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Some of you are probably wondering what was going on in my life after my little interruption a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to take some time to process it before I shared more and while I am still processing it to a degree, I think I have a lot of the major stuff out of the way and am here to share a bit.

I ended up getting a surprise letter from my mother in the mail.  Basically, it was a “Dear John” letter of nature.  It was a letter ending our relationship.  It wasn’t long, but the main points about it consisted of telling me that working on a relationship between us was too hard for her, stating that she would not ever know me or my child, that I was to “Take care,” and when she signed it, instead of it being signed by “Mom,” it was signed by her first name.  So with all of that, it felt very final.

Now I’m not here to vent or rant about this whole story.  I’m not here to dish out all the details of what led up to this.  I have close friends where I can and do discuss this with.  I don’t feel a need to trash my mother in any type of forum.  What I would like to do is share stuff related to me, not her.  Things that I think would be relevant and helpful to others.

This letter surprised me, as my last formal communication to my mother was to reach out to her about what kind of relationship I would love to have with her and an open invitation to work on that together.  I laid out what I believed a healthy relationship to consist of, which, to me, is good communication, boundaries, getting to know each other better, accountability, lots of grace for each other, and working hard on our own selves at not taking offense easily.  I told her how I believed that miscommunication and misunderstandings are some of the top things that kill relationships.  I told her my heart towards her, which is totally for her 100%, and how great my desire was to get to know her better and for her to know me better.  I also asked to know her response to my email, and that if anything that I wrote was troubling to her in any way, that I hoped we could discuss why, hear each other out, and work together to find some way to work through it that would be acceptable and safe for both of us.

For a year, I heard no response back.  Then out of the blue, I get this response from her in the mail.  And for me, that was ouch. It felt like she had died.  It felt like I was being betrayed.  Hopefully this is not a trigger for anyone, but at the most, it felt like I was being aborted, but not sight unseen, but after she had a chance to get to know me for 30+ years, and then saying, um, no.  At the least, it felt like I was being dropped off at an orphanage.  It stung.  It hurt.  And I felt like she was willingly giving up on me and a relationship together for no substantial reason.

Now stopping right there – can you relate to that in some way?  We all are going to experience a betrayal in our lives.  It may not be your mother, but it doesn’t matter who sometimes.  Betrayal is betrayal.  Being given up on is abandonment.  Someone saying you’re not worth working things out for – it’s going to hurt, no matter who it is.

And when you experience that, what are you going to do?  How do you pick up the pieces?  Where do you go from there?  Or do you not go on from there and instead let that halt you forever?  What do you do?

I’m not here to judge anyone else in what they have gone through.  I’m not even here to judge my mother.  You know what I am concerned about?  Me.  And that might sound self-centered, if you just stopped listening right there, but I’m righteously concerned about me.

See, I can’t control what others do to me.  Boundaries can help somewhat, but unless I become controlling and manipulative or become a hermit, I can’t control 100% what people do to me.  If I am going to be in any relationships at all, if I open myself to the possibility of love, I am also opening up myself to the possibility of being hurt as well.  To me, it is useless to focus on trying to control others 100% since that is impossible.  It cannot be done.  What I CAN do, however, is control me.

Some responses I will have to something like this happening are automatic.  But some responses will not be.  Some of those responses, and especially my choices of how to react and respond, I get to decide how that part of the story goes.  So instead of wasting a lot of time about others, I take all my extra energy and focus and I look at me.

I can choose to become a victor or a victim at this point.  I can choose to forgive or be bitter.  I can choose to let my worth be affected permanently by this or to be affected permanently by something much more stable.  All in all, where I go from here is totally up to me.  And I take that responsibility very seriously.

