Iyanla Vanzant and Oprah held a Life Class on Guilt...I heard it on Sirius Radio as I drove along on the mail route.
Iyanla said, "You cannot forgive a Lie."
I know this is right.
What I need first is the truth, without the truth, what would I be forgiving?
The definition of forgiveness that I heard long ago from Martha Beck goes something like this... "Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past can be any different."
If you sit with that awhile, it is about being truthful. When you are truthful you are forgiving.
Ironically or not, near the end of my route, as I just completed shutting the mailbox and getting ready to pull back on the road, I checked my rearview mirror first and then up ahead. A dark grey vehicle was approaching me and a grey haired woman was driving, she waves...and as she comes abreast of me, I realize it is my mother. I pull out and drive on to the next mail box....no wave.
No wave, nor was there any other deep seeded emotion.
No anger, rage, disgust, nothing.
Two women on two different paths...meeting. She in her life and I in mine.
In the past, an encounter with my mother would leave me rattled. Was it due to the fact, we had vehicles between us and the open road? Or is because I no longer have negative energy being held in her memory inside of me? I can't know.
I didn't feel compelled to stop or to wave, nor did my emotional body change.
I didn't go into a childlike state of wishing or lamenting.
I wasn't moved in any direction, beside to continue doing that which I was doing before I came upon her.
I felt it best I write about it, to make sure I noted our crossing...to be with it awhile. To honor it. To feel it. To be with it awhile.
I believe, that I have forgiven her, for I have seen her truth.
I am no longer wishing that the past was different.
I am no longer wishing she was different.
My last glance of her, was when I drove by the house she was entering, my brothers. She was with many of his little girls walking beside her. A grandmother with her granddaughters.
My lost family continues, without me.
Her wave was like a toddle lu wave, a jaunty little greeting...she had to have seen me first, my blinking mail light flashing...and she is way okay driving by a daughter she hasn't seen in over six years.
The wave and our estrangement seems to fight each other, or perhaps not.
That is the wave you give to a stranger you once knew.
Me...I didn't even have a chance to raise my hand, for it took a few seconds to recognize her and by then, she had passed me by.