Sunday, March 29, 2009

accepting ourselves

I want to say something like this at church this evening, as a personal sharing leading towards Susie's sermon on forgiveness.

When I was small and adults abused me, I though I deserved it. I thought there must be some evil in me that they recognized, that made me deserve abuse. I think I just couldn't bear to believe that their hurtful behavior was totally out of my control. I wanted to believe that if only I did the right thing they would stop hurting me. If it was my fault then I could stop the pain by changing myself, which seemed much more possible than changing them.

It has been hard to accept that I was powerless, that it wasn't my fault. It is so easy to fall back into thinking if only I had tried harder, if only I had kept saying no, maybe I could have stopped them. The first step isn't to forgive them, it is to believe that I was small and scared and had no control over the behavior of adults. To believe that whatever I did or didn't do, the abuse was not my fault. If we could first believe that everyone deserves to be honored, to be treated with respect and kindness, even ourselves, then it seems to me that forgiveness takes on a different meaning. It may take a long time to get there, and that is ok.

The service ended with this song (from this album).

1 comment:

Joann said...

In a bit of logic that releases me from personal responsibility, I have solved this issue by admitting it's bigger than me and my pittiful abilities to think through it. I have turned it over to God to let him/her figure it out. I have a saying that, "Justics doesn't always happen in THIS life." Well, I'm not even sure I want justice (In a child-like way I want it for everyone else, but not me -- I want compassion for me.). I think for me justice is interwoven with forgiveness and so it's too big of an idea.

I hope you find some peace and that your child you can feel restored in some ways by the service.