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Freedom Requires Breaking the Chains that Have Bound You

Updated: Jul 8, 2020

In my life . . .

I have had men who have shattered my heart into a million pieces; betrayed my trust, took advantage of my vulnerabilities, used me for their own selfish gain and then discarded me like nothing more than mere trash when something new and shiny came along. Each time my heart broke, links were added to my chains. Therefore, with justification and in retribution, I should lash out with blame, anger and hate toward all men, right?

I have had women who have betrayed my trust, backstabbed me, made hateful comments or done very hurtful things behind my back while smiling to my face as they played “mean girl” games. More links added to my chains. Therefore, with justification and in retribution, I should lash out with blame, anger and hate toward all women, right? I have had bosses and people in positions of authority abuse their power and position to mistreat me, to do unjust things and then, lie to cover their misdeeds. More links added to my chains.

Therefore, with justification and in retribution, I should lash out in blame, anger and hate toward all people in authority, right? I have had friends and family who have ghosted and abandoned me during times of great need. At times, I have had strangers treat me with more love, compassion and respect than those that I love and respect. More links added to my chains. Therefore, with justification and in retribution, I should I repay hurt for hurt and turn my back on those I love when they have a time of need, right?

Do you see where this is going. Hate for hate, hurt for hurt, blame —it becomes a never-ending cycle of suffering. Blaming and lashing out at others for your pain does not alleviate your pain. It only feeds and keeps the pain alive while keeping you bound to it and shackled in its chains. In my life . . . I have had much pain, heartache and struggle. I have experienced many injustices and been broken by people, time and again. There has been unspeakable suffering, heartache and loss that has at times completely turned my world upside down and left me in an abyss of darkness and despair. People have failed me, hurt me, disappointed me, lied, betrayed and abandoned me innumerable times. The wounds run deep! Yet, rock bottom can teach you lessons that mountain tops never can. Though others may have been the initial cause and infliction of my pain, the wounds are mine and mine alone to heal. When we hold onto our pain, anger and/or resentment for the perceived wrongs that others have done to us —we become blinded and entrenched in its ugliness. It begins to poison our spirit and harden our heart. It becomes the catalyst that dismantles our inner wellbeing. Slowly, piece-by-piece it devours our peace, joy and happiness like the dark, hungry beast that hate is. Worse, when we refuse to let go of it, we don’t just destroy ourselves, we spread its venom and destroy others. When we choose NOT to rise up from the past by healing our own wounds, then we (not they) enslave us. Our refusal blinds us to the light that is illuminating the exit door in the prison walls. The walls that we built out of an illusion of protection.

When we choose continued anger and suffering instead of healing, we bury ourselves deeper into the dark catacombs of the prison that we resent and are trying to escape.

At that point there is no one else to blame and hold accountable except for our self. Though the initial wrong may have been done by someone else, the continued wrong is fully on us. As we cling to unforgiveness and hold onto the pain and anger of our yesterday’s while blaming others, we continue in our own suffering to become the actual orchestrator of it. When we refuse to let go, we end up lashing out towards others for some sense of retribution as if some other person holds the key to the door to our happiness and freedom. I am not my past nor is the past my future. I am who I choose to be in the present. Bad experiences serve as lessons to learn and grow from —opportunities that will ultimately evolve and promote me. I have my freedom because I chose to learn and grow. I chose to forgive and heal instead of blaming, so that I can live for a brighter future instead of remaining a prisoner to the darkness of pain and injustice. When I heal myself, I also heal others and the world around me —because I am no longer harboring darkness, lashing out and harming others due to the harm others have done to me. I broke the links in the chains, interrupted the cycle of destruction and set myself free from the prison. I am no longer a slave to darkness, because I put an end to the cycle of hurt and hate by not replicating it with my own actions/words towards self and others.


We are ALL imperfect beings and often, life is unfair. We have ALL had wrongs done to us and been hurt by it. Let us not forget though, we have ALL also hurt and done wrongs to others. If we want to be forgiven and pardoned for our mistakes and misdeeds, we must also do the same for others. I can hear some of you saying "Yeah, but what they did to me was far worse than anything I have done to someone!" Just because you cannot actually feel the hurt or pain you inflicted on someone else does not mean it hurt them any less than the hurt you have felt. Moreover, forgiveness has nothing to do with nor is it contingent on the level or degree of the wrong. Nor is it that you agree with the wrong. It is simply a letting go of the wrong. Letting go of it so you no longer have to carry the pain and burden of someone else's mistake. As adult human beings, it is solely our responsibility (no one else’s) to take ownership of our own thoughts, words, actions and inactions. It is our responsibility to do what is necessary to heal our own wounds regardless of who or what may have initially caused them. The past is meant to be learned from, not lived in. Figure out the lessons, heal the battle wounds, grow and march forward.

We also have a responsibility to take ownership and apologize to those we have personally hurt. Yet, no apology is necessary to heal. Your healing or ability to tend to your own wounds is not contingent on anyone else’s ability or inability to apologize. You hold that power and do not need or require anyone else’s permission to become a fully healed and better person. You cannot outrun your shadows. Wherever you go, they will still be there right behind you. However, you can turn around, face the shadows with courage and ask “What have you come to teach me?” Those shadows of self are only the enemy to us when we are afraid to face them. When we face the shadows with courage and intent to heal, we transmute the negative into positive —the darkness into light. It turns an enemy into an ally. When you learn to love, care, honor and respect yourself, you break the strongholds of darkness. The painful experiences become lessons that will propel you to greater heights. In order to evolve to become the best version of you, there will be times of hardships and struggles. It is part of the journey and process in the discovery of our true selves.

It is never too late to become the amazing person you were meant to be and fulfill the highest potential of your soul's purpose. The world eagerly awaits your light. Rise up and shine on.

Sharing this in the light of love, truth, wisdom and greater understanding.

Kathy the IronButterfly

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