The divorce from my family is finalized.
For decades I accepted the sarcastic criticism, the frequent shaming both publicly and privately, the shunning, the ever-present better-than-thou sneers—I would say holier-than-thou but there was nothing holy about any of it. You’ll have to trust me on that.
Over many years I had hoped geographical distancing would do the trick, which I exercised ad nauseam. But I was like a homing pigeon. Once a victim always a victim, I thought. The lock hold on my soul seemed impenetrable. Would I ever find the courage to escape this vicious cycle.
The happy news is that I did. It took years of building self esteem, digging deep, doing an inside job, having faith and courage to go where I’d never been before. I had to step off the proverbial cliff. And, this is important, I had to accept that many people wouldn’t like my new resolve and harsh judgments would surely follow.
Step by tiny step, my growing confidence allowed me to begin the process of letting go of people, places, and things that did not fan the flames of my better self. If I lost sight of that better self in the presence of someone, I let them go. Sounds cold and ruthless, right? It isn’t easy or pain free. But the peace I was seeking came to me over time when I learned these and other boundaries.
I’m not an easy person. I have a plethora of unsavory flaws. And I drag behind me a garbage bag of darkness. Through forgiveness, that bag gets smaller every day and my step becomes lighter. I have developed an ever-deepening love and respect for myself, which in truth, is all I really need.