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What is the lesson I'm meant to learn?

During a reading recently, the topic of forgiveness came up. When we live through ugly situations with our parents and now they've passed over, what is the right way to feel? What is wrong? What about forgiveness? Do we forgive them? Shouldn't they be asking us for forgiveness?

I can't talk about my client's situation or experience but I can talk about mine. In a nutshell, my mother was a very difficult and violent alcoholic woman and our relationship was awful. She had been sick since I was little and I didn't even know she was in the hospital when she died. I was 17 years old. I never had the chance to say I was sorry or goodbye.

For years I worked on becoming the woman I am, taking all the pain and hurt and turning it into the strength that I have today. I think I've become a good person. I think I help people. In the back of my mind, there was always the wonder of whether or not she was proud of the woman I had become, was she sorry for all the pain, suffering and emotional baggage she had caused and left me with? I thought I'd never know.

Years later, I started having readings. My mother came through. She apologized for what she had done to me ... sort of. In her own way, I could hear that she was sorry. Did she ask for my forgiveness? No. I thought that was strange. But she didn't ask. Perhaps she is too proud or too afraid that I wouldn't give it. Anyway, I came to the realization that not forgiving her was not hurting her, it was hurting me. So I gave it up. I forgave her. I will not forget what she did to me but I did forgive her for it.

So it's over, right? Well, not really. There are still times when something happens, typically when I react to something badly and then reflect back on it, that I realize I reacted that way because of something she did to me. And then I take back my forgiveness. And so it goes. I have to say that it happens less frequently now than it did before and I've come to believe it's a process. Eventually I think I'll be able to give that forgiveness truly and completely, but I'm just not quite there yet. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though ...

I remember reading that when we come into this world, we have already chosen the parents we are going to have and our life path to teach us what we have not yet learned. (Yes, that's a completely different conversation about reincarnation and setting our reason for being here - maybe I'll blog about that at another time.) But here's what I know for sure. I chose my mother to teach me a lesson. I'm still working on figuring out what that lesson is. Maybe it's about patience (yup - still working on that), compassion, loving acceptance of people and their faults ... I'm not exactly sure but each time I find myself blaming her for something, I ask myself the question. What is it that I'm meant to learn? And I listen to what I hear. I believe I'm a better person for it.

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