Are you mad?
Are you holding a grudge?
Are you easily triggered and bitter?
Y’all. Don’t live like that.
I spent several years being mad at my mom for forgivable things.
Did you hear that?
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a right to be mad.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t have a right to be bitter.
But what I didn’t have a right to do was drag it out. To let it sit in my heart and fester. To let it become bigger than life. To let it define me. To let it become unforgivable in my mind.
I come from a family of dysfunction and so did my mom. And if you’re familiar at all with dysfunction then you already know how hard that cycle is to break.
Dysfunction causes side effects and my moms generation didn’t talk about mental health. They didn’t understand how crucial it was to address trauma and up until my mom passed away, she still dealt with some of those side effects.
But, I was stuck for a long time in my own expectations of what a mom should look like. I didn’t understand back then that my mom was a person, too. A person who was never healed. A person who was broken. I didn’t understand how trauma reveals itself in adulthood. I didn’t understand a thing about marriage or coping or abuse.
It took having my first child to let that bitterness go. It took wiping the slate clean and making an effort to understand for us to get to a good place.
And I’m so happy that’s where we were at when she died. For the last 6 years, my mom was my best friend and my biggest fan.
Every picture that you see of me might not have her in it, but she’s there. She’s in the background watching my kids so I can chase my dreams or helping me set up my first show or on the other end of the phone as my sounding board. Even when you didn’t see her, she was there.
And now I have to remind myself that even though *I* can’t see her, she’s still here. She’s still in the background. She’s still my sounding board.
I’d give anything to have a do-over. To deal with the hard things faster or with more compassion, but I know some things just come with age. Know better, do better, right?
So I want to encourage you- if you’re in the spot that I was in 6 years ago, move away from it. Don’t let it consume you. Don’t let it take away precious time. Don’t give it any more oxygen than it needs to be repaired.
That doesn’t mean you weren’t wronged. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be mad. It means that you are choosing peace and giving grace.
Mending your relationships will never be regretful. It’ll never be time wasted.
This was the last picture taken with my mom. She died 2 days later.