Forgiveness is Confusing

Milli Fox, Toronto based blogger focused on self help and self love ❤️ You know those times where someone accidentally hurts you and you feel a sudden rush of anger. Maybe they stepped on your toe or banged into your arm, and even though you know they didn’t mean too you’re still pissed. You didn’t deserve that, why were they so careless?

You know it’s illogical to be angry, but that doesn’t stop you from feeling the feelings. It’s almost an automatic response. I’m the victim, I have a right.

I feel as though this situation is parallel in so many ways to when people hurt us emotionally. There are so many factors that play into it, of course, but most of the time (even in the worst ways) people who hurt us emotionally never intended to. It’s the same carelessness, shortsightedness, and self-involvement that causes both types of inflictions.

The people who hurt us are being pushed and pulled by so many other forces that were almost just an unlucky canoe rocking in the wake of their “shit”. I can pretty much guarantee it’s not about you.

Even still, it doesn’t stop us from feeling the hurt, and being pissed.

So, we feel the feelings. We need to. We obviously can’t shove it under the rug. That can only make things worse.

But sometimes we come around to the point of wanting to let it go. We come around to the point of wanting to forgive.

Forgiveness, however, can be a tricky thing. It has been for me, anyway. On one hand, you hear things like “forgiveness will set you free”. But deep inside you fear that giving in and forgiving will dismiss the hurt that was caused.

It almost feels like letting someone off the hook.

Although if we return to the concept I introduced at the beginning of this blog, we can begin to look at it in a similar vein.

We can circle back around to logic, but instead of it all coming from the head- we can also pull from the heart.

In the bigger picture, forgiveness is seeing the situation as larger than just you and the person who hurt you. It’s recognizing that the person who hurt you is much more than all the programming that led them to do so.

Love is that the core of everyone, and to be honest, the most painful part of it all is believing anything otherwise.

Does it not instantly soften you to think of people as inherently good, but just subject to shitty conditions? It does for me.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a still a battlefield in my mind. My ego-self still wants to be pissed. After all, the person I’m working to forgive is the one that was supposed to be my foundational source of safety, my mother. Instead she spent her life derailing mine.

A huge part of me still feels the sting. But when I realize that it’s not just me as my “ego representative” forgiving her “ego representative” and that it’s not me losing, I feel relief. When I realize that it’s the deep seated self that lives at the core of me, under my thoughts, under my wild emotions fueled by hormones and external conditions. The one that’s there in those quiet spaces between the whirlwind of human existence, I feel relief.

When I know that the work I’m doing to forgive is me choosing love over anger, I feel the work is larger than the relationship between her and I alone.

Forgiveness is choosing to recognize that same core in another person, regardless of all the shit that’s built up on top of it over the years. Like a tumbleweed of ca-ca.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to let that person have access to you in the same way ever again. In fact, probably best to learn a bit more about setting healthy boundaries from the experience.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you have to be “nice” or “friendly” it just has to come from the heart.

Forgiveness is FOR YOU. But it’s also for everyone around you because anger and hate in your heart are never neutral. They ARE hurting someone. Believing people are inherently bad only puts a negative filter on your entire outlook on the world. And when a negative outlook or a bitter heart is your starting point, that will affect every interaction you have with every person you ever encounter, even if it’s just in the most minuscule ways.

I’m not saying you have to open your heart to everyone you pass by- in fact, quite the opposite. People need to earn your trust and the position in your life to have that kind of backstage access.

I’m just saying the work of forgiveness isn’t like a game of tennis where one person ultimately must lose. I think it’s noble work. It’s honourable work. And don’t forget, it is WORK.

It takes time, but all things that are worth it do. So as you rub your funny bone, even though it’s never funny; and you swear under your breath. Have a little chat with yourself about it, or 26463737 chats over several years. But I suggest you keep revisiting the idea, even if you only take tiny steps towards it. A step towards forgiveness is always one in the right direction.

Do you have someone you’re havinf tepuvle forgiving??



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WTF is Surrender?

Some days I feel like crying but it’s not all bad. I feel sad, I feel overwhelmed. I have an ever apparent lump in my throat- but it’s not about my life.

It’s about the world and the complexity of it all. I feel overheleming gratitude, at the same time as the sadness. I feel powerlessness but also an incredible force within me at the same time.

I think this conflict comes from feeling myself both as an individual and as a part of something much bigger than myself at the same time. When I feel like trying to change things as the small, earthly fleck of a human being that I am, I feel so hopeless.

But when I tap into the undercurrent inside me, when I get quiet and I feel connected, then I feel like things are infinitely possible.

I can see why there is so much anxiety, because in my world, trying to force and DO makes me feel less powerful. The more I realize that surrendering to instinct and paying attention to the signs and guidance right in front of my face, the more hope and peace I feel.

