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March 28, 2011

Can You Really Carry That Boulder?

Author: JenniferMaster1

Imagine that every time someone criticizes you, embarrasses you,  is not loyal to you, or hurts you in some way, you put a rock in your backpack. We have all been hurt by others many times throughout our lives.

This is how I started and article entitled “How many rocks do you want to carry?”

I’ve had some requests to go a little deeper on this subject. By going deeper, I will ask if you can really carry or even move “boulders” in your life? Some of the hurt and injury people carry are not just small rocks, they are huge boulders! The boulders in our lives might be physical, emotional or sexual abuse. They might be spouses who have had affairs or multiple affairs. Maybe it’s a business partner who has ruined your financial life. A heavy burden could be a drunk driver inflicting a life-long physical challenge in automobile accident. An incredibly unfathomable act of having a loved one murdered in an act of violence is something no one should ever have to endure. (If you are in serious danger of any kind, get away from the situation and get help!)

One woman’s story of heartache can be shared here. (Quote): When I was a child, my days and nights were filled with terror. Verbal, physical, and sexual abuse were all part of the way I was raised. I dreamed of the time when I could feel safe and accepted.

Sometime around age eight, I began to read the Bible in secret, under my blankets, in bed, with a flashlight. The Bible taught me right from wrong, and I realized how corrupt my family life had become. The Bible also taught me to pray as the Savior prayed. I sought my Heavenly Father and found Him. He became my best friend in these most difficult circumstances.

But deep in my heart I harbored hatred for my father because he was the perpetrator of the abuse. In my mind, the family situation was entirely his fault, while my mother was an innocent bystander.

Someone once said that hatred is like “burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.” My hatred for my father poisoned my soul, and my spiritual house was on fire.

At age 12, I took matters into my own hands and left home to live with a teacher, the mother of two of my friends, who knew and understood my challenges. Living with them presented some legal difficulties, however, and before long I was placed in foster care. Soon I realized that even though I was no longer living under my father’s roof, I had taken my hatred for him along with me.

I continued to read the Bible. In the New Testament I found scriptures that meant the most to me. The Sermon on the Mount taught me just how precarious my spiritual situation was. In Matthew 6:14-15 I read: “For if ye forgive men your trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you:

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

I reasoned that the crimes against me had been unusual and cruel. Yet I read in Matthew 18:21-22 that Peter was told he must forgive “seven times seventy.” What was I to do?

I longed to let go of the hatred I carried like a millstone in my heart. The example of the Savior as He hung on the cross kept coming to mind. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Why couldn’t I be more like Him? If I was to have any chance at a normal life, forgiveness must come. I imagined that forgiveness could happen in one easy step. But for me, it was to be a long journey.

When I married and gave birth to my own children, I realized my mother had not been an innocent bystander, as I had so long thought. She had not protected me. So now I had another parent to forgive. Instead of getting better, my need to forgive was growing deeper, and I did not know what to do or where to turn. My husband and friends were sympathetic listeners and encouraged me in the healing process, but I needed something more.

Soon after joining the LDS Church in 1969, I became keenly interested in genealogy. Family history started me down the path to genuine forgiveness. My maternal grandmother and great-uncle helped me unearth information about past generations. And what I found amazed me.

I learned that when my father was just a child, his father had robbed a bank. My grandmother found herself alone raising a young son. She turned to sinful behavior to support the two of them while her husband was in prison for 12 years. My father’s mental health worsened.

As far back as I could research my father’s family tree, I found ancestor after ancestor had fallen into grave error. This tradition of trespass had been passed from one generation to the next until my father’s day. I finally felt the stirring of sweet forgiveness for the young boy who inherited such a disturbing lineage.

I began to see myself in a new light. Error was a long chain, reaching back for generations. I was the breaker of that chain.

I also found relief in writing letters to my parents—letters that were never mailed and that were eventually destroyed. The first ones I wrote served primarily as an emotional outlet—I vented my anger and asked questions. Over time my letters evolved into decent exchanges, which later led me to making contact with them.

On Christmas, birthdays, and special occasions, I sent cards and small gifts to my parents with the best of feelings. (Of course, not everyone who has been abused by a family member should feel obligated to have contact with that person. It was just something I chose to try.) My efforts were never acknowledged. I received a certified letter telling me they did not want even a long-distance relationship with me. But the small gifts were never returned. I like to think that they were cherished to some degree.

I knew forgiveness didn’t mean condoning or accepting the abuse or forgetting that it had occurred. It meant I needed to take what I could from life’s experiences and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the grace of God, find healing and forgiveness.

Forgiveness didn’t come in one “warm fuzzy” moment either. It came gradually, over decades. Time is a great healer. (End quote)

Whatever your religious beliefs, there are some key points to learn from this woman’s story.

1. We can seek a higher source of strength and guidance in our lives.

2. We can acknowledge the feelings of bitterness, anger and hatred that we may have.

3. We can go on with our lives the best we can, and learn to love others.

4. We can develop compassion for the weaknesses and sins of others.

5. We can be creative in the ways we deal with our grief and emotions.

6. We can realize that forgiveness and letting go of that gigantic boulder can take a considerable amount of time.

It is also interesting to note that this woman  became a “chain-breaker” in a cycle of abuse in her family. Trauma, fears and phobias, and negative belief patterns can be passed down from one generation to the next by our energetic DNA (cell memory). For more information on this click here.

If you or someone close to you struggles with forgiving others or has emotional trauma to deal with, a whole energy healing session can start your journey to a lighter, less-burdensome  and joyful life. To schedule a graceful, quick and non-invasive healing session, click here.

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2 Responses to “Can You Really Carry That Boulder?”

  1. 夢想手記 says:

    I permanently wanted to write on my site something like that, but I don,t know how to start. I am so lucky I found your blog site.

  2. Fantastic job here. I genuinely enjoyed what you had to say. Keep going because you certainly bring a new voice to this subject. Not a lot of folks would say what youve said and still make it fascinating. Nicely, at least Im interested. Cant wait to see more of this from you.