When I began the year 2020, I decided it would be the year that I would dedicate to surrender. I didn’t know how that decision would affect me. All I knew was if I were willing to surrender, then God would lead me through the process that would bring spiritual awakening and emotional healing. The only way any of that might take place was if I were ready, willing and able to work toward what my surrender involved. I made my commitment to surrender and let it go.
As days turned into weeks I began to find myself having to make resolve with many things. It became quite evident that God had received my notice of surrender and was allowing me the opportunity to do just that. My readiness was up to me. Some surrenders are harder than others because of a thing called stubbornness. Yes, I admit, I can be stubborn when I want to be. I am after all, a work in progress! One at a time Deb, one at a time.
One of the things I knew I had to surrender was the resentment I had carried toward my mom for over fifty years. That’s a long time to be burdened down with heaviness of the heart. (No wonder I struggle to walk). I knew that my mother’s health was failing and that she would be leaving this earth probably within this year. What I didn’t know was how I would react when the time came. To tell you the truth, I was afraid I’d be laden with guilt and regret. My relationship with her was always very strained. The resentment I felt toward her, stemmed from her divorcing my dad. On numerous occasions throughout my life, I’d try to let it all go. Try as I did, I was never successful at it.
It was because of this, that I became a completely different person whenever my mom was around. My son pointed that out to me when he was a little boy. He asked me why I talked differently to my mom. Huh, talked differently? He picked up on what I never did. I became emotionless when I was in her presence. An expressionless robot designed to take orders and not feel. Because I felt like a robot I unconsciously showed no human emotion toward her. I refused to see her human side. In some strange way, I had placed myself in a bubble of protection that kept me from showing her love. Maybe I was terrified of showing love for fear that it would be taken from me as it was taken from my dad. Better to be safe then sorry. I grew accustomed to living my life this way while inside it ate away at my soul. Because I lived this way for so long I never allowed myself to see my mother beyond my pain. Love didn’t flow naturally from me toward her. At least that’s what I led myself to believe. Whatever I did for her was either out of fear of not doing it or simply because it was the right thing to do. There were occasional times that I did things from my heart but always with caution. (You can see how living like this might cause me to have regrets down the road).
When my mom did pass a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised by what I felt. I had a sense of peace and strength that surrounded me. For a brief moment, I felt as though I should be grieving her loss but instead I found myself celebrating her life. Something I had never done before. I began to see her human side, the one I refused to acknowledge. I didn’t understand how I had no regrets. Why wasn’t I grieving the loss of my mother? Was I that uncaring of a daughter? Mourning and grieving, isn’t that the process a person goes through when someone dies? Why wasn’t I experiencing any of this?
Isn’t mourning an act of reflection on the loss of someone or something. Isn’t it a period of time in which we adjust to change so that we can move forward. Surrendering and accepting what is to come. Yes, it is. Wait a minute, I was mourning. I had spent the past 50 years in mourning. My heart had always been burdened with a series of emotions that would get triggered up by guilt and unresolved issues. I had been living in a perpetual state of grief that never stopped burning in me. No wonder I wasn’t able to feel it. I had already been living in a state of grief.
I was so laden with hurt over the divorce that I never saw beyond it. I carried a tremendous amount of remorse and guilt because I felt I had betrayed my dad. My pain was more about what my dad was missing out on rather than what I’d lost. I never stopped grieving what should have been. When my mother died, all that grief and pain died with her. With it went all those unhealthy emotions that had consumed me for so long. I had unknowingly surrendered it all. Letting go of years of pain, enabled me to finally see who my mom was. For years, whenever I saw my mom, all I saw was my pain and my dads’ pain. Now for the first time, I saw her which enabled me to celebrate who she was.
I understood what was happening. I was finally reconciling. I was letting go. God had given me a gift. He had given me insight into all I had done for my mom throughout the years. I was able to see that even though I felt a strong resentment, I had put my emotions aside constantly to incorporate my mother into my life. Time and time again I bypassed my pain and showed my mother love in the best way I could. I had loved her despite what I led myself to believe. By denying my own emotions I was able to offer love. Maybe it wasn’t the typical mother/daughter love but then again we didn’t have the typical mother/daughter relationship. God opened my eyes to see that I had nothing to regret. I’d loved in the best way possible for my mother to accept. Her own pain in life had caused her to never get to close to anyone. She loved on her terms. She called the shots and people were expected to follow. Perhaps like me, she had also placed herself in a bubble of protection. Funny the ways we choose to protect ourselves when it comes to love. We miss out on so much because of fear.
To be able to have surrendered all that I did to God has brought a healing of love, respect and admiration for my mother that I never thought I’d feel.
What I have learned is this: If we are willing to surrender that which burdens our heart, God will take it and turn it into healing.
Married 44 years to my hubby whose purpose in life is to prevent me from getting through the “Pearly Gates”. Mother of two, Nanna of four loving granddaughters and retired secretary aka administrative assistant. I went to the University of Hard Knocks where I received my Doctorate. My thesis is titled: How To Survive Life’s Trials Without Killing Yourself or Someone Else. I live by the belief that when life throws you a curve, learn from it rather than use it against yourself. Faith and humor are my survival kit. Appreciate the simple things for they are the true treasures of life.