The Healing Grace of Forgiveness

Your kids, even the thoroughly adult ones, always teach you what you need to learn.  This phenomenon begins at your first meeting and does not end until you pass gently from this life into the next. I’ve always known this, but it was brought to me again through a situation in my own life.

For the past few years I have been estranged from our eldest son; he is my step-son but has been mine to love and parent since he was seven years old.  It was an amazingly wild hodge-podge of miscommunication, misunderstanding, misplaced blame, misplaced anger, and false assumptions that came between us.  I staunchly stood by my own interpretations of what I believed to be true.  I thought there was no way that either of us would budge from our positions.  The wide divide felt permanent and I was willing to let it be so.  I learned to ignore it, mostly.

Until the day in late October when Youngest Son, born a peacemaker, asked to speak to me.  He spoke for the elder brother and asked if I would be willing to meet with EB to talk about our differences.  And he said this to me:  You write on your blog that “Love is everything.”  How can you say that when you have this in our family that hurts everybody?

He had rightly called me a hypocrite and suddenly everything shifted.  I was able to see a truth about myself that I could not abide, for I absolutely do believe that love is everything and I always have every intention of operating from a place of love.  I became desperate to put this situation to rights as quickly as possible.  It no longer mattered who was right, who was wrong, who hurt who, or why it had grown so big.  My conviction was that it was my responsibility to put things right.  It had come as a shock to learn that my behavior was causing all of my children pain; no mother ever wants to face that truth about herself.  But there it was.

So Eldest Son and I came together at a small table at a mall food court, perfectly private in a public place, and we talked.  And talked. There was no accusation and no defensiveness, for we both came from a place of love.  It was a wonderfully spirit-guided experience that lasted for two intense hours and covered every bit of our shared lives– the good, the bad, the ugly on both sides.

I spoke straight from my heart, telling him I love him and have always loved him.  I asked for his forgiveness for all the mistakes I have made over the forty-six years of our relationship.  He said that he has always regarded me as his true mother who loved and nurtured him, and asked for my forgiveness for the times he disconnected emotionally and seemed disrespectful. We were quite specific in claiming our errors.  It was stunningly simple; we just forgave the negatives of the past, recognized the positives, and made a fresh beginning.  So stunningly simple.  And it is important to add that I forgave myself as well.

We are very good now, so I hope everyone can just relax and enjoy the healing that forgiveness has created for us all.

Love is everything.

P.S.  Speaking of healing, there is this.  For the entire duration of this emotional break with Elder Son, I have suffered with serious pain below and around my left ear and down my neck and shoulder.  It was particularly painful in the morning and I assumed I just had the wrong pillow.  I have been through multiple styles of pillows seeking relief with no success!  It’s been about a week since the reconciliation and now the pain has disappeared.

Think whatever you like about that!  :-)

Again, love is truly everything.

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This entry was posted on Monday, December 1st, 2014 at 11:13 am and is filed under Things to Think About. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses to “The Healing Grace of Forgiveness”

  1. Martha Bailey on December 1st, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    What a great story. I just wish more people could read this because a lot of people can relate to it. It does not have to be mother/son. It can be sibling/sibling or aunt/niece or any other combination. Thanks for sharing this with the world.

  2. Rod on December 8th, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Awww! I’m so happy you two came together in love and understanding. I cringe at the word hypocrite, though. I’m so grateful that both of you were able to open your hearts to the idea that people grow and people change, and people misunderstand each other all the time. I love you!