The desperate cry to belong and feel worthy have rung in my head and heart for years. Just when I find my grounding something will happen to rip everything to shreds. Just a few weeks ago I stood firm in a new-found boundary and it was received with harsh criticism and an eventually disowning.
Typically their harsh words would cause me to tailspin and grasp at fake forgiveness and appeasing them to get back in their good graces… but, why? Why did it matter to be disowned by someone who has not visited me in over seven years, rarely calls or texts and does not seem to be interested in who I am today?
My husband warned me before sending my feelings that inevitably resulted in being disowned… so, why did I proceed forward with sharing my heart?
Years of trying to appease people and find acceptance in lies left me feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. The unsaid words, the awkward feelings inside and constant faking fine did nothing for me when eventually all the burying of my feelings came bubbling to the surface in the form of anxiety and depression.
Can you imagine spending the better part of twenty years of your life walking on eggshells and hiding who you were deep down inside out of fear of rocking the boat and confirming all your suspicions that you NEVER belonged in the first place?
As I sit here my son sleeps in the other room and it breaks my heart to think there might be a day he feels unknown and invisible in our family. And it is those thoughts that cause me to pause and realize I did the right thing in sharing my truth and my feelings.
Deuteronomy 5:8-10 The Message; “No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.”
It is my responsibility to buck the system and try to do better and be better for the next generation. It is my job to questions why I do what I do and ask how it will affect my son and his family in the future. Sounds like a lot of responsibility, right? But, I believe we can change the world for the better starting inside our homes.
“They did the best they could” is a contrite and overused excuse for lack of accountability and taking responsibility for the mistakes we make as parents.
As I have silently processed my feelings for weeks now the sting of failure and pain are still fresh on my mind. The only thing I can think to settle my fears is that no one is entitled to have relationship with me or my family.
“Entitlement destroys safety because no normal human can fulfill our demands. It’s impossible to love an entitled person as some fault, some empathetic misstep, or insensitivity will send the entire relationship tumbling down. The entitled person must be listened to and understood perfectly at all times or he/she will feel injured or wounded.” Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend
Moving through the healing process and regaining my footing on new more solid ground I can say it is okay to love from afar and pray for reconciliation without losing yourself in trying to appease others.
It is okay to be after more than the status quo that has been for generations. We have the power to undo and remake our families with God as the center.
I often find myself praying for God to show me where I have misstepped and how I can do and be better in relationships. My hope is He will show me when I am wrong and give me the strength to own up to my faults with humility, respect and love.
As I sit staring at the Christmas lights in our living room sipping a cup of coffee I can not help but wonder if this will ever have a healthy resolution or if this is the end of the road.
Then I am reminded of Jesus’ words in Luke 23:34; “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
And I know only He can soften the hardened hearts of man. So, I will trust and believe in Him alone for healing and restoration in His timing not my own.