From the beginning, my mom and my wife were at odds with each other, and neither had any qualms about offering her opinion. I often felt caught in the middle. The conflict finally reached critical mass after I had a particularly bitter argument with my mom. I smugly wrote her a letter telling her she would no longer be in my life, and felt completely justified in sending it. What a clueless, self-righteous dolt I was! My dad told me later that my mom cried when she read the letter and had trouble sleeping for days afterward.
It didn’t take long for my mom and me to start talking again, but something important was missing. She had doted on me from the day I was born and we had always had a wonderful, loving relationship. But there was now a distance between us. I even stopped telling her I loved her because I couldn’t pretend that the purity of our relationship had been restored.
I don’t remember how long the rift between us lasted. It may have been months, but it seemed like years. Over time, it gradually dissipated until one day there was no longer any resentment or bruised feelings. We both had awakened to the understanding that love is what matters most. We also understood that we had both acted very foolishly.
My mom traces her wake-up call to the day a friend of hers explained the tradition of Yom Kippur, a day of atonement in Judaism that follows a ten-day period of reflection, repentance, and reconciliation. Realizing that her constant criticism was poisoning our relationship, my mom decided she would stop judging us and allow us to live our lives as we saw fit. The moment she committed to that decision, she felt an enormous burden lift. More importantly, her heart was at peace.
Writing that letter to my mom is the greatest regret of my life. Now that my daughter is grown, I can’t begin to imagine the excruciating heartache I would feel if I received such a letter from her. If anything could destroy me, that would be it. I recently told my mom that I still felt anguish about putting her through such torment. She waved off my concern with a loving smile. We were both wrong, she said, but none of that mattered anymore.
I can no longer remember what feeling angry at my mom felt like. The power of unconditional love vaporizes any and all non-loving feelings as if they had never existed. I can attest that pure, loving forgiveness washes away every last trace of hurt.
My mom and I aren’t the only ones who experienced the healing balm of forgiveness. My now ex-wife feels nothing but love and affection for my mom. We’ve been divorced for more than sixteen years but we all still get together for the holidays when we can and consider ourselves one big happy family. Indeed, that is exactly what we are.
HERE ARE MY FORGIVENESS-RELATED POSTS:
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.