Word Count 842
The Power of Forgiveness
I believe in forgiveness.
I never really understood the meaning of forgiveness. When people hurt me or treat me badly I always thought the best way to handle it is to hold it in. I never showed anger on the outside but just kept it all in. Instead, I let it boil inside of me. My kind act toward those who hurt me was a shield from my pain. Most of my kind act was at my mother. I blamed my birth mother for every relationship I have ever been in that ended with my hurting the guy or me thinking I am just going to be like my mother and leave him for the next person. Over the years, her actions and mishaps became the victim for my own actions. The fact that I have not yet become a divorcee like her was justification for her being irresponsible, dishonest, and ungrateful. Throughout the years of struggle, dysfunctional relationships, and little to no relationship, I hardly took responsibility for anything that I had done. I laid all my relationship troubles on my birth mother. I call her my birth mother because I never grew up with her but I have met her from time to time. She gave me to my dad when I was seven years old because of another man. I blame my relationship trouble on her because she never had a solid relationship for me to learn from. She
has been married four times and the longest have been a year and that was to my dad. Then a few months ago, something shocking happened to me: I was in a committed relationship for the first time in my life. I was so scared I would be just like her or I was going to ruin this wonderful guy’s life. One night, as I was trying to sleep, thinking about my life, I suddenly became filled with fear. I was convinced I would screw up my life —that all my fear of being like her was tarnishing my relationship life. Strangely, while panicking about my life becoming a doom, my mother came to mind. I sat there in the dark, surrounded by the soothing sounds and smells of my air freshener in my room, and I thought of how my mom must have blame her mother for the same reason I am blaming her. I knew at that moment that she never intended to hurt me. I realized that might have been as scared like I am when it comes to commitment just as I am. I knew that she had done the best she could to stay in those relationships, but it was not the right thing to do. I forgave my mother that night—for all the times she got divorced, embarrassed me, or hurt my father or made me feel like I can never have a relationship because I always think I would end up like her. I forgave her for not being around. I let go of the resentment I’d held toward her for so many years. I stopped blaming her. For some reasons maybe my reasons were not very noble. Maybe I was afraid my life would turn out to be just like hers or maybe I might never find that person to settle down with. Whatever the reason, for the first time, I saw my birth mom as a real person. A person with flaws and mistakes. I knew she did not jump from marriage to marriage to hurt me. She got divorced for four times because she was flawed and hurting. I knew that if I did not forgive her, I would never have the kind of relationship I wanted with my future husband. If I kept blaming her I would never start living my own life. My mom have not asked for my forgiveness; she’s never acknowledged that she’s done anything wrong. But I realized that in forgiving her, what I was really doing was taking responsibility for myself and my own actions for the first time in a long time. Forgiving my mom changed my life. I accepted her for who she was and that set me free. I realized that when we forgive someone it is not for them but for you. After I forgave her it was like a burden was taken off my shoulders. I felt this inner...