As a forgiveness teacher, people often think that the most important thing to me is forgiveness. While I believe with all my heart that forgiveness is the closest we ever get to Godliness, I am all about safety first. Learning how to set appropriate boundaries and take care of ourselves comes first in my book.
Now, that’s not always easy to do. This weekend, I had the honor to participate as a co-facilitator in the first Healing of Memories session dedicated exclusively for the spouses/partners of veterans.
The wounds of war run deep into our most intimate relationships. Many of these wounds are secret and the wives remain silent, suffering silently. Their jobs are defending, protecting, supporting their veterans. Many of those attending thought they were coming to a workshop to learn how to take even better care of their spouses! They are so enmeshed in their caregiver role, that they could not even imagine a workshop to honor them, to concentrate on their lives, their healing. Taking care of their veteran for many is a 24/7 job and their lives are dedicated to caring for their spouse, and children, and they come in a very distant third.
When they discovered that this workshop was for them, many were surprised, shocked. For some, NO ONE, NO ORGANIZATION, acknowledges the difficult, and I mean excruciating difficult, path they tread. Here, they were able to be heard, understood, validated, and meaning is given to THEIR lives. Healing has begun.
Will forgiveness happen?
Will boundaries be put in place? I can’t tell you.
The ending of these stories are yet to be written.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that with the Veterans, while they may continue to be traumatized by memories, much of the abuse is in the past. (not all!) For these partners/spouses have also experienced emotional and physical abuse, by the system, family members, by the very ones they care for and love so deeply. The ones they dedicate every ounce of themselves to. Everyone in these families suffer and the pain is palpitating. And there are millions of these brave souls walking among us.
It was an honor like no other. To hold healing, nurturing, loving space for them to start the healing process. I got to witness true courage, bravery, dedication, love. I am humbled to be a small part of their healing, and I bow to these amazing souls for they are the foundation by which these wounded soldiers, come to rely upon.
When you see the spouse of a Veteran, don’t forget to thank her for her service!
#veterans #veteranspouse #forgiveness #healingofmemories