An open letter to Ina Bonnette

Think of a topic or issue about which you’ve switched your opinion. Why the change?

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This prompt coincides well with a post I’ve been working at all day – an open Letter to Ina Bonnette:

Dear Ina

I don’t really know where to start.  I guess there is no better way than to say “Thank You”.

What you have been through is an ordeal none of us can begin to imagine.  We can sit back and think about all the horrible stuff we have had to endure.  We can sit back and think about all the pain that was enforced on us by animals who call themselves “human beings”.  I can sit here and say “I am sorry for what you have had to endure” or “I know what you are going through”, but we don’t ever really know do we?  Your experiences, your ability to process it all and your life makes your situation unique.  As does mine and that of millions of other women across the planet who have had to suffer at the hand of someone they once loved or trusted or perhaps even someone they did not even know.

Yet, despite everything, you stood firm in your faith and you sat there during the trial.  In the presence of that monster.  You sat there and watched him squirm, making up the story as he goes along.  You bravely sat there every day and faced the monster head on.

Thank you for your bravery.  Thank you for making a stance.  Thank you for sending the  message that women will no longer stand back and allow the life to be stolen from us.  Thank you for not disappearing.  Thank you for being strong.

You are a huge inspiration to women across the world.  Your actions throughout the trial, no matter how small they may seem to you now, spoke volumes.  You gave women back their power.

I listened to your quick radio interview this morning and tears came to my eyes.  Then you said “I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive him” and I felt compelled to write to you.

Ina, I know that right now it is incredibly hard to even fathom the idea, but you are going to have to forgive him.

I once knew such an animal.  I hated him and I swore that I would never forgive or forget.  I tried to just blend into the background.  I wanted to be invisible.  I wanted to disappear.  I didn’t want anyone to know of my existence.  I ran away from home and left behind everyone else who loved me.

About a year later I found myself walking in a shopping center.  I felt hollow and dead inside.  I looked at my reflection in the shop window and it dawned on me “He is still controlling your life.  He is still in charge.”  I made the realization that as long as I am not living the full life God intended me to live, I am still giving the monster power over my life.  Worst part of all?  I am doing it willingly and he does not even know about it!

I’m not saying that you should forget about what happened.  I’m not saying you should not mourn about it.  You will never forget, but you can heal.  Forgiving him does not mean that you have to allow him into your life ever again!  Forgiving him only means that you give yourself the power to heal.  Forgiving him means that you give yourself the power, which you  have given to so many women when you attended the trial.

I am not a councilor or psychologist.  I don’t have any degree which gives me the right to tell you what to do.  All I can do is tell you my story.  Once I made the realization that I am giving him power over my life, I was able to forgive and move on.  Once I managed to forgive him, I was able to heal.  Once healed, I was able to blossom into the woman God wanted me to be.

Your faith in God gave you the strength to get through this ordeal.  Trust in Him to help you forgive.  Trust in Him to heal.

Ina, you are a beautiful and magnificently strong woman, you are worthy of more.

Remember that.

You are worthy.

Stay strong.

Start writing your new chapter, it’s your time my friend

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How easy it is to tell someone to let go of the past and move on!  The act itself is something completely different from those eight words, I know.  I had a phone call from an old friend today and we spoke about exactly that.

Moving on, or rather moving forward, with your life entails two very important processes, which are intrinsically linked:  Letting go and doing what is right for you.  What does this mean?  The words to follow may seem harsh, but do yourself the favor and take it in, digest it, mull over it – it will make sense sooner or later.

Let Go!

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Us humans are strange creatures who tend to hold on to every memory we ever had, the good and the bad.  We can use those memories and the emotions that went with it to work for us or against us.  Letting go means that you teach yourself to make those emotions work for you.  Use the good ones to uplift your spirit as opposed to it making you sad when you think about what is no more.  Remember the good times and how they made you feel.  Focus your energy on that feeling and use that feeling to catapult you into a new direction.  Use the bad ones to be a driving force to find better / do it better next time around as opposed to turning it into fuel for anger and resentment.  If you keep focusing on the negativity of how you felt at the time, you continually poison your soul.

Letting go means that you make peace.  Not only with the person or the situation, but also with yourself.  Accept what happened.  Accept where you went wrong.  Accept where they went wrong.  Accept what happened.  Acceptance is one of the most powerful tools available to us.  With acceptance comes peace.  I’m not saying forget.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel the hurt.  Allow yourself the luxury of grief, but don’t grief forever.  Unless you go for hypnosis or suffer severe amnesia, you will never forget.  Accept it and forgive the person / situation that offended you.  If you are mad at your mother for not hugging you enough as a child, you carry that anger with you and it poisons future relationships.  If you are mistrustful of people because someone cheated on you, the poison that you carry with you will ultimately destroy your next relationship, and the next until you decide to let it go.  You control your destiny!  Only you have the power to decide what influences your life.  You choose which forces you want to allow to interfere with your future.

Do what is right for you!

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Believe it or not, but this is perhaps the most difficult thing to do.  We get so caught up in the expectations that others have for us – spouses, bosses, family – that we don’t really know what we want.  We think we do, but in the end it just turns out to be more of what someone else wants for you.  If you are stuck in a relationship that is not feeding your soul, uplifting your spirit, you would feel that you need to get out.  The other person might not necessary see it that way and walking out would leave them with a lot of questions.  The journey to find out what you really want is a scary one.  It will leave you to question your believes about yourself, about society, about life.  Take it from someone who has been down that road, it is worth it in the end.  Be still and know.  Once you tune out the noise and listen to what your soul is trying to tell you, you will know what is right for you.

One last quote before I go:

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