As for me, I refuse to be a victim for the rest of my life.  That’s not what I want my identity to be about when people look at my days on this side of eternity.  This is not the only heartache I have experienced in my life.  People have given up on experiencing much less.  But I am wanting a certain story, if you will, with my life on this side of eternity.  And I want a good story.  And I don’t want my story to be that I gave up, that I compromised, that I stayed a victim, that I became bitter, that I let other people or circumstances be the excuse that stopped me from my overcoming, from my “Cinderella” story, if you will.

Now I can “say” this all I want.  Actually walking this out is a whole different story.  You know what I’m talking about.  People who “say” they are “fine” when they clearly are not.  I don’t want that either.  I am willing to do whatever I have to do in order to forgive, to let go, to heal, and yes, ultimately, to bless those people who, whether intentionally or unintentionally, end up cursing my life and who hurt and attack me.

Do you see how I am saying that I am making this about me in a righteous way?  This is not about what people have or have not done to me.  This is about me and which path I am going to choose to be on.  And you can say that I am making this too simple.  You can claim that this is just pretty writing and that I am not really living this out.  And for any who would say that, I’m sorry you feel that way.  This is not about you either.  This not about proving to anyone that I am doing well.  This is about my journey, whether others see it rightly or not.  There simply isn’t anything to prove to anyone.  If you don’t believe it, if you are offended, or fill in the blank with something else entirely, I am sorry you feel that way.  And I leave it at that.

I have a feeling this post may get a lot of responses.  We all have toxic people in our lives.  We all experience betrayal.  We all need to learn more about boundaries.  We all need to learn more about how to grow and develop our relationships.  We all need to learn more about what to do about people who seem to create drama in our lives or who try to control and manipulate us and upset our peace.  We all need to learn more about how to heal and to forgive, how to let go and honestly move forward.  We all need to learn more about how to vent and process our feelings in a righteous way and not attack others with those feelings while doing that.  These are desperately needed life skills that are seldom learned and seldom taught, and in the rare case they are taught, they usually are not taught relevantly and practically, and because of that, are not passed on from generation to generation.

What I have learned in this area has taken hard study and initiation and seeking out Wisdom from multiple areas and trying to put all the pieces together and then turning that into practical steps to walk out daily.  But I LOVE this.  I LOVE what going in this direction has been and continues to bring into my life.  I LOVE who I am, and who I am becoming.  I LOVE the direction I am going at in my life.  I LOVE that I am ensuring that I will not end up on my death bed with a pile of regrets.  I LOVE the peace and the joy that keeps increasing in my life through this.  It has been worth every hard step I have taken.  I am experiencing the reaping of benefits already.  I am sad that previous generations did not pave the way better or make this easier to walk, but that just makes me more eager to help pave the way for the next generation, so it will be easier for them.  I LOVE that in that sense, I am a pioneer for my generation and upcoming ones.  What I do and live out every day is simple, and yet, we have forgotten the simple, the foundational things, the basic steps of common sense and truth in a lot of areas. I am loving my story as it is being created.

So please, send me your responses.  Send me your questions.  Send me the topics you would like written about and shared about this and relating topics.  I do not claim to know everything.  But I am happy to help others in this area and to do what I can to bless you and speed up your journey in this.  Every time I post about toxic people, boundaries, etc., so many people chime in either through email, comments on the blog, or comments on my facebook page.  So I know there are others out there who are hungry to learn more about this and how to incorporate this more practically in their life.

If I can forgive and overcome a betrayal like this, and I am just a regular person, then I believe, if you want it, so can you.  It may not happen overnight, but it can surely happen.  I am not simply saying, “Get over it.”  That’s not practical, that doesn’t work.  It’s a process to heal, to forgive, to let go.  It’s not possible to just simply say, “Get over it.”  But it IS possible to start and go through a process, that is usually very individual, and to be able to overcome what you have experienced.  Many hugs to you all out there that have experienced betrayal, rejection, hurt, abuse, neglect, or just simply toxic people.  The good news is they don’t have to take control of and run the rest of your life.  You can take your life back and have the life you have always dreamed of.  It just depends on how bad you want it.  ❤