The actual Miracle associated with Personal Forgiveness.
Our hearts melted into one another’s in instant recognition throughout that first hug. Two bodies reunited after 36 years…two spirits that had never been separated. The gap of time was instantly filled during that certain moment of reunion. The bond of mother and daughter can never be broken. Only shame, guilt, and remorse fed the fire of apparent separation. Only forgiveness would dowse the flames and complete the circle of love.
Thirty-six years before, I had given birth to my first daughter and then released her for adoption. Struggling with a heart broken by your choice to honor my parents’ wishes that I not marry my first love, I emerged from as an “unwed mother” with emotional scars so great that my only defense was to bury them deeply, get my entire life like nothing had happened, and go on. So successful was my denial of the gaping hole within my heart that, since the years passed, I possibly could not remember my child’s birth date.
How was it possible then, some 30 years, four children and two marriages later, that I possibly could find myself in a class of spiritual counseling students that had six other women who shared exactly the same closely held past that I did? We were all birth mothers a course in miracles apple podcast. Our secret became our magnet, and we began to meet and vision a ministry at our church that might prayerfully support all people who are affected by adoption: adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents. It absolutely was a noble idea, and one that will require that individuals do our own healing work in order to be open to others.
And so we began the excruciating journey of dredging up our pain. We individually faced our own demons — guilt, shame, blame, anger and self-recrimination — at whatever pace we felt capable of moving, and collectively we prayed for each other and dozens of whose pain we share. We created the Adoption Triad Ministry at The Agape Center of Truth in Los Angeles and invited people touched by adoption in the future and tell their stories and interact prayer each month. We opened the way to allow each member of the triad — adoptee, adoptive parent and birth parent — to dialog with one other, seeking an knowledge of the unique emotional problems that each carries. And many of us searched to locate our child and/or parent. My decision to try to find my daughter opened up my personal Pandora’s box.
It absolutely was in that atmosphere of prayer and spiritual guidance that I felt safe enough to manage my own personal walls of defense and denial and try to bring them down. The procedure was agonizing. Not only was I delving to the shame and pain I had caused my parents and siblings by being a pregnant teenager, I was allowing to surface the hatred I held for myself for not having fought for what I wanted…my mate and my baby. What I was inviting into conscious awareness – and ultimately acceptance – were the shame and guilt of getting sinned, based on the church of my childhood along with the mores of society in 1961. I was admitting that I was filled with rage at my parents for interrupting my fantasy to really have the perfect family, and at my boyfriend for not having fought harder to truly save me out of this torturous sentence of a banished offender. Throughout the look for my daughter, I was required on numerous occasions to recall those difficult circumstances surrounding her birth, and it absolutely was all I possibly could do to keep from passing out. As I unleashed one tidal wave after another of suppressed feelings, I was constantly on the verge of emotional overwhelm. What kept me going was my deep, deep desire to locate my daughter, to tell her just how much I loved her, to generally share with her that she was conceived in love, and to complete the circle that began with her birth.
And so I searched…and I prayed…and I started to forgive. As I progressed through the classes in spirituality that were preparing me to be a spiritual counselor and prayer practitioner, I came to understand that without forgiveness I’d be unable to free myself from the maze of negative self-judgment which I had permitted to tarnish the wonder of the birth of my daughter. I understood that when I were to welcome her with true open arms now, I had to get the good within my being her birth mother. I knew that the healing miracle I so dearly sought was possible only when I released my guilt, shame and blame in regards to the circumstances surrounding her getting into this world.
“Seventy times seven.” Jesus admonishes us that this is the way often we must forgive in order to be free — in other words, as frequently because it takes. I was well on my solution to completing my forgiveness of one other actors within my drama — my parents, my first love, my church, my society. Now it absolutely was time and energy to forgive myself. I had held myself on the cross of self-blame and shame for way too long that I wasn’t sure how exactly to let myself off.
I started by feeling great compassion for the teenager I was who was so in love and so passionate about life, and who only wanted to see and express that love by any means she knew how. I listened to that 19-year-old’s pain of profound loss and of feeling that she didn’t belong. That pain have been so severe that she had essentially shut herself faraway from trusting her very own beautiful heart. I heard her, consoled her, shared with her just how much I loved her and that I wouldn’t let that kind of pain happen to her again. The I AM of me (my God Self) forgave her for just about any belief she held about being a “bad girl,” a “sinner,” an “undesirable good-for-nothing,” and a “reason behind pain to others.”
The months — and yes, years — that I have spent forgiving the layers of self-recrimination and loathing I felt for myself have truly unburdened me. Freeing myself from the shackles of the seemingly unforgivable and unforgiving past has truly given me a new life. The attitude I now hold toward myself, my family, my first love and my pregnancy is only gratitude, gratitude for among the greatest growth experiences of my life. By visiting terms with my past, the gift of compassion was ignited in me — something special I will and do readily share with dozens of I teach and counsel. The miracle experienced from my commitment to forgiveness may be the profound love I share with my first-born daughter, a love activated as soon as we hugged that’s continued to enrich my entire life ever since.