This I Believe

Tonia - Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Entered on February 4, 2007

I believe in asking for forgiveness. I have been told by countless sources how important it is to forgive others. I have tried hard in my life to be a forgiving person. One of the lessons I most recently learned is that figuring others will be as generous with forgiveness is not very wise. I have learned that sometimes it requires me to ask for the forgiveness I want.

Several years ago I made a life changing choice that had profound effects on the one relationship I felt most secure in. Everyone says the love between parent and child is unconditional. I have learned through my experience that isn’t necessarily so. There are certain lines in the sand that even that relationship cannot cross without severe consequence.

I could try to rationalize and justify my choices. I found that none of that matters when you have hurt someone you love. All that really matters is that the hurt was done and that both people work to heal the wounds that are caused. I have tried to express my sorrow and regret for the hurt I caused my child. I have said I was sorry many times and tried to respect her feelings.

This past Christmas while spending time with my family and with her I came to the conclusion that the one thing I sought was forgiveness, not for my choice, rather for the hurt she felt and has held onto. I struggled for the better part of my visit trying to understand why it was so hard for her to forgive me after so much time and effort on my part. I left on the plane home saddened that I hadn’t worked things out.

As I sat there wondering what more I could have done I started to think that she was being selfish in denying me this one thing I sought. Then it occurred to me, I had never asked her to forgive me. I just assumed it would happen because we were connected by our relationship and I wanted it so badly. I would love to say that after that epiphany I called her up, asked her and my story has a happy ending. In fact, I am still getting the courage to ask, because I know there is the possibility that it may not be given. I am not sure I ready for that.

Despite my fears and hesitation I believe in asking for forgiveness because perhaps that is the only way I can ever get it.