Friday, May 09, 2008

My conclusions...


Many thanks to everyone who weighed in on my last question.

It was a dilemma of sorts because, on one hand, I really need to know when it is time to set boundaries on other people ~ and how. At what point do I have the right to say "no more"? How much do I contribute to separation by allowing my ego to demand certain things of others? Decency, of course. Kindness is what I choose in my friendships and I am drawn to people who are kind. I don't care for inconsiderate, careless or thoughtless people. That's not ego. That's simply respect for my own existence. Being a person of grace doesn't mean that we become doormats for everyone else's bad behavior.

In the case of my mother, I have forgiven her. At the same time, I don't sanction her behavior. I don't choose to have a relationship with her. She may have grown a lot in the past 20 years which is the approximate length of our estrangement. What I do know is that she has never approached me.

I behaved similarly for many years. I was a rather heartless person and didn't show much compassion for other people. That was a direct result of my mother's modeling.

She cost me a lot of years because I didn't know any better. It cost me many years that I could have spent in community and didn't because I was such an unappealing person.

The cycle has to end somewhere. We can show compassion to another person without becoming emotionally involved in the outcome. We can do it without becoming attached. If we know that some action will deliberately hurt someone else, then we contribute to the suffering of all of us.

I will acknowledge her in the same way I would acknowledge any other woman who is a mother. It is not my job to be judge and jury, condemning her to something that I know would be hurtful and damaging not only to her but to the whole human community. That isn't balancing the scales. That's punishment.

She will get an email from me. Basically it will say something like "thinking of you". Nothing more. Nothing less. In that simple gesture, I know I am doing the best I can with a very difficult situation. While I can't be hypocritical and express feelings that are not genuine, I can wish her peace. I wish that for everyone.

~*

25 comments:

Rebecca said...

Sounds like just the right touch to me.

Blessings,
Rebecca

MsLittlePea said...

I think that's a great gesture considering your feelings towards her and history.

Anvilcloud said...

That's pretty fair, and I applaud you for going that far. However, although it's too late, I think a hand-written note would have been a touch nicer: maybe on a blank card or some such.

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Im impressed at how much thought you've given this, and by how you honor both yourself and your beliefs with the final decision. I hope your mother finds peace the peace you wish for her.

canwekickthebarhere said...

Chani - I think that is perfect. I know I am lucky to have the relationship I do with my mom (even tho she does drive me crazy sometimes). We went "through the fire" in our own way, and it took me some time to understand and forgive. I applaud you getting to the point you are at, under hurtful circumstances that I couldn't begin to touch.

Ian Lidster said...

Bravo to you. I think that is both effective and true to your own ideals.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I would like to think that she is thinking of you, too, and regrets her actions that drove you away.

I am happy for your gesture because if we never grow beyond the example of our parents, there is really no excuse for our existence. Even if our parents were wonderful, caring people, it is not progress if we don't stretch ourselves to be even more than they were.

You are doing the best you can with the material you were given, and that is all anyone can ever do.

blooming desertpea said...

Correct, it's not up to us to judge and punish - even if we feel it would be fair ...

Molly said...

Perfect.....

Lex said...

Sounds like you find just the right response. Good for you.

Carla said...

I like the idea of wishing her peace. I think you've found a nice balance.

Dandelion seeds said...

I think that makes a lot of sense and from an intuitive standpoint, I feel from you that this is the right choice for you.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

And it's honest - you are thinking of her.

flutter said...

seems fair

Suki said...

Perfect, Chani. :)

painted maypole said...

a hand outstretched in peace. is there a better gift?

jen said...

sounds like a perfect balance - holding your truth and yet recognizing tradition.

Christine said...

this sounds like a good plan, chani. it sounds you, in a way, are at peace with everything.

PeterAtLarge said...

Good for you, Chani. And wishing peace to your mother is a way to bring greater peace to yourself--not to mention the rest of us in this too-easily stirred pond!

Mariposa said...

Hi Chani, I've been in and out of here but well, just read the 2 posts...I'm glad I got here with your conclusions...what a tough place to be. I'm happy with your conclusion...really am!

Showing compassion without getting emotionally involved is what I need to learn...thanks for sharing!

crazymumma said...

and even in this Chani, you grow and become more of what you want for yourself.

apt choice.

Angela said...

"We can show compassion to another person without becoming emotionally involved in the outcome."

Such an amazing and powerful lesson we can learn. Thanks for the reminder!

Sober Briquette said...

I don't know about various other types of relationships, but I believe that parental relationships are hard to repair. If they were bad, separation may be the only way to overcome them and "break the cycle."

I saw a lot of cards that would have been appropriate to send in the mail, but knowing I would be spending part of the day with my mother, I hesitated to face her with something so bland. I still remember the face she made last year at my card!

wheelsonthebus said...

To be frank, I do not know the right answer for you, and I am glad you chose one that makes you comfortable. I have often felt that my primary issue with my father is not that he let it happen to me, but that he would let it happen to any child.

Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Hi,
I can relate to so much of this post ... it took me years to finally "agree to differ" with my mum :)