One of the scariest things I could imagine when I became a mother was anything hurtful happening to my little one. I was even scared to say it. One day as we strolled her around the neighborhood, my husband voiced the same fear. I was relieved to hear him say it and then lend an ear to that and the rest of my fears. We had a long, emotional talk and then we both felt better because to me it always feels better to be supported and it always feels better to release something instead of holding on to it- especially a fear. Even after feeling better though, I still have a hard time hearing about or reading about or seeing bereaving parents. And now I have a new sensitivity: post-natal women's issues treated insensitively. I didn't know how sensitive I was to this until today. Earlier, I posted a link to a blog about the 10 most ridiculous parenting buys. It was funny and some items were a little disturbing but I had a chuckle. But then I scrolled down to read people's comments and came upon a horrible one. A man posted something that had no relevance to the blog. He mentioned something about women becoming "just mothers" and about letting go of their aspirations to do something as plebeian as raising yet another child. He stated something to the effect of "husbands will no longer like you, friends will abandon you, your child will never really love you, and your mother will pity you for ending up just like her." I can't and won't directly quote anything b/c I refuse to dignify these comments anymore than I already have by writing this. And because I just can't bring myself to read it again to verify. The new mother in me can't. Won't. Doesn't need to, because she is finding it very hard at the moment to not feel wounded and insulted and fearful that anything he said could be true.
I guess it is true in his world. Lately, I have been focusing a lot on respecting differences and understanding the space in this world for everything and everyone. This helps me understand why things happen a little more. It helps me face the dark things in the world and within me. It helps me explain people's actions, reactions, and lack of action. With all of this dancing in my mind, I remembered an article I read somewhere once that stayed with me called "Radical Forgiveness." Maybe it was in the New York Times... not sure. In it, a lady forgave the man that murdered her son and took him in. She did this because she knew he needed love and didn't mind that life was pulling her in the direction that called for her to offer it. So she did. She gave him love and he was reformed. Whoa. The article tugged at my heart and made me feel so many different things. It amazed me. It made me very confused. And it made me feel somewhat small.
How many of us could do this?... I don't know. I certainly want to forgive this man who wrote these comments that so bothered me. Me reading this was not without its purpose. It made me see something dark that needs to be nurtured and released. And from that will come some light, so I am grateful for it too. I forgive him because he needs to be forgiven- at least in my world. I forgive him because I need to forgive and my nature craves finding love in every situation- even if it doesn't always find it. Maybe nobody has ever forgiven him. Maybe no one has ever loved him. Maybe he has never loved anyone. And maybe he never had a mother- or any mother-figure- love him... but-as baffling as it would be- maybe he did. In any case, I forgive him and I hope this causes some ripple in the invisible world so that he can learn to forgive too.
Love to all.