March 25th, 2008
Learning to Forgive, Pts. 1-3 are here.
I really really don’t want to write this today.
But I will.
Because I must.
I had high hopes for this one. And I think it went OK, just not as well as I’d hoped. A part of me truly believed forgiveness would be easier. But we’re mainly talking about my mom here, and anyone in therapy will tell you, mom issues ain’t easy.
So what I did was to imagine her as she was when she most hurt me — exhausted, overwhelmed, tired, anxious, alone. And then I thought of myself in a similar situation. I’m not a superstar mom even without those elements above, so it must have been hard for her.
Plus: she was a good mom. Just not the mom I wanted her to be. And is she at fault for that?
I hold on to the idea that she knew better, knew better than to guilt me, judge me, criticize me, but…I’m loosening my grip on that idea.
She did the best she could with what she knew at the time, and with how she was “taught” to be by her own parents.
So I told myself those things and I reflected and I still hurt.
But I know my mom wasn’t perfect, as I’m not. I know it is the time for me to let go of the childish things of the past. To move on, to decide to move on.
I think it’s unrealistic to think that I will ever completely resolve my hurt, but I can let myself feel it, imagine my mom’s side, empathize and look at what really matters: she loved me, and I sincerely believe she did her best.
What else is there?
And so the decision was made.
I still feel a little tense. But I’m lightening up and I think this exercise was worth it.
The takeaway? I think you do just decide to forgive and then forge on in that direction. You don’t say “oh, it’s OK that you hurt me so bad,” you say, “you hurt me bad, but I’m moving on.” And depending on the circumstances, you decide to love that person anyway.
I always loved my mom, but now maybe I understand her a bit more too.
And mom? Remember the week before you passed away and you took my hand and said, “I’m sorry.”? And do you remember how I said it was OK?
This time I mean it.