I was interviewed on a podcast recently – I’ve been interviewed on many podcasts recently. The host asked me if I have (had) forgiven my mother yet. Maybe both of my parents, but definitely my mother.
“It’s not about forgiveness,” I answered.
There was a time I thought I’d never forgive. That the pain was too huge, too deep, too all-encompassing and I’d never forgive.
There was a time I thought I had to forgive. I still didn’t know how I would – or if I could – get there, but I thought I had to. In order to heal probably, and definitely in order to be “good” at healing. “Good” at forgiving. A “good” person.
I think I was trying to do that perfectly too. No surprise you say, I know, but it always does catch me by surprise…
But I’ve come to the point where I realize it’s not about forgiveness.
What happened happened. My parents’ choices for my brother and me were less than ideal, but they were what they were. Yes, they both exposed us to things that we shouldn’t have been exposed to. Yes, we joined a cult. Yes, my mom left us. Yes, living with Danny was scary. Yes, what he thought was appropriate – or even good – for us was way less than appropriate and definitely not good.
But it was what it was, and it is what it is.
And I am who I am because of all of it.
Yes, I work – sometimes a lot, sometimes not so much – at building a relationship with my parents. Yes, I’ve worked – a lot – on healing.
But it’s not about forgiveness. I think it’s about acceptance. I know it’s about love.
Finding the love that was – and is – there, and growing it, savoring it, basking in it, and loving it. I always have a choice, and I, again and hopefully always, choose love.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!
Photo by gus moretta on Unsplash