Dear Friends, Drodzy Przyjaciele, Cari Amici,
Last night I was helping a client get ready for bed and I had a most moving and touching experience. I want to share it with you, but first I need to tell you a little bit about her. First of all, she is younger than any of my other clients. She is in her fifties. She has Parkinsons disease and also a form of Dementia that often strikes younger people and she is has been unable to function for about 8 years already. Her body trembles often and she is prone to falling down. She cannot control her movements hardly at all any more. Walking is an ordeal and she may suddenly fall sound asleep, even while standing!
One of the most painful and stressful things for her and for those who work for her is that usually she is very oriented and she knows exactly what is going on, she knows what she wants and yet there is something in her brain in the translation from thought to words. She will attempt to say things and the words come out all jumbled up, for example she might be wanting to say ” I am cold, I want warmer pajama’s” but what comes out of her is a string of disconnected words that do not make any sense at all. This happens all the time with her and sometimes then her eyes fill with tears and her face becomes contorted with emotional pain because we both know that she knows what she wants, and yet she CANNOT get the words to come out. She looks like a woman in a deep, far away Prison and my heart breaks for her.
So, last night this exact situation happened. Finally, I got her into bed, both of us were very distressed because the communication was so mixed up and yet she had something she was trying to say…and she motioned for me to sit on the chair next to her bed. I held her hand and I looked straight into her eyes and I told her that I deeply Respected her and that I know this evening was difficult. I acknowledged that I know she is Conscious and Aware, on the other side of her disease, so to speak. I repeated to her how much I awe and admiration I feel for how gracefully she carries her pain.
Suddenly and without warning she spoke utterly perfectly! She looked me in the eyes and said “You say you respect me, Gabriel, but you don’t know my deep, dark, ugly secrets.” I tried not to show my shock at her perfect verbalization and I told to her Everyone has some deep, dark, ugly secrets and she is not alone. I felt compelled to tell her very briefly (not knowing how long this unusual episode would last) that personally I have discovered that no matter how many times I have gone to Confession, or told a friend of my sins or failings, no matter how many times I have sat and prayed to God asking for Forgiveness, that until I FORGIVE MYSELF, I remain burdened.
She was nodding her head and crying. I told her it was usually pretty easy for me to believe that God and others could and would forgive me but I never knew Complete Relief from the Burden of Guilt until I also Forgave Myself.
She said ” Thank you, Thank you…It is hard to do but I will do it.” Then she said a few sentences that did not make any sense, but her Presence was still very Bright. I felt a Grief that the time of communication capacity had just ended…but I was so grateful for it while it lasted.
I was dumbstruck at this conversation with this Soul whom I have known and taken care of for almost a year now, that was so deep, so real, so important and so life-giving for both of us. It was a Gift. The River was carrying us both. I felt like we were with God in Each Other.
It was then time to get up and go…I told her I would come back and check on her in a couple of hours and she smiled. As I walked out of the room I thought “ I love that woman! ” And how deeply her Suffering and Debilitation and her Courage and Fortitude move and inspire and teach my Soul.
Just as I was thinking of how much I love her, she called out and said “I Love You, Too!”. I swear this is true…she was hearing the thoughts of my heart. I closed her door, I knelt down and kissed the floor because what happened in that room was so Sacred. The look of Freedom on her face as I left was Breathtaking. I am certain she had just Forgiven Herself of some long held burden and I was privileged to be her Witness. Deo Gratias.
Martin Luther King once said : “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
I want to live with that Attitude of Forgiveness , Permanently.
With Love, Z Miłością, Con Amore
Gabriel Orion Marie
* For those of you who may not know, I have published a series of three books that tell the story of my recovery and healing from profoundly intense physical, sexual and spiritual abuse. These books have dozens of paintings that I did during my process and those paintings are a core form of communication I used in my Healing. These books are available on Amazon. I hope you will read them and pass them on to others !
This White House (Book One), Going Sane (Book Two) and A Spectacular Dawn (Book Three)