My desire to share myself with the world and the need to tend to my inner life normally coexist rather well, although occasionally the latter causes me to eclipse and stay hidden for a while.

I haven’t felt very creative lately. A series of events in my personal life left me needing privacy and space to process the intense emotions that surfaced. Some tested my ability to stay centered and avoid self-pity, while others showed how much I value my life. It may be small and unassuming, but it’s mine, and I’ve made it just the way I like it. It feels big and remarkable when I see myself grow despite my fears. And yet, some pains leave us breathless, and we may need a moment to pull ourselves together and accept that we have been forever changed.

What happens when the uncomfortable truths come and look for attention? Do we open the door and let them in? Or do we pretend we’re not at home while peeking through the blinds, hoping they’ll leave? Regardless, when the unacceptable shows up uninvited in our lives, we’d better stop and pay attention. So, I spent the last couple of months in the company of a few unsavory visitors, and at times I truly wished I could just run and disappear; some things are hard to look at and they summon all our courage and kindness, but most of all they will ask for forgiveness.

It is not God’s judgment we fear, but our own.

When we cannot offer ourselves a fair trial, the world holds us guilty and mercy becomes our only get-out-of-jail-free card. My surprise at the amount of self-forgiveness I resisted quickly revealed that this journey was not just about my wrongdoings.

One day, as my heart immensely ached at the thought of some of the unfortunate choices I have made along the way, I fell into a deep meditative state and saw myself in an ancient chamber, carved out of rock. Right in the middle there was a well big enough to swim easily. I slowly slipped into the steamy waters and started to float. No sound all around, the well enveloped me in a warm embrace and made me feel loved and welcomed. It was nothing like the love I had experienced before, and as I let the still waters gently move my tired body, I realized that I was swimming into myself. The warrior had finally returned, wounded but safe, and deserving to be healed and taken care of.

I felt so exhausted as I swam into the tranquil waters. Every wound throbbed, and every bone felt too weary to hold me together, but I trusted my healing powers and that soon I would be on the mend. Suddenly, I sensed someone else’s presence in the chamber. My sisters and mother were ahead, followed by my grandmother, while our ancestors walked behind. My entire female lineage was quietly gathered by the well, and looked as if wanting to join me but could not. I waited for one of them to take the first step into the waters, but it soon became clear that something was stopping them.

“They cannot join you, child, for these are the unforgiving ones. Until the last one can forgive herself, you shall swim alone.” the well deeply whispered.

I remembered the immeasurable pain caused by resentment and blame within my family. My heart grew heavy with sorrow, for I wished they too could be embraced by the healing waters of self-love and acceptance. As I anxiously waited to hear any word of reprieve, a very old and debilitated woman made her way through the little crowd. She could not stand straight and looked as if she carried a big load onto her back. Her bony face was distorted in pain and her dark eyes revealed great suffering. As she reached the edge of the well, I slowly swam towards her and invited her in: ‘Join me, lady. These waters are warm and will envelop your aching body like a soft blanket, so you can finally rest.’

‘I am the spirit of hate. I am destined to forever walk this earth alone and with no help, for I am the unforgiving one. So many mistakes I have made, and so much cruelty I have left behind, I am not deserving of grace.’ the old woman gravely said.

‘I forgive you, spirit. I F-O-R-G-I-V-E you. If you cannot do so for yourself, I shall do it for you. I will unload you of your heavy burden, for whatever you carry, I do too. And all these women as well. Give me your hand spirit and accept my mercy. This well is big enough for both, and it will hold and heal us until we can stand straight again.’

Our reluctance to release ourselves from guilt and shame only perpetuates animosity and condemnation.

By nurturing these ill feelings, we mistakenly believe we are atoning for our wrongs, when in fact, we are only perpetuating them. The aloneness we feel when we cannot forgive ourselves is no other than our soul’s invitation to unburden ourselves and rest in her loving arms.

‘Give it all to me, child. What you loathe about yourself, I shall have for my love will transform it and set you free.’ In the tranquil solitude of our soul’s presence, we experience divine love, despite our downfalls. The fear of being alone becomes a sacred moment, allowing us to reconnect with ourselves and offer grace to those who have walked by our side. And although we may have parted, we will always carry the gifts shared through our coming together.

In Grace,

Antonia Lyons

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I am an author & an intuitive storyteller. I work with people who, like you, are ready to live more authentically & insightfully. Evoking Grace  is the “sacred space” where you become a Bigger You & tell a Bigger Story. Here you will hear your soul sing.
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