Forgiving Mama

I’ve lived long enough to know that when I forgive myself, I’ll forgive my mother. Or, is it the other way around? “It’s tempting to blame our parents… for our chaos. However, blaming others moves us in the wrong direction. Becoming accountable for everything is the essence of true transformation” – Yehuda Berg

What went before – I answered an inner call that yanked me from my 3 young children and husband of 14 years and launched me on a decades-long journey through guilt to forgiveness.

It would be several years before I understood what all I had to release in order to move successfully through various stages on my journey of self-discovery. Separation from the feminine sustained the biggest hit. “[T]he mother stands for the victim in ourselves, the martyr; and our personalities seem to blur dangerously with our mothers…[I]n desperation to know where the mother ends and the daughter begins, we are often forced to perform radical surgery.” – Adrienne Rich

The “surgery” took place in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and like other feminists of the day, I latched onto the male model of achievement. I went on to accomplish a great deal in my life, nonetheless I continued to under value myself as a woman.

Over time, with the benefit of therapy, and a deepening of my spiritual center, I worked at marrying my masculine and feminine self. Still a work in progress. What I came to realize is that Mother and I, each in our own unique way, experienced a separation from the feminine. The chasm between the two eras that spanned our lives varied drastically but did not change the fact that, in the end, Mom and I were more alike than different. My mother was a sweet, kind, simple woman who yearned for happiness in her life and marriage. Even though my life was more nuanced, the same desire was the cause of my actions, however I longed for more self-definition. Who’s to say which one of us was better or worse off for our choices?

Wait. It was the other way around. It took me many more years after forgiving Mama before self-forgiveness came.

The characteristics of an authentically powerful personality are humbleness, clarity, forgiveness and love. – Gary Zukav

I love you Mom

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