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why forgive even when it hurts so bad

The holiday season is upon us and there might be a few unsuspected surprises along the way.

Such as being with someone you call ‘family’ allowing yourself to be fully open and vulnerable perhaps even… only to hear them say something deeply painful.

The automatic reaction of fighting what is in order to avoid feeling pain will only results in feeling drained, alone and even more hurt.

I know. I am an expert at avoiding conflict, running away, cutting ties with people who ‘hurt’ me.

I come from a family of deep conflict. No one ever got along. Things were always chaotic especially around the holiday season.

Without tools and determination to choose love over and over again, reverting back to what my young mind absorbed kept happening again and again. No matter how much meditation I both taught and practiced. No matter the amount of mantras or positive affirmations I said. I reverted back to what I learned.

Until I grew my love big enough and decided to clear it all up.

And this ….is why I do it.

My sister and I are deliberately choosing different than what we were shown as children. It’s worth all the forgiveness worksheets in the world*.

Let me preface my funny  forgiveness moment with my sis by saying forgiveness doesn’t mean they are wrong and I am right – and thus from my pedestal – thus grant them forgiveness. NOT AT ALL.

In the story with my sister her request was 100% legit. Forgiveness is a tool to diffuse the energy and the thoughts behind your trigger.

And the bonus? When someone says that things that sends us reeling inside, they are helping us re-access an old wound inside, and finally release it. Thank them. Whatever you find on the other side is always really good stuff.

One worksheet down. Two to go.

I didn’t see it coming (one rarely does let me reassure you).  We are standing in line at the grocery store, handling cans of peas and a rack of lamb when my sister spits out really quickly as though now is the perfect time to do so, that my son really needs to eat ahead of us adults so we can have some real adult conversations during diner.

I pick up my jaw from the floor and my look must have convinced her I thought she must be kidding so she adds: My boyfriend is not going to stand it anymore, I know him.

S? I reply. You’re worried about S? Oh don’t be. I just saw him right now and we kid around. He didn’t mention anything about Hayden. No trust me I know him, she says. Ending the conversation

I feel my blood boiling inside.  Could she have picked a better moment?  All I want to do is get home and do a worksheet just to get back to my happy happy place. What a buzz killer.  I hadn’t seen my sister in 18 months. I forgot how hard communicating could really be between us.

On the way home my mind looks for proofs as to why I’m right and she’s wrong : we ate just fine last night and got to catch up while Hayden ate quietly…same thing this morning at breakfast. What is she on?  That’s when I come to the conclusion:

My reality is definitely not a match with hers. Here I was practically skipping and so happy with our weekend so far…and here she was waiting for the perfect moment to give me the talk.

I bit my tongue partially until we get home knowing full well, this would all be resolved in my heart as soon as I got to the worksheet.

I sat outside reluctantly and let my wounded little girl write down how she felt…hurt hurt hurt…soon the mama bear came out and I was just plain angry…… on top of that I felt my day would be ruined now.  I had one  free hour I could have spent doing nothing but read a book! A book! Finally getting to read something with more words than pretty pictures all over them. I was fuming. The forgiveness worksheet was full of fs and bs.  Not a pretty sight.

Until I got it all out and decided to get back to love.

Releasing the underlying fears one after the other it hit me so clearly…her pain body was attempting to trigger mine into reacting and thus creating more pain for everyone involved.  That good old pain body we both inherited from our beloved ancestors.

I wouldn’t let it win. So I loved on it all even more. I felt so much lighter. I was freed of the anger and got back to skipping and loving on the weekend and on my darling sissy.


That evening as we are all sitting around the fireplace with friends, my son is a quiet mouse excavating his pistachios out of their shells. What normally would have knocked me out for days (criticism from my sister) only lasted a few minutes. I even took my son to the indoor pool that afternoon and got on a call with my business mentor…and did have time to do some reading after all.  Normally I would have been too emotional to get anything done (hello apathy!).

Maybe I felt too proud of myself later that night when I brought up the topic to her boyfriend sipping his wine with his iPhone in his hand, looking at pictures.

So Terence told me you’d like Hayden to eat earlier so we can have more time to talk…hint hint…now is a really good time to catch up. Ask me anything (and perhaps put your phone down).

My sisters jaw now hits the floor and her boyfriend has no idea what I’m talking about.  She can’t believe I’m bringing this up now. At least my timing is better, she’s just sitting there drinking her fourth glass of wine (which is either great timing or terrible timing on my end).

But while her boyfriend assured us diner time with Hayden were fine, my heart grew even sweeter for my dear sissy. Oh she wanted more one on one with me…

How did it end?

My son eating out of her plate, on her laps.   Me sitting next to her talking to her friend in need of love advice and all of us in a very good happy mood.

What did she have to say about the evening the next day?

Oh that made me so happy he liked my pasta! I couldn’t help myself…Oh so he doesn’t need to eat ahead of everyone then? Of course he does,  she retorts…

Bahahahahaah my sister. All in all we had a fabulous evening and ended up mending a relationship that had been on  the rocks for close to a decade. Learning and teaching about true forgiveness definitely helped. I thought nothing else would.

We stayed a few extra days and can’t wait to see each other again.

My heart is open to see her suggestions as truly coming from love and not to hurt or control. I love her big sister desire to help me with Hayden and I feel so deeply grateful.


For you…

If you can relate to feeling so triggered by someone that you can’t think clearly anymore and are in fear/hurt/anger, moving back to love is as easy as grabbing a pen and paper and choosing love.

Notice all I did was:

I first wrote down what I was thinking/feeling about the situation and who triggered me.

Then I chose love.

Then I figure out what fears were behind what I wrote.

From there I worked on feeling the fear through to completion and loving on the fear as though it’s a scared little child (it always is).

And from there the thought and thus the energy of the feelings dissolved.

Only then was I able to clearly see what was truly happening and have compassion and understanding.

If I can help you…

If looking into this work interests you and practicing it in a course with other amazing heart centered women speaks to you, fill out this confidential inquiry. I only work with women I know I can help  as to respect both your time and energy as well as mine.

I will happily send you a freedom meditation to help begin the process of tuning into feelings and their underlying fears so you can have a taste of what I offer.

Big hugs and may the holiday be bright and cheery all around,


Danielle Dove.

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