There I was, feverishly writing tonight’s blog with reckless abandon. As I saved my rough draft, I was warned by Microsoft Word that another file already existed with that name. I chose a different name and saved the file. Curious, I opened the other file. Would you believe it, I’ve written this blog before. Hell, I even used one of the examples in that previous attempt. Despite my opinion that this newer version is likely better written than the blog previously published, I know my discerning readers would note this minor boggle and surely point it out to me in glorious fashion.
Looking for new ideas, I searched for topics in the same places I normally find them. Films. And I found it, my dear readers.
Tonight’s adventure was the Brendan Fraser’s 2022 film, “The Whale.” If you haven’t seen this movie, I strongly urge you to give it your attention. Holy shit, this film will move you. The acting is off the charts, the story is compelling and visceral, and the characters are real and engaging. Fraser certainly earned his Oscar with his incredible acting. Whoa. He made you forget you were watching a film production.
I won’t go into the details of the movie here, as I hate to ruin such a brilliant show. Brandan Fraser plays Charlie, who is dealing with the fallout of some fateful decisions he made earlier in his life. He is a ponderous 600 pounds because he has been dealing with his pain by seeking solace in food for nearly a decade.
Despite his own self-loathing, Charlie loves the world and the people in it. He is on a path of self-destruction because he can no longer deal with the guilt of the pain he has caused those dearest to him.
The Whale is centered around redemption and forgiveness.
People make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes hurt other people. We are not our mistakes.
It is only by forgiving and seeking forgiveness that we heal. We can seek redemption. This is a tough process, but it is necessary for growth. And with growth come peace.
Quite often, our perpetrators are scarcely aware their actions have caused us so much pain. Years ago, I was helping a client through anxiety and panic attacks. Along the way, I detected the true source of her stress. She loathed her father for his neglect and abuse. We spent some time working on that issue. One session, I told her of a vision I received. She indicated it was about her sister, and that she would have to deal with that on their upcoming lunch date. She informed her sister that when she moved out, she felt abandoned, as if her sister intentionally left her behind to deal with the father that hated her. The sister never knew that her actions caused so much pain. They each sought and received forgiveness; and their relationship was healed.
I have had to ask forgiveness from my children for my mistakes and failures. They have told me that they barely remember the events in question. I have asked forgiveness from a number of people for my mistakes. Some have acquiesced, some have held on to their feelings.
During our talk after the film, my son said he still feels guilty because he feels he and his sisters were responsible for encouraging me to subject myself to chemo in 2021. We spent a few minutes working that out. The doctors were the ones responsible, by their threats and intimidation. I absolved my children of their guilt. Our closeness remains intact.
Our mistakes are costly, and our failures are weighty. Guilt and shame can be felt by both sides of the event. It is crucial to forgive and to be forgiven. Redemption requires action. Restoration requires work.
Are you willing to admit wrongdoing to restore a relationship? Can you forgive someone who asks for it? Forgiveness never means that the harm didn’t occur. It simply means that you’re no longer willing to carry the hurt with you. The act of forgiveness never means that redemption is absolute, and relationships are immediately restored. But it can mean that two people living in the pain of guilt can begin to walk a new path toward peace and understanding.
Growth never occurs in the comfort zone, and this work is surely uncomfortable. This is hard work. But it’s worth it.
If you seek forgiveness, begin as soon as possible. Do it in person if you can. Admit your mistakes and your wrongdoings. Then leave it to the other person to do their part. Don’t expect them to come to the table right away. It might take some time before they are ready to meet you where you are. If you need to forgive someone else, they may never ask for it. Begin that conversation. Explain to them how you feel. Then tell them you’ve gotten over it and gone past it. They may never know they’ve caused so much pain.
None of this is easy. But it’s worth it.
How can we forgive if the other person is no longer around, or if it’s a person from our past we haven’t seen in 30 years? And how can we forgive ourselves? You’ll have to do it “virtually.”
Go into a meditative space. Start breathing into your belly. Feel your belly filling with air as you inhale. Feel your belly moving towards your spine as you release your breath. Breathe in and out the nose, and drag the incoming air across the top of the sinuses and down the back of your throat. Do not worry about counting the breath or holding the breath. Simply feel the breath as it moves through your body.
Now think of the event where another person hurt you. Visualize that event. Look at the people involved in that circumstance. Pull that other person out of that scenario and imagine them standing in front of you. Now forgive them for what they have done.
I forgive you. I forgive you because you likely didn’t realize the hurt you caused. I forgive you because if you did try to hurt me, you might have thought hurting me would make you feel better about yourself. I forgive you because you didn’t know then what you know now. I forgive you because you were too weak and afraid to deal with the real truth of the situation, and instead chose to cause pain and separation. I forgive you, because I no longer want to carry the pain of what you did around with me anymore. Because I deserve it.
Then imagine you are now standing in front of you. Forgive yourself. This is the really tough part.
I forgive you. I forgive you because you held on to this for so many years. I forgive you because you took what happened personally. I forgive you because you let words hurt you. I forgive you because you didn’t know then what you know now. I forgive you because you thought that holding onto that pain would hurt the other person somehow. I forgive you because you have looked through the lens of that event with every other event since then, and have defined all other relationships by that hurt. I forgive you because you deserve it. I forgive you because I love you.
Forgiveness is difficult. Redemption is difficult. But some of the best things are. Peace is worth it. Seek peace, even if you have to do hard things to attain it. You’ve lived in pain long enough. Seek peace.
You deserve the peace that comes with forgiveness and restoration. You are worth it.
With deepest love,
Joe “Weeg” Weigant is an empowerment coach who specializes in combining different bodywork and energy work modalities (Reiki, Acupressure, Tuning Forks, Massage, Reflexology, Sound/Vibration Therapy) to release trauma, reset the autonomic nervous system, and balance the energy systems of the body. This begins the healing process in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our lives. Weeg sells herbal products by Nature’s Sunshine and Pure Herbs Ltd. and is a Representative for Juice Plus. Weeg teaches Karate and Tai Chi, Reiki Certification, as well as seminars and workshops in metaphysical and spiritual matters. Weeg is available for sessions at Tri State Holistic Wellness by appointment only.
Contact by text 812.568.5356, or Facebook Messenger to set an appointment.