“I forgive you.”
I said those words to the man who sexually abused me some 13 years after the incident occurred. It gave me a sense of closure to an event I was successfully able to stuff back into my mind for the majority of those 13 years.
But not without consequence.
Blacking out trauma in my life of this nature only reinforced the negative outcomes that came from it. I no longer trusted people who I should have been able to count on.
As a result, I spent decades of my life lying to basically everyone I knew: family, friends, girlfriends, etc.
When I was faced with the conundrum of “do right” vs. “do wrong”, I would often resort to doing the wrong thing and hoping I wouldn’t get caught.
If I did wrong around my friends, I could normally get away with it.
I wasn’t as lucky with my parents.
All the same, being caught didn’t stop the behavior, it just forced me further into the rut.
And I carried this beyond the day I confronted my abuser.
In fact, the year that I found him and reminded him of what he did to me was the year of four of my five hospitalizations for suicide attempts/suicidal ideations and the beginning of my ten year journey with illegal street drug addiction.
Apparently, there is more to forgiveness than just saying the words.
After I closed that door on my abuser, it would take ten more years and hundreds/thousands of mistakes to forgive the other person in the conversation.
I had to forgive myself for the cross I chose to bear.
I had to forgive myself for the sins I chose to commit.
I had to forgive myself to break free from any further guilt.
I didn’t choose to be abused.
I chose to not be touched and my abuser wouldn’t let that lie.
My “salvation”, if you will, came from not wanting to suffer any longer by my own hand, my own decisions.
It took all those drugs, all those failed relationships, lost jobs, and a failed marriage to say: I can’t fucking live like this anymore.
Starting this business in 2009 was my first step towards a clean slate.
Meeting Marissa was the next step.
Admitting to Marissa what my past had been up to that point was another small step.
Holding my son, Jackson, (from my first marriage) when he was just a baby and promising him, I would be a better man.
I would be a better father.
And as I have seen daily with RevFit, I see that what my clients struggle with goes beyond weight loss.
It goes beyond broken relationships with food.
It falls closer to that parallel of forgiveness.
Like me, many of my clients have to choose to forgive someone: a negligent or abusive parent/friend/spouse, or they’re mending the wounds from a painful divorce or a broken relationship.
Like me, those same clients have the other person to forgive as well: themselves.
Like me, my clients carry crosses they shouldn’t have to be burdened with anymore and no amount of food can fix that problem (no matter how deep that hole goes.)
Because once you go through 12-steps programs (like I ventured through) and you sit and cry to therapists who either can fix the problem, not fix the problem or give you medications to give you a similar outcome, there’s still that one person you have to face.
That damn person you see every time you look in the mirror.
And I didn’t want to hate that person anymore.
Neither should you.
Forgive whoever it is you need to forgive in your life for whatever wrong they did to you.
That moment is gone.
And, when the time is right (hopefully sooner than later), forgive yourself. Chances are, you’ve been carrying this load longer than you needed to and you’ve done more damage to yourself in the interim because you didn’t take the time to care about you.
That time can start Now.
“We Make Great People Greater”