Happy belated #ForgivingFridays! It’s been a while since I’ve been on my blog, and so nice to reconnect with you. I hope you and your loved ones are well, healthy and happy. ❤
Here’s my sharing for this week:
Today’s Forgiving Fridays is a story about what it was like for me when I found out my mom was murdered, and how forgiveness has been instrumental in my healing. I’m sharing this in the hopes that it may touch to you, if there’s a relationship or something else where you’re not at peace inside.
I remember when I found out about mom. I was driving with my then husband Bruce to close on a condo that we were going to buy for her. She’d been living in a small apartment, and I wanted her to have a better living situation (the new place was bright and so beautiful!) My uncle called and asked me to give my phone to Bruce. I did, and it felt pretty weird. Bruce talked to Uncle George for a bit, and then he got off and pulled over. We went outside, and he put his arms on my shoulders and said, “Your mom is dead. Jamie murdered her.”
I don’t recall a lot of what happened after that. What I do remember vividly is that everything seemed so surreal, like it was a story about a person I didn’t know.
Fast forward to the funeral. I’d had a little time to integrate the news, although it all happened so fast. I remember being up on the pulpit and I read a story about how love is bigger than all that happens, and that this was so demonstrative of mom. Carole S. Roth was one of the most loving people that I know….she gave caring smiles to everyone she met, and a kind word. It felt important to me that people know this about her.
Jamie (the person who murdered her) was the brother of my mom’s boyfriend. Without getting into the details of what happened, he wrote me a letter about a month or two after mom was killed and asked for forgiveness. At the time, I just couldn’t process this, and I ripped the letter up.
As time went on, I was able to slow down, and forgive. The thing that probably helped me the most in the beginning was to practice acceptance for what occurred––that I didn’t need to like it, or agree with it, and that I could simply acknowledge what had happened. Mom was dead, Jamie killed her, and I was hurting. The acceptance was a way for me to create space to say, “What occurred is what occurred, and I’m ok with it.”
The real key for me though, was to release the rightness and the wrongness of what happened to mom. It really was like a “hot coal” burning inside of me, and letting go of this has been one of the most liberating experiences of my life. To get to the place where I could open to the possibility that although I might not see how or why, the murder was a neutral act in and of itself. This was a TALL order at the time (and still is in ways), especially given the person who was dead was mom. And, as I practiced forgiveness over the years, I slowly was able to look at my judgments, and let them go.
I really slowed down with the upset, and the intense blame I had, and I yelled and cried and held for myself––and I was committed to chose peace inside. And as I walked the path of forgiving the blame and judgments, I found a way to surrender to love. I stopped trying to figure out “how” to get to neutrality and freedom, I just took the next step in front of me to love myself, to love the anger and hurt and “how could he” that I had and to embrace it all. When I did this, the forgiveness opened me to a love I’d never experienced before, and I got free.
I continue to work my process with this, and what I would say to you is that forgiveness is the most profound key that I know to reclaim your peace inside––and a springboard to help you use everything that happens as a stepping stone for awakening to greater Self-love and compassion. So, if you have a relationship or situation where you’re upset or out of balance, I encourage you to ask yourself now, “What can I do to open to love here?” Listen deeply, and let love guide you to your own next step toward freedom and resolution.
If you’d like support as you go, I am offering a 21 Days of Forgiveness group starting on March 6. It’s going to be a beautiful space to create more of what you want from the heart, and open to the transformation that comes with true forgiveness. In the group, we’ll really slow with what’s most on purpose for you, and you’d walk away with a toolbox of simple forgiveness steps that you can use anytime to help you choose love––regardless.
In part, I decided to offer this group in honor of Carole S. Roth, and her Spirit will be with us. She would have been the first one to forgive Jamie, and her presence is a powerful resource.
Click here for more detail, and see below for a graphic with the dates. Feel free to contact me (or comment below!) if you’d like to participate or have questions, or just want to share your own experiences with me.
Bless each one of us––and I wish you so much grace on your journey.
SO much love to all.