At the age of 16 I turned my mother in for neglect. I would have never imaged betraying her in that way or disrupting our family so severely.
As a 16-year-old, I lived the life of a responsible 30-year-old with four children. I was asked to do things and say things that were wrong and deceitful. I was taught and believed whole-heartedly that all the choices being made were normal interactions between people. I rarely thought twice about the morals or motives behind said actions, it’s just what we did. I understand now that those choices were the result of many illnesses and nothing can be done about what happened in the past.
I wanted so badly to get away from the mess of my life and I never wanted to look back. It wasn’t until I became a mother, an actual biological mother, that I realized the need and power of forgiveness (the F word). I so badly want my children to remain innocent and love with all their hearts; I wanted to protect them from all the evil in the world and thought I was doing just that by monitoring his every action and dictating who could interact with him.
The truth is, I couldn’t teach him anything positive or productive from an unforgiving heart. How can he see how much I love him if he can only compare it to how much I don’t love others?
I have chosen to forgive people because we are all mistake makers, especially me; and like they say it has liberated me. If I don’t forgive how can I be forgiven? I am by no means the perfect parent and I have many of those "parent-of-the-year" moments, I hope my children can look back at their childhoods and look past the mistakes I made as a parent and remember how much I love them and sacrificed for them.
It took a long time for me to forgive my mother, a lot of times I would think I had then it turned out I did not at all forgive her for her past decisions. I think I can say I have come such a long way in forgiving others and I don’t have to worry about those feelings and thought creeping up on me again. My mother is now a doting grandmother to all three of my children and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She teaches them how you can love someone even when you can only see them sometimes. She is a huge part of their and my own life and for that I am completely grateful.
Some things I think are important to know about forgiveness is that it’s often unprompted because no one wants to ask for it. Many times we may not think we need it BUT let me tell you we all do. It’s also important to remember that forgiving someone for something doesn’t mean they were right and you are wrong. It means you want to move on and live life. This forgiveness thing is a skill and can only be mastered with practice. Try it on for a little while, walk around for a little bit and see what a positive outcome it has on life.
I love this song about forgiveness. And those parent of the year moments? That's sarcasm. Those are moments you're not proud of. Forgive yourself for those, too. Check out www.theforgivenessproject.com