The act of forgiveness is a tricky one. Most people you talk to say forgiving sets the one who forgives free from the pain that was caused by the one forgiven.
I have spent a lifetime trying to figure the entanglements of forgiveness. I vacillate between letting go and feeling like I have forgiven and feeling the grudge I thought dissolved start forming again...just like the villain in a horror movie that just won't die.
The first song of my new album "Gonna Find My Way", What I Wouldn't Give, is about trying to learn to forgive. It's about my estranged relationship with the father that submitted the seed for my life but never nurtured its evolution or growth.
Many of us grow up without a father and the void it leaves within us can often derail our entire lives. For a little girl, a father is the first relationship she will have with a male figure. This interaction will mold her future relationships with men in general and imprint certain expectations of what these roles will be.
In my book, Suicide Kills, the first chapter is dedicated to my difficult and often toxic relationship with my father. It delves into many reasons why forgiveness was a difficult thing for me and why I spent a lifetime trying to forgive not only his indiscretions towards me but to forgive myself for loving a man that brought so much pain into my life. It is of this forgiveness I speak about in "What I Wouldn't Give".
Children love their parents, no matter how toxic they can be. The bond between parent and child, no matter how challenged or riddled with pain, can never be broken. It can be strained, estranged, pulled to the point of breakage...but still it endures. You can never really deny someone who's own being created yours, who's blood and DNA runs through your veins. No matter how unbearable it can often be, the parents you have are the ones God gave you and there was a reason he chose them to be your teachers.
I wrote "What I Wouldn't Give" in a matter of minutes. The song poured out of me at such a frenetic pace, it was hard to write it out at the speed it was coming through me. The following verse is such a powerful one for me.
"I tried letting go
Of everything I know
Of all that I’ve been sold
Of all I can’t control
You keep showing me
How to never be
I got no guarantee
There’s a piece of you in me"
It explains the power of all the statements, phrases and words that a parent often says without thought or weight to a child not understanding the depth in which those powerful words sink into our tiny brains, burrowed in there forever until triggered by events that remind us of our worthiness or lack thereof.
Many of us go through life promising ourselves never to become like that parent we so deeply struggle with. To never exhibit those behaviours that were so destructive and painful to bare but, like the song says, "I got no guarantee, there's a piece of you in me". In time, you realize that you have so much of them within you that it's almost impossible not to reproduce some of those traits buried deep within us.
The chorus of the song really puts it all on the line and expresses how difficult it can be to let go and to forgive the pain left behind by someone who's job description clearly stated they were there to protect, honor and inspire you to become the best human being you could be. You are left feeling cheated somehow.
"What I wouldn’t give
To be free of you
Nothing in this world
That I wouldn’t do
I just wanna live
Stop crying like a fool
Let go of this girl
That can’t let go of you"
Click to listen below
Have I learned to forgive my father in the end, after all this time?
Well, it's complicated but if you want to read how things turned out, you can get a copy of the book here: https://www.klaudewalters.ca/shop-books
And since the album was written for the book, I strongly suggest you get the album as well so that you get the full experience by listening to each song after reading each chapter. Much like the soundtrack adds dimension to movie scenes, this album creates dimension for the book's storyline.
For the best overall experience, get the "Empowering Trifecta Experience".
Forgiveness is an individual journey that needs no group opinions on how it needs to be handled. It is a choice one makes to forgive or not and one that you live with and carry with you. So, if the pain weighs you down, becomes a burden you can no longer bear, than perhaps forgiveness is the only way to lighten the load.