For years, I felt like my mother didn’t know me and I didn’t know her. The reason for that was lack of communication, but yesterday that changed. She came to visit me this weekend and along with spending some much-needed quality time together, we also sat down and had a long overdue conversation. In having this conversation, I realized just how different people’s perceptions of the same experiences can be and how a lot of family dysfunction can be resolved by communicating effectively.
As a child, I had certain expectations of my parents that they didn’t always meet. I, like many children, put my parents on a pedestal so when they didn’t show up in my life the way I expected them to, it caused me a lot of disappointment and heartbreak. As an adult, I have more compassion for my parents as I now know very well that being a “grown up” does not mean that you will stop making mistakes or suddenly know everything. I accept that my parents did the best they could based on their own knowledge and upbringing. Recently, without receiving an apology, I made the choice to forgive my parents for the mistakes they made. I had to forgive them to move forward in my life as a happy and healthy woman. However, I had no idea how that choice would open the door for greater healing and understanding.
Had I not already forgiven my mother and found compassion for her, I’m not sure if our conversation would have went as well as it did. Because I was no longer holding disappointment and resentment in my heart, I was able to speak and listen from a place of love. I was able to take a walk in her shoes and look at the situations that disappointed me most through her eyes. It was a truly humbling and insightful experience. I have since discovered a greater love and respect for my mother because I can now better understand why she made some of the choices she made.
I wanted to share this to remind you that it’s never too late to be better than you’ve been in the past. It’s never too late to take the high road, heal from your pain, improve your relationships, and create a life you can be proud of. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed or what mistakes have been made, it’s never too late to redeem yourself and start trying to fix what’s broken. I am grateful that even though my childhood memories aren’t the best, I can make new and happier memories with my mother going forward. I am even more grateful that neither of us will leave this world questioning if or how much we love each other. This morning, I woke up feeling lighter and with an indescribable peace in my heart. If there’s a relationship on your heart to make peace with, I encourage you to start the conversation. You might be surprised to find that the issue can be cleared up with a honest and respectful conversation.