Home » B4Peace » March — B4Peace: Forgiveness

March — B4Peace: Forgiveness

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Monthly Peace Challenge: Marching towards Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”–Mark Twain

This month, Kozo at EverydayGurus challenged us to post about forgiveness. Publish a post that exemplifies the power of forgiveness.

  • Is there someone you need to forgive? Why not do it in a post for peace?
  • Has someone forgiven you for your trespasses? Share how this act of forgiveness changed your life.
  • Do you know a powerful story/song/film/poem about forgiveness? Share it here or create a new one.
  • Photographers and artists feel free to post pieces that mean forgiveness to you.
  • How about a tribute to a role model of forgiveness?

As long as you are dealing with any aspect of forgiveness in your post, you are meeting the challenge–even if your post is why you find it hard to forgive.

I had to think on this one, and although my contribution doesn’t embody the purpose of this months topic (you can strike me off the t-shirt list now), I still wanted to share it with you. It wasn’t easy to write, and it is in itself, too late for the person concerned.

From the day of my birth I had a challenge to face. How to gain the love of my mother. Okay, so I know that she loved me in a sense, but not as a mother should love her child. And definitely not a mother who should tell her child ‘you were born evil.’ And nothing I ever did was good enough in her eyes. And whatever I did would always be compared to my siblings accomplishments.

During my younger years I acted out (after my father had died of course), answered back, all the usual overated dramas of a teenager. I also had constant arguments and battles with one of my sisters. We never got on, nor do we today. She was the one I had to compete with to get the slightest bit of recognition of my existence. But no matter what achievements I found myself proud of, my mother would pull out a retort how my sister had achieved something better, and would then blank me or half-listen with the odd hm-hhm.

Eventually I got married, found someone who loved me for me. We had a son, and I swore I’d never treat him as though he was unworthy. Life was complete at last. The strangest thing though, I continually attempted to prove myself, gain at least a little respect. However, things came to a head when my mother started to do the same thing to my son, comparing him with my nephew (yes you got it, my sister’s son). That was when I told her what I truly thought. She didn’t try arguing the point so I decided to keep away.

After a time we began visiting again, not often though, because I couldn’t forgive her for the way she’d treated my son. Then shortly after, I stopped visiting altogether. Not that she would have noticed, Alzheimer’s had taken hold of her.

Then one afternoon I received a phone call from my eldest sister. My mother was going into hospital and it didn’t look good. I dropped everything and headed to her home. She had no idea who I was, which broke my heart. To cut the story short, I spent three days at the hospital with my family, and the last night before she died (with two of my brothers) in her room. And I’m not proud to say I got in a massive argument with my sister (she just had to say something that wasn’t called for). That argument caused me to go home and I got a the call that evening saying my mother had died.

I placed a letter in her coffin. No one will ever know what I wrote, that was between us. However, the core of it I can share. I told her I forgave her for the way she acted towards me throughout our life together, and I apologised for being a bitch sometimes.

The thing is, at the time I wrote the letter my words were half-hearted, I wanted to believe what I’d written, only, in a way I didn’t. Now two years later I’ve had time to think it over, and I’ve realised there’s no point in holding a grudge, what good does it do apart from cement loathing and hatred inside. So:

“I would’ve loved to have come to some sort of compromise while you were still here. You probably had your reasons and I know it couldn’t have been easy having me at the age of 39. But I want you to know I honestly do forgive you mum. It’s taken a while for me to come to terms with everything, but know that I always loved you, and still love you, no matter what. Rest peacefully.”

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” Lewis B. Smedes

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10 Comments

  1. Great photo and Mark Twain quote. Lovely post.

  2. terry1954 says:

    forgiveness is almost as difficult for me as forgetting. I have forgiven the meanest members in my family but forgetting has never happened. I will remain on guard for my brother and resist more pain when ever I can. great post!

  3. Kozo says:

    Sarah,
    I’m not sure why you think this post doesn’t meet the requirements. This is a beautiful post on forgiveness. My heart warmed when I read the quote from your letter. I hope this post sets you free. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo
    p.s. Don’t mean to be a downer, but it sounds like the next person you have to forgive is your sister.

  4. elleturner4 says:

    Hey Sarah, very thoughtful and brave. Really enjoy your writing 🙂

  5. How heartfelt and beautifully written Sarah. I am lucky to have been able to forgive my mother when I was 35 years old and to be able to tell her about how I felt about how she had treated me all my life. I know your letter ( the one in the coffin and this post) are the best tools to be able to move on…Good luck

  6. […] March – B4Peace: Forgiveness (sarahneeve.wordpress.com) […]

  7. […] March – B4Peace: Forgiveness (sarahneeve.wordpress.com) […]

  8. dmgartphoto says:

    Excellent writing on a hard subject. Im glad that you have come to peace with it.

  9. […] March – B4Peace: Forgiveness (sarahneeve.wordpress.com) […]

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