Recently, I was talking to a friend. She was brutally honest with me and confided that she was unhappy. Her marriage was strained. The occupation she once loved no longer made her excited. And, she believed she was failing as a parent.
That’s a lot to deal with, and, compounded with the fact that she was trying her best to defeat depression without any professional help or medication, she was fighting a huge internal battle.
Initially I was taken a bit by surprised because I often looked at her as perfect. She has a good husband, children, she is talented. She is the epitome of what every woman aspired to be.
Her trials highlight at things are not often what they seem. For any of us.
My friend was embroiled in a battle with her husband. They did not see parenting through the same lens and it was causing conflict. Parents disagree all the time, I thought to myself. Clearly there was more to the situation.
Turns out she was resentful because she was engulfed in guilt as she was struggling with the death of one of her parents. She was not there to see them take their last breath because she was tending to family matters. She blamed her husband, though it was not his fault.
But somehow, she could not move past her ill feelings—almost a decade later.
In moments of anger, she has told him her parent’s passing is his fault, but the truth of the matter is, she simply did not expect her relative to die, despite them fighting an illness.
She was holding on to this blame and transferring it into the situation surrounding their parental disagreement. He took her away from her parent (she feels), there was no way she was going to be separated from her child, too.
As irrational as I felt she was being, this is her reality.
She is trapped, but she says she wants a way out of this anger and resentment that is swallowing her whole. She wants to forgive her husband, but I reminded her that she had to first and foremost forgive herself. Her parent dying was not her fault, but somehow she feels it was.
“I wasn’t there because I was looking out my family,” she says. “I should have been there.”
Imagine carrying that magnitude of guilt around for a decade!
And how many of us have done the same? Ladies, let’s promise ourselves that we will disallow yesterday to affect tomorrow. Release the weight around your neck and let it fall to your feet!
Whether it’s a bad relationship, a poor personal choice or a business mistake, put it all behind you and roll full steam ahead with this precious commodity called life. My go-to mantra at the moment is “the clock doesn’t tick backwards”.
My life is far from perfect, however I have finally reached a place where I have forgiven myself for my failings. And it’s a wonderful place to reside. I would be lying if I said it was an overnight occurrence, but once I decided that it was a non-negotiable space for happiness, it cannot be compromised.
I wish this too, for my friend. She owes it to her family and most of all, she owes it to herself.
You are loved.
Do you have a story that you would like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.