This was reposted with permission from A Birthmothers Voice by Kelsey Stewart.
Forgiveness is something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I have met so many women who just cannot get past the fact that they are birth mothers. I am not saying that they are all tragic and sad women, not the case at all. But I can hear it in their tones, see it in their faces and I know just what they are thinking; “How will I ever forgive myself for leaving my child?”
There is no easy answer. There is no quick fix that will take all the pain away. There is only one way to help those lonely feelings of doubt and disappointment in ourselves. Forgiveness. Sure, it’s easy to say that. Just forgive yourself and all will be alright. I am not saying that. In fact, I am not telling anyone how to live their lives because we all have different views of ourselves and the world. What I am saying is that you can stop beating yourself up about the decisions you have made in your life.
I watched the last episode of Oprah this past week. Don’t know why. I have not watched an entire Oprah show since she found out about her sister that her mother had placed for adoption all those years ago. I watched because like so many out there, Oprah has been a part of my life for the past 26 years. (I say 26 because I first learned who Oprah was from the movie The Color Purple, and I cannot tell you how impressed I was with her presence on the screen!) Anyway, that last show was weird to me because although I am sure it was not scripted … it seemed that she had practiced her words for months to deliver them just right. She does have a way with words though, and I was mesmerized with her for the entire hour. I found her advice about life to be right on. IT is what YOU make of it, and don’t be afraid to show who you really are.
It was after that show that I began to really think about forgiveness and how we all take it for granted. I, for one, believe it is much easier to forgive other people in our lives than to forgive ourselves for our misgivings. It took me a very long time to accept the woman that I have become, and with that acceptance came a big dose of forgiveness. I can forgive myself for letting my children go because after years of wondering, worrying and communicating .. I now see that they are amazing kids with very bright futures ahead of them. But it was not always that easy. Mother’s Day? Very hard to face every year. Birthdays? By far some of the longest days of my life! Big events in my life and theirs? Always thinking about how much I would love them to be there. And although it is hard to face those moments when I am reminded of what I gave up, it is not so bad these days because I like who I am. I have learned to forgive myself for all the things that I know could have been handled better. I have learned to forgive myself for asking for help when I needed it. I have learned to forgive myself. Plain and simple.
Funny how we learn as we live, isn’t it?