The hardest thing I have ever faced is forgiving my mother. I was five the first time I remember her hitting me. My sister had just been born and the stress had pushed her too far. I started school with a bruise that the teacher never asked me about. From that day forward, my life consisted of protecting my sisters from suffering the same thing fate I was handed. I was the punching bag. When life got rough for her, it was hell for me. I was eleven when someone finally witnessed the abuse. My friend was staying the night. Everything was going fine until I was called to the kitchen. Someone didn’t do the dishes. I knew it was my little sister’s chore but I took the blame like always. My friend happened to peek around the corner as my mom choked me until I passed out. I’ll never forget the embarrassment I felt having to beg my friend not to tell anyone. At that point, I hated my mother. I loved her but how could she do this to me? Surely this wasn’t normal. Around the time I was fifteen, I found out my mother had been sexually abused her whole life by her sister’s dad. Her mother was a drunk. This was her way of coping with stress. I didn’t forgive her but I began to understand. When I was seventeen, the abuse stopped. She had begun therapy and was getting better. She knew she could never take back what she’d done but she apologized to me. I still couldn’t forgive her. A close friend mentioned to me one day that holding a grudge doesn’t affect that person. It only harbors bitterness in your heart. I realized that I could never truly be happy unless I got rid of all my bitterness. I forgave my mother when I was nineteen years old. I was prepared to hate her until I died. Forgiveness was never an option for me. But looking back, I can see that forgiveness was the best choice I made. Forgiveness takes time. That time differs for every individual and every situation. It was the most difficult thing I could’ve imagined that ended up being easier than I could’ve guessed. Whatever battle you may be fighting, whether against yourself or someone else, remember that you have the strength to succeed. Mountains are easily conquered. 💜 -Liv
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