Saturday, September 3, 2011

Less Than Pleasant Reflections on My Family's Past

Don't worry, I'm not going to go all whiny and dredge up traumas from when I was 3 years old. This past week I've spent (invested?) some time writing a relative somewhat about my Mom. She is researching the history of my Mom's side of my family, and there had been some unpleasantness involving my Mom which I tried to “explain”. Reminiscing about such things wasn't exactly easy or pleasant! As far as I can see, there's no one who could be hurt by my speaking honestly about my Mom, while maybe – just maybe – some one could benefit. So I'll write about it all.

My Mom could be very difficult. I'm not saying she was abusive – physically or mentally (whatever that means) – in a legal sense. But she did hurt many people, especially people in her family. The details don't matter, but what does is that at the root of her hurtfulness, as far as I know and understand, was anger, resentment and bitterness from her childhood, youth and early adulthood. Again, the details don't matter, nor would details excuse or mitigate her behavior. She let her hurts and anger – real or imagined – fester into bitterness, a bitterness that tainted and adulterated her very person. She could be a very loving and loyal friend. I've seen her be that. But with some people, many of them family members, the seed of her bitterness yielded unkind and even cruel fruit. She didn't have to become the bitterness-overcome person she became. But she did. She could have recognized and pulled away from the person she had become. But she didn't, as far as I know, to the very end of her life (I hope I'm wrong, but …).

Please! I beg anyone who reads this! If you are angry at some one for something they did (or you think they did) – months ago or years ago – let your anger go. Even if you exact some sort of revenge, it cannot undo what happened. It will still be there, it will still hurt, you'll still have your anger, and it will grow. Give up thoughts of “getting even”! Give up your anger. You don't need to go to the other person to do this, but, in your heart and mind, forgive them! The longer your nurse your hurt and anger, the more it grows into bitterness that will consume you and cause destruction in the lives of people you supposedly love. You cannot control how bitterness affects you or on whom you will inflict it. You will spread the misery around. So don't! Take back control, stop that person from damaging even more of your life! Let your anger go. In your mind and heart, forgive that other person. Start rebuilding who you are and start rebuilding your life's relationships with family and friends. It will be more than worth the effort!

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