Sunday, April 11, 2010


When was the last time you forgave someone?

I mean really built up enough courage to set your pride aside, open your mind, your heart, and your spirit...set aside your own perspective to look for deeper meaning in what someone else did or said to truly understand his/her point of view?

I ran into my mother at the supermarket the other day after a 5 month relationship hiatus.

Most of you will likely cringe (as most people usually do) when you read and process that I haven't spoken with my mother in over 5 months, but if you knew all there is to know you might...just might...sympathize.

My mother and I have always had a very strained relationship. Partially for lack of understanding...

Understanding each other's perspectives.

As a child, I could not understand her guarded, stoic, strict and impersonal demeanor and conversely I never felt she understood my basic needs to be loved, nurtured and respected.

As I grew older and learned more and more about her life, I worked very hard each day, to forgive her and help her find deeper meaning in her life and experiences, hoping that together we could heal her broken spirit, which proved a lot more difficult than I thought.

At the onset of our most recent disagreement, I accepted that I may never speak to her again because I couldn't deal with anymore of her outbursts, her lack of respect for me as a daughter, mother and wife and to shield my children from her inconsistent personality.

Day after day, I worked to put my mother behind me and focus on my family and self. But each day that I look at my children, and come up with diversions to my daughter's requests to "go see grandma," it grows harder and harder to release my relationship with my mother.

Deep down inside I know she's been through a lot...but it feels so unfair that I've always been the one to understand and constantly forgive. When does she take any responsibility for our relationship? I guess part of my frustration is around the fact that she never wanted to take true accountability for anything she's done. Not to me, not to my sisters, not to friends...I mean NO ONE.

I can admit that I am angry with my mother, but love her dearly.

I also love my children and make my own mistakes. How big or small, hurtful or not are all relative to them, as my mother's are relative to me. I could never imagine dealing with the emptiness of being without my children. But can I forgive her? How do I do it? When is the right time? Am I doing it for her? For me? For my children? I guess it's a combination of all three. The reality is that my mother may never be able to take accountability for her actions, but I need to release those feelings to become a complete woman and mother. My children need an example of forgiveness. It is my responsibility to help them learn to release what may hold them back due to an inability to forgive. They need an example for healing and moving forward...

Perhaps if I release my mother...I can overcome my constant self-examinations of how good or bad I am as a mother and can truly live, learn and forgive myself and my daily mistakes so that I can really be in the moment with my children.

But how do I do it?


  1. Pray! Ask God to guide you and your heart. It IS difficult when the pain is deeply embedded within us but prayer...or a deep spiritual connection helps (me at least). I've had family members who hurt me, and they probably had their reasons and some of it remains unresolved, but I vowed to let it go. A leopard cannot change its spots, but you DO accept that it is a leopard right?
    Also the more you trust in God (or whatever your belief system), the more you connect with your authentic self, the more frivolous things like that become.
    Ask yourself, "if (God forbid) something happened to my mother, would I be ok with where our relationship left off?"
    You also want to know why do YOU have to be the one to forgive? Because it will heal YOU. Sometimes we are set in our ways, or ego kicks in, and I understand...believe me, (I am very stubborn at times :) but I have found that I enjoy life more when I don't have anything resting on my heart. I came across this quote recently that helps me and I hope it reaches your heart too "The grudge you hold on to is like a hot coal that you intend to throw at someone, only you're the one who gets burned. ~ Siddhartha Gautama"

  2. Thanks Mandy...and you're right...I could never imagine how I would feel if she weren't here. I will ontinue to pray about this and work toward reaching out. Thanks

  3. I am adopted and never trully understand the mother/daughter relationship, but I will say this, your mom is human and will make mistakes, see her as a human being first then your mom. She does the best she could with what she has mentally, physically, spiritually. A woman of her age is hard to change, you can only change yourself Latwan. I will tell you like I tell most of my friends who have this issue, Live and let live, be happy you have someone to call mom and your children have their grandma even if she is not the way YOU want her to be. She raised you, I believe? And you turned out just fine, didn't you :) Don't ever let 5 months pass again without so much as sending her a holiday card! The same way you work on your relationship with your hubby, you can also with your mom. I know your a great woman and will feel in your heart what the right thing to do is. Good luck.