Forgiving ME

It’s been two weeks since I wrote part seven of the Confessions series, yet it feels like months! Time is really different these days. I used to blink an eye and somehow years had passed. Now, what seems like eons to me is merely a few days or weeks. I love that!

If you’d like to read this series in it’s entirety, the beginning is here.

When I left off,  I had discovered that my wrongful, negative opinion of myself during adolescence had lingered on (subconsciously) and was perhaps a major cause of my self-destructive behavior throughout life.

Looking back on my story truly IS like watching a movie. I see confusion and struggles, hope and triumphs—all spiraling around chaotically—until finally, everything merges together, and the glorious climax is produced. That feel good moment, when it all comes together and makes sense.

That’s how I see it anyway.

Confessions: Part Eight

Shortly after writing A Child of God, I proceeded to do steps four and five of the program, which requires you to write down your resentments, find your own fault in these matters, and then share these thoughts with another human being (my sponsor).

It was extremely difficult to list resentments. I rarely hold a grudge. I’m an optimist, so I always look for the good in every situation, and I’m really good at moving on. Honestly, there is only ONE person that I ever felt real hatred towards. And I had already forgiven him.

I wish I could write about all that went on during my marriage; how one person could torment another human being both while living together, AND in the five to ten years following. Even if I COULD document it all, I wouldn’t share it here. I’m pretty sure that’s not what God would want.

I spent time on my inventory and came up with a pretty good list. Obviously, it takes TWO to tango. So, I listed my part; how I had been so hateful and how I had reacted in anger and behaved badly myself. Like I said , I’ve always been Re-active, not Pro-active. That whole era was nothing but a recipe for disaster.

Sitting down with my sponsor was nerve racking—mainly because I had to do a sex inventory. That was NOT pretty. I mean it wasn’t UGLY… it was just LONG. Sorry, I have to be honest here. Sex & love were intertwined, and I was a LOVE addict– so it’s pretty self-explanatory.

It was a gorgeous day when I met with my sponsor. We sat outside, on the covered patio of her home, and I proceeded to tell her my story. Finally… we got around to my marriage, and it was time to share MY role in the disaster. I had mentally prepared myself to hear her thoughts; about how the role I had played was much bigger or much worse than what I was willing to admit, and how I had behaved so selfishly.

That being said, when I started giving her the rundown—and she interrupted me—I was ready for the one-two punch. Shaking her head gently, and speaking with her usual soft tone, she said… “No Janet. That’s not it.”

Then, with three little words… she changed my whole perspective.

“You picked him.”

What?!? I don’t know. I feel embarrassed even writing that because I’ve always considered myself to be a smart woman. Why had I never thought of that? Blinded by my own thoughts and perceptions perhaps?

I wish I could give you a visual of my feelings that day. It was very similar to stumbling on the word angst that day when I was writing about my inner child. Only this time, it was like the weight of the world, that had somehow taken up residency on my shoulders, was magically dissolving… drifting away… like little musical notes floating up to the heavens.

It’s safe to say that I had been holding on to a TON of guilt. I had made many mistakes during my marriage and there was no way I could ever go back and undo what I had done, and that guilt must have been eating away at my soul for years.

What I realized that day with my sponsor is that I really HAD forgiven him…

…but I had never forgiven MYSELF.

So, God’s timing was perfect. Within a matter of weeks I was embracing and loving my inner child, and now—with the help of my sponsor—I saw that the biggest mistake I had made in regards to that horrible marriage was entering into it in the first place. And it was true! I KNEW something was wrong from the very beginning. My gut had given me so MANY warnings, and I had ignored ALL of the red flags. And no, her words didn’t change things, but it changed how I looked at those things.

My eyes were opening up… and I was beginning to see LIGHT!


  1. Another valuable lesson, Janet! Thanks for sharing it. The root causes of our problems are hidden by a cacophony of subsequent events or emotions that choke our self reflections and make it seemingly impossible to deal with it. While the solution can be simple in the end. But I guess that is what good counselors/sponsors are there for. But being consciously aware of this might help with oneself finding a way to peace. So glad you found your way out, Janet, and so glad I’ve met you here.Marcus

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    1. Thank you! Wow… you said that well. You should be a writer! 🙂 So grateful I’ve met you too. I see this whole blogging journey as more growth. Never did I imagine it would lead to rekindling my love of photography. So weird. Weird and wonderful. Thanks for your comment. I didn’t comment on your last post because I was at a loss for words I guess. Loss is hard for me to deal with, but your tribute was wonderful.

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  2. I feel like we are stuck forever in a moment in time until we can forgive all parties involved. It holds us back. I know there are some relationships that I have to try to forgive over and over again because just when I think I’m past them, I begin to ruminate on some awful thing they did. That’s not forgiveness. I am still being held hostage to the situation until I can truly let it go completely.

    Thanks for making me think about who I need to forgive, Janet.


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  3. This post touched me deeply- as one who also ignored all the yellow and big red flags- sold myself out when I entered into the relationship and kept selling off pieces of my soul by staying. I’ve forgiven both of us. We are friends today. I believe it is through our forgiveness that we are made whole. Thank you for sharing Janet. Hugs and ❤

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  4. Wow packed with amazing realizations and relatable insights… You are so good at writing I never tire reading about your story.

    I like the beginning that life is now savored by you and you are making it count and its meaningful. No longer years go by but only days . That says a lot about the good God has done and is doing in you to make your life matter and count and to make that difference in this world.

    Love you sis

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    1. I feel very fortunate that I was blessed with the optimism I have. It’s definitely God given because it’s not something learned you know. It just is. I totally understand what you mean and in that ONE circumstance, I really have to look the other way because if I don’t… yes I would be VERY angry still. I sure hope you are doing better! xoxo

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    2. Yeah I looked at your wilderness site and saw I had missed two posts before! I now check you and Marcus each day because you both seem to get buried in my reader. That’s unacceptable. 🙂 xo

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