I am grateful to no end for the windows that I look out of as I once more collapse in a crash and burn on my couch. I take a few pictures of what I can see from my horizontal captivity. I push through the pain in my body like a bull pushes his head through a matador’s angry red cape. As I blast through the red, I find myself landing in a different place in my tired mind. Once more I am reflecting on forgiveness. Which brings me to weigh the love to be found in all of this forgiveness. Matters of the heart can be quite complicated. I understand that part – but I am not speedy with how I want to go about all this complex getting in touch with my feelings stuff. Then it has all these different levels of emotions. I mean, being the recovering party girl and all, this does not come easily for me. I am far from being the fast order cook of my emotions. “How do you want your heart cooked lady?! Scrambled? Fried? Over easy?” Pause. “Poached?!” Another pause. “Lord have mercy if you are one of them picky organic grown and free range types!”
“Hey, don’t rush me man.” Sheesh. Gimme a damn minute. I’m not sure what type I am right now. Why don’t cha come back in a week?
Here’s what is on my mind again as I look out the window to the thick green trees. . . I’ve been divorced from Tyler’s dad for 25 years now – so no need for us to talk any more now that my son is a grown man. But a couple of months ago my ex-husband sent me an E mail apologizing for something quite hurtful that he said to me around 3 years ago. THREE YEARS AGO. What’s up with that?
But I digress. It felt like being involved in a bad car accident because someone simply took their eyes off of the road. I revisited the emotional intersection of the collision with my ex-husband once again: While my son was going to the local college he wanted to live with his father. He had been going back and forth, every other weekend to his father’s house his whole life. So, seemingly, all was just fine. I went to visit my son at the house – we were all visiting. And while Tyler left his father and I in the living room for just one second – Yes – he took his eyes off of us for just one second . . . CRASH! BAM!
I didn’t see it coming at all. I was caught quite off guard because his father – out of nowhere – offered information to me that I did not need to know. Ouch! Call the paramedics! Too much information and my emotional air-bag did not deploy. Ouch! Offering such hurtful information is somewhere between a twisted confession or just completely standing there while waiting for someone’s face to smash through the windshield. At first I was kinda numb, in shock. I gathered myself enough to tell him there was no reason for him to suddenly offer this information to me. It was unnecessary, hurtful and not ok. The shocker was that I was calm, so calm, but the hurt so deep that my words came out in a whisper.
He seemed to have forgotten I was no longer the girl he met in a bar and married 8 months later. I am a mom, a sober mom who made the decision to stay sober and put my son first in my life. I rose to my feet. I stood tall. Slowly I picked up my purse and walked away towards my son’s room to say good bye to him. What my ex-husband said after that is unimportant. In my son’s room, Tyler said that he had heard everything. My son, who was now a grown man – in college plus working a job – walked up to me and gave me a big ol’ bear hug. How did he get so dang tall? So much taller than me now. He told me I never had to put myself in such a position any more – because he was over 18 now. My son Tyler continued to say some wise, loving and supportive words to me as he walked me to my car. He told me that I’ve been a great mom his whole life. He was his usual cool, calm and collected self. He suggested we meet down the street at the coffee shop in 5 minutes. And I left and that was that with my ex-husband. Boom.
So here I am looking at this “3 years later” E mail from my ex. He wrote to me that he wished he never said the words he said to me that day. He asked “for my forgiveness”. Oddly and to my surprise, I shed tears of compassion for him as I read it. If you ask me – relationships, marriage, matters of the heart – it can all be so sad sometimes if we are not careful. Especially if we take our eyes off the road, or worse, if we take our eyes off of God. And just speaking for myself, forgiveness has always been a tricky one. However, something profound happened this time. I felt compassion, but with out searching for it. I felt it being delivered to me by love – just like what I heard in church once as I kid when I went with my next door neighbors – God is love. That information that was “offered” to me that day from my ex-husband had nothing to do with me as a person. It was his old stuff, back to haunt him. He was the one that ran that emotional red light that day, and I just happened to be in the way. And as a result of his own actions, once more he totalled his own heart.
Sure, of course it would not be my choice to be endlessly ill and weary and have this crazy painful Fibromyalgia thing – but through the years of not feeling 100% I have created a simple and uncomplicated life and only surround myself with kind, loving and supportive people. Other wise, I can feel my energy decline and my health weaken in that moment. Love fills me up. Love keeps me motivated even on the days I must rest, stay at home, and look out my window to the world of nature. Someone who is showing me their negative hurtful spirit is not a fight I hang around for. I dodge that bullet. All my energy, even if I only have a very limited supply of it, is spent for me to make the most of what I have and learn who I best can be at this stage of my life. Using all of my energy to learn how to manage this chronic debilitating pain is energy well spent.
I had forgiven my son’s father long ago – long before he had sent this E mail. I hope he can forgive himself too – after all it is a miracle he has been sober many years. I am grateful that my precious son’s father is still sober. My son deserves that, and more, in his fabulous life with his longtime girlfriend. And forgiveness is powerful stuff.
Forgiveness is for-giving my freedom back to myself.
And once I am able to do this – the rest is put back in God’s hands – and I continue to focus on what is in front of me. And life once more can move forward, as it should.