Releasing the Past – Forgiveness – 21 day cleanse

I have been reading a great book (via Kindle, I like having my books right on my phone wherever I am).  It is by Debbie Ford: “The 21 Day Consciousness Cleanse”.  Her point is to take you through 21 days of introspection – releasing emotions from the past, examining the present and building your future.

The directions for day four are really awesome, and very very applicable for anyone dealing with a personality disordered individual (or otherwise difficult person!).  It is about “The Gift of Forgiveness”.  There are some sections I want to share here, because they really radiate.  First, she says that you have to release the toxicity that builds up from negative interactions in your past to be free to transcend the limitations of your past.  She then says “Without forgiving all those you have harbored bad feelings toward, you continue to be imprisoned by your past.  If you do not cut the cords of resentment, you will be held captive by the very people you are trying to get away from.”

Now, I realize that every person that reads this will be at a different point in their journey of dealing with a difficult ex.  At the beginning of getting away from the personality disordered person who you were married to – the focus is really on understanding that it was an abusive environment, and figuring out that, in fact, you aren’t actually crazy like they said you were.  Much of that time has to do with validation and understanding that life wasn’t what they said – and you aren’t insane because you want to be treated respectfully.  It’s also a time about finding yourself again.  At that time, forgiveness sounds like a far off and potentially unreachable state of mind.

Debbie Ford goes onto explain that “Unknowingly, your resentments define who you are and who you can be in the future, because you can only be as great as the size of your heart.  And if your ability to love from deep in the heart is clouded by your experiences of the past, you are in a lose-lose situation.  You first lose your freedom when something penetrates your emotional body and affects you so painfully.”

Freedom… Freedom and protection for my kids is the cornerstone of my soul desire for my life.  “I want to be free” is something so many of us express in this situation, isn’t it?

Debbie’s perspective is that it takes God’s help to forgive, and that one way we can move in that direction is not only praying to be able to forgive, but to ask God to show us what we were to learn from this experience, so we can conclude the learning and move forward.

I want to add that I believe it is also so very important to forgive ourselves.  It’s very easy to take responsibility and be frustrated with ourselves for being in this situation – and in that case, we also need to forgive ourselves.  Forgive for not seeing our ex as they really are, for staying in it for a long time, for having children with them, for each action we took that we may feel we didn’t do right or neglected to take.  

Again, I want to recall the phrase I love: “I forgive you for not turning out like I wanted you to be”.  Forgiveness doesn’t mean saying that what our ex did which has caused pain is right – and it isn’t an act we are doing for them.  It is something that helps us to release the past and move forward, rather than staying lodged in the same situation.

As the Catholics say: “Peace be with You”.

6 Responses to “Releasing the Past – Forgiveness – 21 day cleanse”

  1. Melvin says:

    I lost my daughter to Hostile Aggressive Parenting. At 28 she couldn’t continue living in a war zone. Her mother rejected her and used her as a pawn. It destroyed her self image and because of the power of a mother, I could do nothing to neutralize it. This behavior needs to be recognized by society and the courts if it is ever going to be addressed. I’m writing a book about my experience. The website is

    • Hi Melvin, I agree with the phrase that you have on your site: “When it comes to raising children, love is the answer”. We all need to do better to make sure that our children have the love and support that they need regardless of whether it’s an intact family or divorced one. Regardless of whether it’s the mom or dad who is engaging in behaviors which are detrimental to the child and placing the child as a pawn… those behaviors need to be recognized and stopped. I wish it were easier for judges and others in the system to be able to see the truth and recognize which parents are engaging in these behaviors and which ones are striving to protect the child/ren from commiting these behaviors. Fortunately or unfortunately, in having watched many “cases” of this – I can see how it’s hard as an outsider to differentiate. I am so sorry to hear of what happened with your daughter – and am cheering you on in writing the book and advocating for changes. It’s true that children are our future, and they deserve to be raised with love and respect.

  2. I will pray, too – that if being interviewed is the right thing, then it happens & if not, it doesn’t happen. I pray that if your DD is interviewed by the judge that she will be able to bravely & truthfully speak about how things are going for her, and that the interview provides the highest and best path for you and her. Perhaps it is the right direction, and maybe it will have a great outcome. Miracles happen every day, right?

    In terms of the faith portion… that can include having the faith that God will take you in the right direction with the next steps… “Let Go & Let God”.

    You should be getting pretty close to term, right?

    • JenelleMarie says:

      Thank you, prayers I do believe are our means through this! I have been repeating to myself over and over as a mantra, ‘God will provide’ and ‘God’s will, not mine’ over and over the past few weeks. Surrender is no easy task but I believe it is setting me up for truly being able to forgive us all.

      And, yes I’ll be 37 weeks on Monday. It’s been quite interesting going back and forth to court the last few weeks huge pregnant but I also think my determination to provide this babe a calm beginning has helped with it all. So thankful this is the same judge who signed the PreBirth Order and knows its a surrogacy as I didn’t want to give him any thoughts that it was the ex’es!

  3. Edwin says:

    Thanks. I have moments where I focus and pray and meditate on forgiveness and all that exists in the vast world of possibility, but I guess my faith is still not yet strong enough. If I am provoked it still resonates with all of the pain and anger from these seven years. I wish there were a reset button. Maybe I can build one. It is so helpful to spend some of the day focused on what I am learning, how I am getting stronger and trying to truly embrace the Wayne Dyer concept that “there are no accidents, everything was sent to us for a reason.” The positive angle of this site is so helpful for me. I really appreciate it.

  4. JenelleMarie says:

    I’m going to grab this book! Thanks for sharing it with us. I was doing really good and in a really good place of acceptance and praying daily for God to show me how to forgive him, then we had court and he flat out lied to the judge and now our dd may possibly be interviewed by the judge plus he’s fallen into the typical pattern of all the others and stopped paying support. This is a great reminder I needed to hear though, no matter what is being done I still can rise above, accept it, let go and forgive.

    I also need to remind myself that he has fallen prey to his own temptations, we all have done so and I am thankful that God forgives me when I fall prey to mine . . .I need to have the same outlook for him. It’s not always easy but I think my own personal journey is about my faith, and I need to keep focusing on it. Not let the temptation of anger or resentment hold me back. You’re always so insightful and it’s greatly appreciated!

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