I have been thinking about." I responded, "Uh oh, what's wrong?" She sat on the bed and took my hand made her amends to me. She apologized for her drinking and the unfortunate things that happened to me as a result. She ended her amends with, "you turned out to be a really special person."
I realize some people may not ever receive this kind of powerful amends from a loved one who hurt them; I am very lucky. The point is, by my choosing to forgive my Mom before she had the courage to apologize to me was all I needed to put the past behind me and heal. This amends that my Mom made, well it's the cherry on top of what's going to be a pretty compelling TedTalk!
Who do you need to forgive? I encourage you to get out a journal and write the names down. That is the first step, acknowledgment. The next step is to be willing to forgive. You can ask your angels or whomever you call your Higher Power for help with this. This forgiveness doesn't need to be a big conversation with the other person; it can simply be a change in attitude. In Alanon, we say, "Changed attitudes aid recovery." By my change in attitude, it created a shift in me and my Mom and everything just snowballed from there into a miraculously healed relationship. Let's all agree to make forgiveness a part of our daily sadhana.