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?