Why forgiveness is Needed
You know those dreams where actions, words, thoughts are crystal clear, and you are living it in real time? Recently, I had a dream that my mother passed away.
Although I had prepaid for her to organize and plan her funeral she didn’t do the work. Why? Because she was “healthy”. My brother and I argued about her funeral. If it wasn’t our religious differences, it was our mothers lack of religious association. The funeral happened and all eventually settled, but I don’t believe either of us knew it was happening. It was weird. She passed away and life went on as anticipated. I recall everyone asking if I was okay. I guess me working through my day to day activities not missing a beat was cause for questioning. When I woke up from the dream, to be frank, I was okay. In reality my mother and I were not close. She constantly drove me crazy.
You know how kids idolize their parents at a young age, and then somewhere in adolescence there is a click, and parents are a constant source of embarrassment, who’s main existence is to ruin their lives. Then another click, and parents are all cool again. See… I never re-clicked on the cool part.
Back to my dream. Sometime after the funeral it was Thanksgiving, but this one was different. On holidays, I would drag my mom to church with me, regretting it the whole time, as she complained about the service and her not having grandchildren. I would always hope it would fix our relationship but instead it would add tension or create embarrassment. This Thanksgiving I did not have her to drag to church, to listen to her complain, or to nag me about grandchildren. This thanksgiving, and other holidays to come, it hit me like a face plant on the cement, I love my mom.
It hit me. Even though I had spent years angry with her, not only because of her faults, but my insecurities which contributed to the dynamics of our relationship, I had never truly accepted them. After releasing the anger in my heart, I forgave her for not knowing how to do better, but I never relearned to love her.
Parenting isn’t easy in general. With the added load of strong willed children and a want of acceptance from everyone there will be further relationship challenges. However, love is not easy if there is no acceptance. Know that although forgiveness is key it means nothing if there is not a commitment on both sides to rebuild the love and trust.
Blood relatives be it mothers, fathers, siblings drive us batty, but they are a part of us. Whether or not it feels like they are constantly out to ruin our lives, nag or embarrass us they are a unique part of us. They create a love and complete us as a whole into the best version of ourselves. So regardless of what family member is the bane of your existence, know that they are connected with you or it would not matter.
My mom is still here, so I know it is up to me to work on that love and acceptance before that option no longer exists. I have to let her know I care by taking down the walls I keep up to protect myself from her hurting me again. Whoever you cannot love right now know it is a cycle you are going through. Just as children cycle between love and hate as they grow so will you.
Love should always triumph or we may realize we are alone one day.