This doesn’t mean I believe in doing nothing. It means the doing comes from a less feverish place. It comes from a deep well of knowledge with a very carefully laid out plan that I just can’t see in its entirety yet.

There was a time when I thought giving up my individual plans to just go with life as it comes to me made me feel very anxious. How could I have the assurance that I could become everything that I want for myself in this life time if I don’t exert force?

How can I achieve if I don’t grind?

I think the desperate energy that goes along with all of that ALWAYS puts a big halt on progress and leaves you spinning your wheels in the mud. From my experience, every single time I’ve let go of the desperate attachment to how things should be, and the exact path I felt I should take towards something I wanted, things started to show up on their own and everything started to fall into place and align as if it were magic.

Who knows why we always forget that surrender isn’t giving up, who knows why we always go back to tensing up all of our muscles as the default.

All I know is that there is a shift in the air. And as nervous as I am to start opening up about this side of me- and all the “woo-woo” (which by the way, science is really starting to support)- I know it’s for the good and I’m compelled to do it.

“Surrender isn’t about being passive, it’s about being open”

-Danielle LaPorte



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All My Moving Parts

Milli Fox, self-help blogger focused on self-love and healing from trauma. Based in Toronto, Ontario. I’ll admit it, I think in black and white most of the time. Usually I’m classifying whether something is good or bad, right or wrong. You know, that super harsh kind of thinking that mostly leads to being hyper critical of oneself? This girl!

I recently began a new therapy journey. I’ve committed to go twice a week, ongoing, to help me deal with a lot of the trauma I dealt with as a child that’s lead me to some unhealthy thought and behaviour patterns (black and white thinking included). My therapist started using IFS (Internal Family Systems) with me to try to help me see all of the different coping mechanisms and their triggers that have formed over the years.

Up until now, I’ve been very ashamed of some of the parts of myself. I’ve judged myself pretty harshly for ways that I react to situations, even seeing it happen in the moment and not being able to stop myself. I know a lot of these behaviour patterns formed as protective mechanism in response to trauma and abuse that I experienced, but it doesn’t stop me from hating on myself for them.

I read recently that although these behaviours may have stopped serving us long ago- we actually shouldn’t hate on them, we should recognize the role they played in trying to protect us and show them some gratitude before we send them off for good. I think I like this idea, and the IFS therapy is showing me how that’s possible.

What we did was have me go through all the different “characters” that make up my entire self. My therapist coached me through it but then I continued the exercise on my own.

Then we dove deeper into one of my parts that I called the Bossy Teacher/Drill Sergeant and we broke down WHY this part of me comes out, what it’s aim is and what it’s biggest fear is if it doesn’t show up. (It’s the part of me that seems to show up most often and the part of me that I like and understand the least). Today I finally realized that this part of me shows up because I’m afraid if I don’t go into this mode, i won’t be able to handle life and everything with crumble around me, I’ll lose control and I’ll become my mother. Woah.

Basically my worst fear.

Logically, I know it’s so silly. I know I won’t become my mom if I’m nurturing instead of cold and tough-lovey. Logically, I know if I show weakness my entire world won’t come crashing down around me. But in my emotional, animal brain, I’m super duper afraid of this and it feels VERY necessary. It’s my go-to, knee-jerk reaction to other people’s needs.

Maybe I feel I can barely handle my own needs, so if someone else needs me I better toughen up and get shit done.

ANYWAY! Looking through all the different parts of myself like this, as if they are players in a cast, helps me feel a little bit less judgemental towards them. It helps me to see that just because they are a part of me, doesn’t mean they ARE me or define me. It also helps me to see how complex I am as a human being. Each of my parts has it’s helpful aspects and it’s hindrances and none can simply be labeled good or bad.

When I started therapy, just over a month ago, I didn’t have a clue how I would start to tackle these deeply engrained thought patterns- but I’m really starting to feel hopeful. That I won’t always have to carry these burdens and that my load can be lighter and I can let go of so much of this.

So much so that I’ve been feeling giddy after my sessions!

I’m really looking forward to the future in a way that I never have before. ❤️



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Deserve is a Dangerous Word

Milli Fox author, blogger and entrepreneur in Toronto, ONTARIO

Entitlement. It’s a big issue. I think it’s one of the biggest issues we’re facing at the moment. You can do anything, you can have it all, anything is possible- therefore you deserve it.

“Self love will strengthen your decision making when it comes to deciding who deserves your love.”

-r.h.sin

I read this quote and it stirred things in me. Hmmm yes- self love. That’s a big one. But I think a lot of us are confusing self-love (like the real deal) with ego and entitlement.

Doesn’t everyone deserve love? I don’t know do they? What if you’ve committed atrocities against those you claim to love over and over again? Does that person you claim to love owe you their love?

Then it makes me wonder, what is love? Really. Who defines what it looks like to love someone? Is it only in your heart? Is it an action that needs to be felt by the other person or can it simply be sent from a distance without overt communication?

