Originally posted by Emjayandthem on December 15, 2010
photo credit news.bbc.co.uk
It’s not something we do for others; we do it for ourselves so we can heal and move on.
I can’t count the number of conversations I’ve had with friends lately about how much they’re dreading the holiday get-together because their Dad is difficult or their Stepmom/sister/brother/cousin/aunt will be there and you know what they’re like. Hurt feelings, disappointments, stand-offs, words that should never have been said.
Add some booze to the mix and stir — wheee!
Not. So. Much.
It’s uncomfortable; it’s the elephant in the room.
It’s why they don’t want to go home. They’re considering staying put.
I know that not everything can be forgiven (abuse, violence) but, in my experience, more things can … than cannot. And when you let those past hurts go, something shifts: Your burden is lightened. Oh those others? They will remain as they are but something in you will change.
I know it’s not easily done but, trust me on this: it gets easier with practice. Like any skill, the more you do it the better you’ll be.
Forgiveness. It really can set you free.
I wish you peace.
* * *
Go where you’re celebrated
“Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.” – Anne Lamott
So, in January of our oldest son’s Senior year, I started assembling a scrapbook of his photos for the family Graduation party. I scurried around, finding pictures here and there, and, in my usual analytical style, laid out a spreadsheet of important trips and milestones to catalog. Painstakingly, night after night, I worked on it and finally, after four months, I finished: two beautiful leather bound books that hardly got touched at his party.
Youngest graduates this month. Three days ago, I started assembling his scrapbook; no spreadsheet created as I spent most of the weekend just locating photos.
Panic threatened to settle in.
Why did I wait so long? I exclaimed.
What was I thinking? This is just too much!
But then, I had a little chat with myself: I slowed down, I lingered over those sweet baby cheeks and all those firsts I’d recorded along the way. I laughed at the Ninja forts made of blankets & dining room chairs and cried seeing how fast it’s flown past.
I stopped analyzing. I started enjoying.
Our baby graduates this month.
Perusing the photos has been cathartic; I’ve had many a “moment” but they’ve been by myself. This experience will allow me to host family and friends with ease. Can’t say the same for Hubbs. He can’t walk in the room without tearing up; maybe I should have him help me finish the scrapbook?
“You have to make mistakes to find out who you aren’t. You take the action, and the insight follows: You don’t think your way into becoming yourself.” — Anne Lamott
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