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As I clear the cobwebs of my mind, it feels as if I just woke up from a lifetime of oblivion to realize that at 70 years old, I still have amends to make to my mother of 89.

What makes this topic important? To anyone who has yet to make amends, especially during Mothers’ Day, this may be your time to do what is right for you, as time waits for no one. Why is this important?

1.  We only have one mother, period. You were born only once and whether or not we remember; you were given the best of what she had to offer at the time. For many of us, it may still not LOOK like we expected, or yearned for it to look and probably never will. However, just like us in our total insanity of acting out in our addictions: we did the best we could under the circumstance.  And so it is with our mothers.

2.  Forgiveness is about finding your heartfelt reconciliation and comfort deep within. The opportunity to change our story by changing our perspective is a gift only we can create and own through the life-giving Steps and actions we take in recovery. It is about realizing the depth of a sacred freedom from bondage of stress, anguish, and pain, that can be our gift to ourselves and our mothers. 

3.  For many of us, our parents are still the keepers of “triggers” like no other; that sought to push our thinking over the edge. Guilt and resentments, often still reside here. Isn’t it time we consider our own emotional maturity? Haven’t we resented our parent(s) long enough? Recovery offers us a supreme way out of these triggers as we begin with gentle self-compassion, to forgive ourselves for allowing them to be resident in our heads (ohhh yes, rent free!) while they lived their lives generally unaware of our painful thoughts and resentments. You see, resentments, and the longstanding hate and anger they produce (along with guilt from still holding on to them,)–all of this belongs to us, not them! A dear friend in recovery reminded us in a meeting that, “If we are not the problem? There is NO solution!”

4.  As a child we didn’t know any better but today, regardless of whether we are clean and sober, we have a choice. We can forgive ourselves for the lying, the theft, the staying out all night and so much more that we created to intentionally defy and hurt them. By opening this sacred portal into our own soul to forgiveness, we cut others some slack. As we admit that we hold the key that gives us the power to change, we find others begin to change too. Because we’ve opened our hearts and in so doing, do they. THAT is how forgiveness works.

5.   Most of all, it is the most deserving thing we can do to achieve freedom and a worthiness to move past our own darkness into the Sunlight of the Grace of Forgiveness. For me, this realization comes with a conviction that we really will never have but one mother. Awareness seeks the highest ground of enlightenment and says that not then, nor now, were any of us perfect and, at times, often incorrect, as to actual harms done ‘back in the day. Our false beliefs have done much to protect us from perceived harm, creating scenarios to “fill in the blanks” of situations that had no validity to us at all! In the end, nothing matters for us but blissful contentment and resolute, honorable forgiveness of ourselves, enough to forgive others.

Life is so painfully short, I hope that each of us find a way to honor ourselves by honoring our mothers. If they are no longer here, a loving handwritten letter may go a long way to acknowledge our own inequities of years gone by. This is the time to make our true selves known and set them free once and for all: allowing them to become reduced, by submitting our side of feelings, whatever they look like today: because, after all–feelings are NOT facts. They arise out of mistaken beliefs coupled with our own inability to see our part in the situation. 

To experience profound joy and lasting contentment that comes with the freedom only forgiveness can offer is a gift unlike any other.  It is a conviction, once and for all, that we are truly, so much better than we ever imagined.  And now we have the freedom of forgiveness to prove it!  We must always let forgiveness begin with me if we are to experience emotional maturity. Blessings to all of us as mothers, as fathers, as nurturers who did the very best we could do with so little, at the time. Our Higher Power allows a permanent shift of grace to protect us as we face some our deepest most hateful of emotions. But we’ve always deserved this freedom, and we pray for the courage to carry it out.”

Harriet Hunter
Award-Winning and Best Selling Author of Miracles of Recovery
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“We are so much better than we THINK we are!”

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