Stepmothers: Forgiveness

9 02 2011

Yesterday afternoon I watched Oprah. It was a heart-stopping show about three young girls who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of their father and older brothers. At the end of the show Oprah passed along advice to them that she received from one of her mentors. She didn’t mention who it was but it took my breath away so I wanted to share it here. She said, “Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been different.” Whoa. It’s not about condoning anyone’s behavior or inviting them back into your life or even wishing them love and peace.

Does that resonate or what?

Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been different.

For us stepmothers perhaps one place to focus this powerful thought is on our husbands. (Do you secretly wish he’d never been with another woman or had children with anyone else?) Another place: Our exes. Another place: Our own childhoods.

This week I’m meditating on that phrase: Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been different.



3 responses

10 02 2011

I too saw this episode of Oprah and was brought to my knees when she gave this definition of forgiveness. I’ve always heard that forgiving another person does not mean you agree with or condone their actions but I could never get it in my head, much less my heart, what that really meant. Wow! Do I get it now!
I have carried so much anger and resentment toward my husband almost from the day we got married. I have felt like he didn’t do all that he could to make me feel like a part of his family and that he didn’t do all that he could to defend and protect me against the hurt that I have experienced. Now I realize that he was/is just as lost and as clueless as I was/am about this whole stepfamily experience. I realize that what has happened and is happening is a lesson for both of us.
I forgive my husband. I forgive myself too.

By the way…I just started reading your book. It is so much better than ALL the other stepfamily books I have read. The others were such doom and gloom with no words of encouragement and no suggestions as to how to make things better. I checked it out from the library. I intend to order my own copy! Thank you!

14 02 2011

WHOA is right! That statement is so profound! I’m framing that and hanging it on the wall! I want to be able to see it everyday to remind me! Thank you so much for sharing!

14 02 2011

Holy cow, thats amazing. For me is letting go of my own first divorce, and all the guilt associated with leaving. And yes for my husband – letting go of the hope that he couldn’t have married me first, had only my kids, blah blah blah. Thanks very much for capturing that, will continue to think about it.

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