Sometimes you just gotta look back at the old mess and let it go…
Dear married, young-mother Karen:
I want you to know that I see you and I know you are doing your best. Your best has been more than enough. You are giving so much love and care to so many people, but mostly to your daughters and your husband. You are showing your girls what it looks like to reach out and love the world and to help people rise up from their ditches. You love blindly and with reckless abandon – you freely give AGAPE kind of love everywhere you go. But you sell yourself short. I know why you do it and it’s a very human response. I am sending you light and courage. I want to see you asking for more out of love and life because you are worthy and you are more than capable of managing it and being a good steward of your blessings.
I know why you have allowed yourself to be controlled and manipulated by some of your loved ones, but please do not beat yourself up for that. You are going to want to do it even more in the future. You don’t know what is coming down the road. You will be blamed and judged and condemned, even isolated in some circles. But please do not allow that to make you believe it was all your fault. You take too much responsibility for others and I want you to focus on the fact that you figured it out! You figured out what many never do and you did it amidst a very painful and relentless storm that lasted far longer than it ever should have. You didn’t run from the storm – you weathered it with grace and strength. You made some choices through it that you regret, but even some of those choices brought much needed elements of healing. They brought you things you never had before at a time when you needed to know they were possible. Otherwise, you may have lost hope. You received some gifts from those things even though they may not have been the best thing for you – they weren’t all bad and they certainly don’t make YOU bad. It just means you are human like everyone else.
You did your best and it was enough. Your love, faith and strength carried your family much farther than most people could’ve taken it. And all the while, you were giving so much to others as well, but always putting your family and God first. There is NOTHING for you to be ashamed of. You did your best and it was beautiful. Your kids know they are loved. Your now ex husband knows you loved him more than anyone else ever could or will again. I know why you kept yourself small in many ways – you were just doing what you’ve been taught to do your whole life…but somehow, you figured it out anyway. You reached past your conditioning and your “normal” and listened to the burning in your soul that keep rearing up. You not only heard it, but you acted on it boldly, knowing that it could cost you almost everything. And it did.
I forgive you for not knowing any better in those early years. I forgive you for the things you allowed and the things you ignored. You were surviving. I want you to know that you are going to learn how to move past surviving and really start to thrive in life. All that you have desired, all that you have worked so hard for is coming to you. There will be days when it feels dark and hopeless and scary, but do not lose faith. There will be chaos, but the chaos is being sent to you as an opportunity for you to work through your stuff and create different outcomes. Be watching for those opportunities. The less you run from them, the faster you will get to the other side. You are a warrior.
I forgive you. I forgive you. I am asking you to forgive me also for ignoring you and not acknowledging all that you were carrying and what you managed to accomplish anyway. Forgive me for failing to see how open and loving you have always been, despite all that has happened in your life. Forgive me for all the times I have failed to protect you or stand up for you with my voice or my actions. I need you. Take my hand, please – let’s not do this alone.