Strategies to Face Adversity: Letting Go, Forgiveness and Healing

Every participant spoke of the healing process and how before such a process can begin, they had to let go of negative emotions such as anger and hatred.

“But you see I let it go, the way he physically abused me, I just let it go. I forgave him and then I started to heal. I wasn’t going to be a victim like my brothers. No, I would be different. I showed him he had no power over me.”

rsz_2007_0116walpole0067Every participant spoke of the healing process and how, before such a process can begin, one has to let go of negative emotions such as anger and hatred.

Many experiences were shared of how individuals allowed themselves to hold onto such negative emotions. Some explained how such emotions impacted on their own health and wellbeing. Others explained how they were unable to commence the healing process because they were unable to forgive. They acknowledged that they were unable to forgive because they were unable to let go of their anger and hatred for past wrongs committed against them.

Every participant who commenced the healing process told their story of letting go and forgiveness in their own way. The following older male explains how important letting go, forgiveness and the healing process were for him:

“I had to let it go, you see. If I didn’t let it go then my father would always have the power over me, just like he had the power over my brothers and that’s why they drank alcohol.

Dad felt good about them drinking with him. It justified his own actions. He used to say things like, ‘We are all drunken bastards together, except that smart arse.’ That’s what he referred to me as.

Gran would say to him, ‘You’ll never break his spirit it’s too strong.’ But you see I let it go, the way he physically abused me, I just let it go. I forgave him and then I started to heal. I wasn’t going to be a victim like my brothers. No, I would be different. I showed him he had no power over me.”

Another older participant in her 60s expressed the pain she had suffered and the anger she had carried throughout the years. Her experiences show why it is so important for Aboriginal people to heal:

“I dealt with my pain of the past and about what happened to me, so I guess I have also started that healing process. I believe this has been one of the most important decisions I have had to make as many of my family are so angry.

They have carried that anger for years and it kind of eats them up and makes them so negative. We have to start healing accepting what has happened in the past and move on. If people can’t do this then they haven’t started healing and perhaps they don’t want to heal.”

Some participants spoke of how healing it was for them to tell their story:

“You know I felt it was healing for me. Yes it is good to get it out and look at where I have come from and where I am now.”

Another participant said:

“…it has been good talking about my life. It’s sort of healing to let it all go and umm share.”

One participant felt that facing adversity was a learning curve that helped her to begin the healing process:

“So that was a big learning curve for me and I think it helped me to start the healing process.”

Every participant spoke of the healing process and how before such a process can begin, they had to let go of negative emotions such as anger and hatred.

Many experiences were shared of how individuals allowed themselves to hold onto such negatives emotions. Some explained how such emotions impacted on their own health and wellbeing.

Others explained how they were unable to commence the healing process because they were unable to forgive. They acknowledged that they were unable to forgive because they were unable to let go of their anger and hatred for past wrongs committed against them.

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