It is often difficult to forgive those who have hurt us in the past. We may hold on to the pain or even redistribute towards others. But the only real way to eliminate the hurt we may feel, is through forgiving. By finding forgiveness, we may be able to truly live life and find love.
By LaVonya Reeves
I have accepted that my ex-husband, whom I was deeply in love with, would have never changed, and have moved on with my life. I’ve accepted that is wasn’t my fault. I live with the unseen scars of a survivor of domestic violence and continued infidelity. I live my life through the power of forgiveness and I continue to spread the word that ABUSE is not LOVE.
After a very bad marriage and an even worst divorce, I became very angry, bitter and wanted to get even with my ex. It seemed as if the tables had turned, now I wanted him to feel all of the hurt and pain he had inflicted on me with continual infidelity, abuse (every form) lying and etc. Then, I had an “Ah ha” moment. One of the best ways to get even is to forgive. Forgiving someone who you loved and trusted that hurt you, actually frees you. Choosing not to forgive leaves you as a prisoner within yourself. The best revenge is “success.” I decided instead of putting all my energy into anger and bitterness was to focus on my dreams, goals and aspirations.
Pre-forgiveness: I was very angry, bitter and just flat out mean to everyone. It goes back to that old saying “Hurt people, hurt people.” I have always known it was wrong and that I had become very miserable within myself and at one point I didn’t care, I wanted to continue in anger. The end result was that I was only hurting myself and the people who truly loved me. I couldn’t even make sound decisions. I didn’t want to even leave my home unless I had to or was obligated to. I had become a prisoner within myself.
The anger and bitterness that I carried in my heart affected every aspect of my life. I didn’t trust anyone, especially men, but I yearned to be in love again. I became very defensive to anyone and everyone including my children, family and friends. Forgiveness is a choice that I had to make in order to productively move on with my life. It did not come over night; it was and still is a process. I had to learn to not just forgive once, but to “walk in forgiveness” everyday. Through prayer and soul searching, my strength and courage did not come from me, but only through God. I had to first learn to love myself again. It has been almost a year since I decided to get a divorce. I now know that it was the best decision I could have ever made.
Post-forgiveness: I’m a much more pleasant person to be around. I enjoy my life, spending time with my kids and just living, verses just existing. My financial situation has changed somewhat “I’m not a millionaire”, but I enjoy what I do. I can now focus on what’s important to me.
What I’m doing now that I wasn’t doing before is simply, living my life without regrets. When I look in the mirror, I actually like the person I see.
I have an entrepreneurial journal of how I escaped an abusive marriage and have joined the male dominating world of online dating (not porn).
That’s when http://www.Reboundlovers.com was born. I’m determined to help those who are broken hearted, I also have a blog that deals with all topics pertaining to dating and relationship issues at http://www.battered-not-broken.com.
I don’t consider myself as a victim anymore, but a survivor and have laid down that so called “victim mentality”. I’ve decided to tell my story to any and everyone that will listen, that “A-B-U-S-E is not L-O-V-E”. Abuse takes on many shapes, forms and it is not just physical.
See how LaVonya answers our Identity Five Questions:
What have you accepted within yourself and/or within your life? Is there anything you are working on accepting?
I have accepted that the abuse was not my fault. I’m working on allowing someone to get close to me again.
What do you appreciate about yourself or your life?
I appreciate the ability to be open and honest about my past without being ashamed.
What have you achieved, or what are you working to achieve personally, physically, or mentally?
I have achieved self worth and value. I like the person I see in the mirror.
What is your no-so-perfect way? We are all unique with quirks and imperfections, so why not flaunt them and embrace them!
One of the biggest issues is that I seem to believe what people tell me. I take life at face value and think why would an adult lie about anything, some calls it “being naïve.”
How would you complete this sentence, “I Love My…” This has to be about you, physically or mentally.
I love my family, myself and I love life, period.