Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. ~Mark Twain
My mother recently broke her blog silence to write about being betrayed by her brother. It’s a long story; you can read about it at her blog.
What I’m struggling with, vis-a-vis her story, is this: her unwillingness to even consider forgiving her brother, ever. I’m struggling with this, because although I fear that her unwillingness to forgive will become an albatross around her neck and that it will, someday, choke her, I also understand just how total and absolute is her anger and hurt, and I don’t know how I would let it go, if I were her.
My husband, my friends, and my children have said that I have to let
it go – that I should ask God’s help in forgiving my brother if I am
ever to find peace in my soul. I have done a lot of soul searching
about that. I have had a lot of conversations with God – probably
one-way, because I am not prepared to listen to what I know he would
say. I have decided that I will never forgive my brother. He is now
dead to me. I do not have a brother.
She knows that God would tell her to forgive, that God does tell her to forgive. But she does not want to listen. And I get that, I really do. But I still fear for her, for her ability to go forward peacefully, if she doesn’t forgive.
How does one counsel forgiveness, when one isn’t certain that one could find forgiveness in her own heart?