The Wound Is The Place The Light Enters You-That quote from the Sufi poet Rumi resonates deeply with me, especially today, Thanksgiving Day. I know I write a lot about my childhood here on EP, but it's great to have a place to process a lot of what's going on for me, and hopefully help some others who read what I have to say at the same time-
I had a pretty rough childhood. My mom was rarely available to parent effectively; wrestling with the demons of her past by drinking or dosing on tranquilizers made her unavailable to provide much in the way of physical, emotional or spiritual support to me or my two older brothers. Our dad was a traveling salesman and rarely home. In many ways I grew up an orphan even though my parents were alive and sometimes under the same roof as us...
For years I harbored a deep resentment towards my mom for not being present for me and not teaching me about life. I grew up without a good model for what a loving relationship looks like, and for years tended to have either no relationship with a significant other, or a frequently tilted co-dependent one. It's taken me a lot of years to know what a decent relationship looks like. Pile the challenges that come from looking after Mom who is now in her early 80's and has no friends or support network to speak of and, well, you get the picture. It's been a rough road.
Fortunately, something BIG shifted for me a couple of months ago. I took on the challenge of learning to forgive my mom, and I learned to accept things as they are, now, today. All of the resentment I had carried for so much of my life got tempered with forgiveness. I have a sense of inner peace that I haven't ever known before. I see my mom for the wounded soul she is and am able to interact with her from a place of compassion now. It's done both me and her a world of good-
Today she and my eldest brother came to my place for dinner that I prepared. It was a lot of work getting everything ready, but it was a delicious meal. Mom is almost deaf now, so there wasn't much conversation. It was good to be able to provide a Thanksgiving meal for her from this new place of relating...
There is still work to do; forgiveness doesn't just happen overnight. It take constant effort. But I already feel a freedom and lightness the likes of which I've never known. Mom is not long for this world, but when she leaves it I will have the peace of mind knowing that I'm free of the suffering she unintentionally caused for so much of my childhood. The past is gone, the bitter fire that burned out of control for way too long has nearly been extinguished, and now I can find a way to love her for being my mom, and maybe help heal some of her old old wounds in the process.
Happy Thanksgiving, Mom-