Retracing Steps – With Forgiveness this Time

This week I walked a short section of the Appalachian Trail where I had experienced an upset the first time I walked there six years ago. This time, however, I had the tools of Radical Forgiveness with me and instead of upset I had healing and release!

As the Earth passed under my feet, those old emotions surfaced and the memories of being misunderstood, ignored, abandoned and shunned by my hiking partner popped up along with the feelings I had felt at that time.  It amazed me how little I remembered of the trail itself, the terrain, the forest, the route. All the feelings came right back, though!  I could feel them in my body!

This time I was ready with the Thirteen Steps to Radical Forgiveness, and I used them right there on the trail as I walked!  I answered, “Yes!” out loud to the questions, “Are you willing to allow the feelings to be just the way they are?”  and “Are you open to the idea that you only get upset when someone resonates in you something you have denied, repressed, and projected onto them?”

As I walked, and answered “Yes” to the questions, I got ideas about different ways to look at the situation, and began to be open to new ways of looking at the healing dance that my husband and I were doing together then. The shame I was feeling when I started the process melted into self-acceptance and the realization that on a soul level, the role I was playing in our relationship was to be the perpetrator in HIS victim story of being betrayed and abandoned in our marriage.

When I completed that section, 9 miles from Wilson Creek Shelter to Daleville, I felt more peaceful and more accepting of myself. I noticed a little less attachment to “being wrong” and a softening of my self-hatred and shame.

Gratitude for a New Story filled me and the trail, once again, revealed its healing spaces for my soul.



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