At the beginning of the new year of 2019 I flew to Las Vegas to be with my family. I grew up in a military family and when both my grandparents and parents retired out of the Army they decided Las Vegas was the best place to be for retirement. I will probably never ever understand that move, but hey to each their own right? The Pacific Northwest will always be my home!!
My parents recently bought a house in Las Vegas and it is the most beautiful home. A gorgeous four bedroom house all done up with marble countertops and stone like flooring. My dad has a spacious office with fancy French doors and a den up the stairs. A guest bedroom with a full bath for guests to sleep in. Every space of the house is well decorated with warmth and acknowledgement of a loving family.
I woke up early on the 2nd day of the new year to go visit my grandparents who only live just about 5 minutes away from my parents. I walked into my parents room to get ready, my mom has the best bathroom and walk-in closet with a bidet and every beauty product a woman could dream of, my preferred spot to get ready when I'm visiting. My mom was still laying in bed, half awake half asleep… I laid down next to her to say good morning and the conversation we had changed so much in my heart.
My relationship with my mom was sort of awful growing up. When I say we bumped heads, that is the nice way of describing that I thought my mom was a total bitch growing up and she thought that I was a little shit head of an adolescent (aren't we all though at that age? LOL). I wasn't a terrible child by any means but I was stubborn, opinionated and I thought I knew everything, all things I'm sure my mother saw in me as a reflection of herself. I am my mothers child 100%.
My mom has always had the greatest of intentions for all of her kids but her approach in the moment isn't always the best. She reacts quickly and sharp. She raised me to be a strong and independent woman. My mom looked over at me that morning and asked me, "how did you find it in your heart to forgive me for all the messed up things that I did to you growing up?" It took me a second to really grasp on to her words.
This was a heart-to-heart conversation that my mom and I were having, although as I've grown up to be the adult that I am, our relationship is much stronger today than it was when I was teenager. Heart-to-heart conversations are rare but this one was an important one. In this moment I could feel that my mom was acknowledging that she made a few mistakes while I was growing up, as we all do as mothers, and that was huge!
I looked over at my mom and told her, "I forgave you because I needed to for myself."
See, forgiveness can be a tricky thing. If you are anything like me, which is stubborn as all hell, it can be hard to forgive others because, as for me personally, it feels like what they did that hurt you is okay and you know it's not. Forgiving someone for hurting you can feel like you are giving them a "get out of jail FREE" card. A free pass to do fucked up shit to you and then you forgive them and that’s that. None of that is true.
The truth behind forgiveness is that it frees YOU. Forgiving someone for doing fucked up shit to you means that you are no longer holding onto any resentment or pain to what they did to you. You are letting it go like the wind, knowing that there is nothing they can do to take it back, and you move on with your life. You learn from the way people treated you and you make smarter decisions as a human being, but you let that hurt go for yourself.
Don't get me wrong either… it is okay to hurt from the hurtful things people do to you. It is okay to be mad, upset, sad, whatever emotion it brings to you. But learning how to forgive someone for your own happiness is the best thing you can do for yourself. Resentment towards one person only transfers into your other relationships, whether you know it or not. Those hurt emotions can haunt you for eternity if you never face them head on and learn to let it go.
I believe that our relationships with our parents is one of the foundational relationships we have, and what you get from the relationship you have with your parents affects many of the other relationships you will have for the rest of your life. It is not only the relationships itself, but it is also the way you perceive it to be and what you do with what you learn about that relationship.
There must be an acceptance that our parents are not perfect but what was there intentions? Was it to love you? Teach you? Show you how to become a good human being? Or maybe your parents weren't around or they were truly shitty parents… are you going to take