The Sacred Practice of Forgiveness: The Fourth Energy!

It’s through our relationships with those close to us that we get to work out our spiritual growth — and I am no exception! 

My relationship with my mother was a container in which I received some of my deepest hurts and also have experienced the redemptive power of forgiveness, which is our Fourth Energy, Love. 

From my earliest days, I had such a love-hate relationship with my mom. She was a very complicated, confusing woman. She was absolutely riddled with contradictions. Like, if someone rang the doorbell and we weren’t expecting company, we had to immediately get away from the windows so no one could see us. But at the same time, she loved to show us off and have us look a certain way, dressed up like little dolls with curled hair and perfect clothing. 

She wanted to control everything — and me being me, I wanted to rebel, so we’d butt heads constantly. I was supposed to behave according to her rules. But at the same time, she’d be totally lenient in other ways. 

I remember wanting to skip school because I hadn’t studied for a test. She made up an illness for me and let me stay home. She was both my friend and tormentor — the definition of “frenemy.” 

When our family finances fell apart, the whole family fell apart. We were all a mess, emotionally and financially and spiritually. I was deep in my addiction to drugs and alcohol, and nearly lost my life to my addiction. I was out of control and out of balance in so many ways, including in respect to my fourth energy center, where love, compassion, and forgiveness reside. 

Creating a Balance of Love and Compassion

Through my recovery, though, I created some physical and emotional distance from my mom, and started to move more into a balanced energy. 

She tried to guilt me back into an unhealthy relationship with her, and I felt like a horrible daughter for putting up boundaries. I still didn’t understand her. I still was hurt and resentful, and told myself a story of being a victim of her bad behavior. 

But I was slowly beginning to pull apart the threads of what was “her” and what was “me” so I could separate and create my own life

When she got brain cancer a few years after our family’s financial collapse, our relationship still was not the stuff of movies (at least, not happy movies!)

I had so much anger and resentment about the way she’d raised me and the rules that I had had to live by. But through my spiritual practice, I began to see our relationship from a different viewpoint, one that let go of the idea of victim and victimizer. I was slowly learning compassion. 

I didn’t learn until this time the roots of my mother’s fear. As I mentioned in my last blog my grandfather was killed in a concentration camp in Dachau, and my grandmother was killed during a bombing in Berlin. My mother was adopted by a Christian family and told to pretend she was Christian. She lived in desperate fear of being discovered and killed for who she was. 

No wonder she carried that deep-seated fear with her to Canada, and raised her children in an emotional stew of fear and worry! She was terrified that if anything about her — or her daughters — was different, it could literally lead to our death. 

Forgiveness Is in Your Hands

I came to the point where I wanted to have love and forgiveness in my life more than I wanted to have blame and resentment and victimhood. I took to heart the statement that it is better to understand than to be understood. 

I didn’t need her to change in order for me to have peace. I chose to see her as an individual dealing with her own fears and hurts. Learning her story gave me space to see her, and our relationship, differently. All the things I thought were controlling or manipulative, were actually from her deep desire to protect me. 

Just a few days before she passed, I was able to visit her in the hospital, hold her hand, and apologize for the problems I’d caused in our family by being an alcoholic. At the same time, I could also see her for who she was: A woman doing her best to keep her family safe. I told her how I could understand why she did what she did, and we made peace. I really got that she really loved me, and that all along she was being the best mom that she could be. 

Writing a New Story of Freedom Is a Choice

Today, I am so free from the burden of the past I carried so long. I’m a different person as a result of forgiving my mom, her forgiving me, and me forgiving myself for being such a difficult daughter. 

It has brought unbelievable inner peace and integration. I have a completely different story now about the way I was raised. Yeah, some of what I went through was definitely a little odd, but I can see it through a lens of compassion, and I say, “Wow, she must’ve been in a lot of fear. She was trying to keep us safe” The story I have now is I am the child of a Holocaust survivor who did the best she could to protect me. 

But at the end of the day, my understanding of her changed so dramatically that I was able to completely erase the pain. I was able to open my heart to my mother and to myself, choosing to own my part in the dance we’d been playing out and forgive myself as well as her. 

If you’re struggling with feelings of resentment and pain from the past, handle your emotions gently. You’ve been carrying a heavy burden for a long, long time. 

It may be scary to consider what your life and relationships will look like without the structure of unforgiveness. Direct healing love into those places. Recognize where you’ve been hurt. Give yourself permission to be curious and kind. 

We often accept the stories of the past without question, assuming they are 100 percent accurate and true. Be willing to allow for new interpretations, ones that move you into alignment with the greater energy of love and unconditional acceptance. 

As compassionate beings, our goal is to lessen the pain and suffering of others — and that includes yourself. 

 

 

P.S. Forgiveness is a sacred practice that transforms your experience of the world around you. 

Loneliness, depression, anxiety, low self worth, and nursing resentments may be signs that your fourth energy is out of alignment. Take this free quiz to see where your energies are out of balance — and then receive some amazing supportive resources to restore harmony! 

Take the free quiz now! 

 

Showing 16 comments
  • Nancy Drope
    Reply

    Thank you so very much for the space you hold 🙏🏻💕 I am doing the best I can.
    I will, Thy will, Your will.

