“Give forgiveness; that is your greatness.”
As I am sitting here making my Yogi Kombucha Green tea I came across the tea bag’s paper label and written on it said, “Give forgiveness; that is your greatness.”
Which reminds me of the last two years of my mommy’s life. I had to pull the plug on my mother a day before my birthday last year. It was one of the most depressing and hardest decisions I ever had to make. At that moment she was my mommy and she suffered from a lifetime of hurt and whatever issues I had with her from the past, I needed to let that go in order to let her go in peace. I mean, I had forgiven her a few years before after really learning her story and as a woman that had her own, I finally understood everything. She did what she could for my brother and I. There were many times when I wished I could have lived a lot better, known a lot more, and shown a lot more, but it didn’t happen. My life was hard growing up, just like a lot of others and there was soooo much I needed to prepare me for this world. I didn’t get that!!! And for many years of suffering and obstacles that I was unfamiliar with, I got more distant and hard, and at times hateful.
During my struggles, I continued to see my mom struggling as well, but I needed to save someone. At that time, I was only able to save me. Because I didn’t want to go through my whole life struggling because of my background. I needed something better for me and my child. My mom was never able to come back from her mental prison, but I was able to because I wanted different.
I admit I was selfish with my life and while she continued to struggle mentally and physically, I was grinding to move away from the hellish life I experienced growing up.
I neglected her in a lot of ways and it was because I was angry at her. At those times, I was not able to forgive her and her defiance and ignorance about our lives kept her angry at me as well. When I was able to know her story and the blanks became clearer, I was able to really understand why she had it hard and why she could only do what she was able to do. Over the last 2 years of her life, I decided to reach out more and started to manage what I could without her yelling at me to, “mind my business” or “leave her alone.” And when she needed to be put in a nursing home, she resented me like I gave her a death sentence.
When we got the call that the doctors wanted all of the family to come in, I knew what was going to happen. I had to pull the plug on the 24th of July (one of her sister’s birthdays), and a day before mines. For months after she passed, I was guilt-ridden because I wished I had the power to rearrange or change her circumstances in life. If I knew what I know now I wish I could have changed it when I was 10, 16, 26, or at 36 years of age. Maybe her life could have been more meaningful, loving, happy, or stable.
I hated myself because I couldn’t carry the weight of her pain on my back. I envisioned a life for her filled with love, laughter, positive memories, and stability. And when she passed I wasn’t able to give her that. I wasn’t able to change her past and present. I failed and I couldn’t forgive myself.
It has been nine months since she passed and during those months I went through many phases of my grief and the hardest one was learning to forgive myself and that certain things were simple out of my hands. The only way to change her circumstances would have been to change into her and that was not happening. I had to learn to forgive myself and everything that I felt and know that she was the best mother she could be and that she loved us dearly, but she was flawed and I’m OK with that. She was perfectly flawed, but she was my mommy.
I can’t judge myself by what others did to me. Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.
Learning to forgive and letting go not only helped me with things from my past, but the current people in my circle, outside of my circle, and just my interactions with different people. I’m not saying I get it right ever time and the way my anger is set up, well….lol. I’m saying, I can’t take on the issues or why people may hurt others or me by digging into me or thinking if I only….people will do what they do and I can’t control that. I can’t control how they choose to do things that may result in hurting others or me. I can’t take their decisions and make it right so that I am not hurt. God knows, I wish I could!! But that’s not my burden. Over the last 2/3 days, I have been reflecting on different things that have happened in my life and the betrayal of someone I held close to my heart a few days past, and this spoke to me so I needed to write my feelings down and speak on it. The only thing I can do is forgive myself and them…because that is my greatness. – AcademicHustler1975