Does a parent deserve a child’s love? Does a child deserve a parent’s?

I guess it can all be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Who really “deserves” anything?

I think the world is harsh but because we live in an instant gratification society we all feel that because something seems within reach that we automatically deserve it. Because do-you boo boo.

But I also believe in hard work and proving your character.

I truly believe you don’t owe anybody anything.

When it comes down to it. There is no “oweing” or “deserving”. There is only communication, setting realistic expectations and making sure to work towards all parties feeling heard, understood and seen.

I realize this is all pretty vague and maybe even jumps between ideas. But the main idea here is- I think we’re all living in a bit of an inflated world. propped up by crazy high moral standards.

Everyone wants to be a virtual crusader.

Sometimes the answers aren’t clear and I think it’s ok to accept that. Sometlmes broad statements just done work. Ok maybe a lot of the time.

I just always feel very wary when I hear the world “deserve”

Maybe worthiness is a better choice. We’re all definitely worthy of love.

What’s your take?



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Repeat After Me: I Am Not My Mother

Well are you?

Depends on what you mean when you say it. Are you the guardian of your own well being? Are you the nurturer of your spirit and soul? Are you sheparding your own growth as an individual?

If yes, then maybe you are your own mother- but you are not YOUR mother, or the woman who raised you. Say it again.

We all have so many fears about repeating the mistakes that our parents made. And as wives and mothers ourselves, we have very special fears about becoming our mothers, especially now. We judge them so harshly for their shortsightedness, their weaknesses, their insecurities and their blindspots.

But they were supposed to be perfect for us, and for our fathers and our brothers and sisters too, weren’t they?

They weren’t supposed to make us feel small or ignore us or overshadow us- or tell us things about us that weren’t true but made us believe them anyway.

And we’re still supposed to keep them on a pedestal.

The funniest thing about “the mother” is that they are untouchable, yet still the most criticized, revered, but also judged people in our world.

You only have one mother you know, you’ll regret it when she’s gone.

But will I?

I’ve written this entire post so far in the removed- but I’m about to get personal.

I have mommy issues. If you do too, you’ll get it. Cause trying to explain to anyone else who doesn’t is like trying to explain the grammatical system of a Slavic language.

The relationship I have with my mother is the most complex relationship I’ve ever and likely will ever experience. Your mother is supposed to be your world- and when she gives you a really backwards world, it affects absolutely everything.

The thing about my mother is that she held it together really well for a long time. When she was my age she was in almost the identical spot that I’m in- and that shit is scary as fuck. You’ll understand when you hear what happened next.

She had her own business, she owned a home with my father and was in a happy marriage, she was pregnant with her second baby, she was healthy and fit and everything seemed to be coming up roses.

Then her mother died. Two weeks before my brother was born, and everything crashed.

I learned recently that my grandmother had almost the exact same experience. Her mother died when she was pregnant with my mother. If you’ve ever heard of ancestral trauma- that probably sounds pretty fascinating.

The funny thing is, when my grandmother was on her death bed- she said, don’t treat Emily the same way I treated you….As you may infer, they also didn’t have a great relationship. My mom left home at 15.

I think what happened after that could have easily been labelled postpartum depression. But it was likely just the straw that broke the camels back… along with some insane timing. First came the depression, then the drugs, then the suicidal tendencies and the cycle went from there.

How can such a vibrant, smart, funny, strong woman go from having everything to being a skeletal shell of who I used to call mom?

I guess it goes back pretty far.

The thing is, I’ve tried everything. I’ve spent so many years trying to repair this relationship. But everytime I laugh, or tell a joke or sometimes when I look in the mirror I see her.

No matter how much a parent can hurt you- it’s so hard to cut off all feeling. It’s the same thing with any abuser isn’t it?

When it’s your own mother it’s incredibly hard to let yourself go and to live life freely not shackled to the what if’s. What if she gets better, what if it’s different this time, what if I do regret it?

I’m coming to this crux, because I know she’s not well. I know she doesn’t have much longer and I’m so afraid. We’re planning to have another baby- but the problem is, I don’t trust her.

I don’t trust her for a second. And I keep hearing Brene Brown’s voice in my head saying don’t show people your “stuff” if you don’t trust them.

She has always and will always hurt me. She’s volatile. I can’t have her near my family.

So the choice is this, do I let her in at all or do I keep my walls up and protect my fortress? I have no way of knowing what’s right and neither does anyone else. It’s all about boundaries- but what are the right boundaries to set and how do you know when to give a little? When to have a little more compassion as to not seem like an ice queen?

How do you not become your mother?

I’m preparing for a battle and I don’t know whether to go in guns blazing or to lay down my weapons.

All I know is- I am not my mother. Whatever I decide, whatever YOU do or say to try to help me with this decision, no one is my mother and that’s the reality of the situation.



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