  • Renee Sugar
    Reply

    Thank you Colette for the opportunity to share. I love what you said about ” not having someone else change in order for you to have peace.” Carl Jung said, -” Until you make your subconscious, conscious; it will come
    to you as fate”. This quote popped into my mind and I thought about it. Self-awareness
    is such an empowering gift/tool for life. It creates the groundwork for all relationships and primarily the one we build with ourselves becomes the formula for all other relationships.
    Our family of origin was the place where we were influenced in the deepest ways. It can take many years to unravel the knots, and untangle the cords that keep us tied to our past. What a wonderful gift to have discovered the freedom to create alternative beliefs, thoughts, once we have uncovered the truth
    there is much healing possible. Our parents only knew what they knew. I was very fortunate that I was guided to 12 step groups for families of alcoholics. My mother didn’t take that path, and my father eventually died a slow death due to alcoholism. I learned so much about myself, moved beyond the hurt, and hate I harbored for my father, and learned that he had an illness. Because I was exposed to different ways to cope with the family illness, I did learn to forgive my parents and myself.
    Today through exploring my attitudes, beliefs,
    patterns etc. I can rewrite, exchange them for new current ones. History does not have to repeat itself. I am free to decide. It does require a lot of deep self-inquiry and the willingness to own the responsibility for the part that I play in any relationship. Let it begin with me.

  • Lisa
    Reply

    I would like to give that little girl you were a big, warm, and loving hug. I would like to tell her that I saw her, I empathize with what she’s going through and love her unconditionally. You see, I was her as well.

    Bless you, Colette!

  • Inga Brereton
    Reply

    Very timely article – for which, thank you very much Colette.

    I, too, had issues with my late mother; I hated her for most of her life. However, 18 months before she died, we were able to have a proper conversation and she was able to go in peace (and I was also happy to have reconciled with her). Just wish I’d had more time with her to get to know and understand her better.

    However, this entire issue of forgiveness has now flared up again – with my only sibling – and I am really wrestling with the situation. I have never liked her and am still going through the anger phase that I think precedes moving to the next stage – although I’m not sure what this next stage might be.

    I can’t afford a therapist right now, so will be re-reading your article again – and chanting for total victory over this particular devilish function until I can truly dissolve this ball of hate that I feel.

  • Kristien
    Reply

    Hello Colette, thank you for everything and especially sharing this. I’m happy you made up with your mother before she passed. You look indeed very shiny on you videos and I know you worked very hard to get where you are now. I want to be able to forgive my mother too. The neglect i understand: without being loved, you cannot give love. Some being has to give it to you (animal or human). But the sadism, i find it very hard because i don’t really understand it.

  • Christine Haugh
    Reply

    Thank you for this message today, it could not have been more timely! Old stories, patterns and emotional experiences have come for a visit today. Being present and non-judgemental has helped–hearing that I am not alone in these experiences does also. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Thank you Colette!! Through your courses, you and your beautiful Oracle cards have helped me so much with forgiveness. I’m still working on my 4th Energy Center, but it gets better every day.

    Much love and blessings to you,
    Robin Dana

  • Kathryn
    Reply

    Your article on forgiveness has finally gotten through to me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been shifting in this direction with my relationship. I really get how the person we criticize is also wounded deeply. I can now see this person in a different light & show more compassion & love & not take things personally. I see my wounds too & my part in this dance. I am now able to open my heart & forgive that person & myself. It is a dance & I’m grateful I finally hear the song. Is not perfect always but at least I can recognize it & pause.

  • Ruby Ward
    Reply

    Your story resonated with me. I am a daughter of Holocaust survivors as well. I did not have the best relationship with my mother growing up and I can truly identify with why she was the way she was based on your story and how she was trying her best to keep us safe. I cannot imagine the horrors she endured and am very proud of her to this day (she is 98) for the superwoman that she truly is. She also lost her father and brother but was lucky enough to come out of the war with three sisters, a brother and her mother. Unfortunately my father was not as lucky and lost his entire family except for a sister that he did not remain close with as she remained in Hungary post war. I know there are a lot of ancestral traumas that I carry but I have also chosen to have them end with me so that my 2 daughters and grandchild on the way do not have to carry them as well. Thank you for sharing your story

  • teresa
    Reply

    👋💜🌸💜🙏

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. I am doing a lot of processing with childhood patterns. Your perspective fits into some of my spaces.❤

  • Fabiola
    Reply

    Absolutely correct. Only until one moves away and loves own self, forgetting the criticism etc. Then, all of a sudden life is rewarding and wonderful. Thank you

  • Barbara
    Reply

    It is my second chakra that is out of balance, probably most of my earthly life.
    It is the only thing blocking me from completion: Trust in relationships.

  • Barbara
    Reply

    My second chakra being out of balance is the only thing keeping me from completion. Trust.

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Excellent ❤️❤️❤️ Thanks so much 🙏

  • Anonymous
    Reply

    Dear Colette, I have been listening to you since during the Hayhouse days, for a few years. I still feel somewhat young but an older woman than you, preparing to be an Angel Therapist. I just want to say that I do dearly appreciate your work, your self awareness, your vulnerability, your sharing, your love based perspectives, your no ego affecting your work. Your weekly readings are so comforting and accurate. You are such a joy, and so sweet. And listening to you in the old days, or watching you on the video these days, helps me feel easy connection during this pandemic. Thank you, thank you, thank you—–for sharing you. Many Blessings, Terri

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