Could you forgive your mother who abandoned you at age 8, was presumed dead, only to turn up alive 11 years later? That’s the difficult challenge facing 19 year old Morgan Heist of Harrisburg, PA. She acknowledges that her mother’s sudden re-appearance has angered her. She said, “I wish I had never cried.” She went on to say that what her mother did, “…was definitely very selfish. She did not think of me or my brother or my dad at all with that decision. She thought of herself.” You can read the article as reported by clicking here.
What a daunting situation facing this young woman! How do you forgive your mother such a selfish act? How do you respond the first time they meet after all these years? The Law of Serenity would serve Morgan very well in this situation. She needs to first get neutral and then she will see clearly what she needs to do at that first meeting.
Getting neutral is a challenge of centering the mind, heart and soul. I will not pretend that Morgan or anyone could get neutral quickly in this situation. But the crossings she faces are clear. She needs to examine her beliefs. These will be her expectations that good mothers don’t abandon their children, among many others. Then she needs to be authentic. What is her real truth to be told?
If Morgan’s heart remains angry, she will instinctively want to hurt her mother in the measure to which she herself feels hurt. That is our human nature, to judge others in the way they judged us. Abandonment is the ultimate judgment that says, “You’re not lovable.” Morgan would do well to feel her feelings and fully grieve her motherless childhood. If she is successful, she will be able to search for compassion. What could have driven her mother to do such a thing? Mental illness? Her own feelings worthlessness?
In these situations, I’m always reminded of the old Johnny Cash song called, A Boy Named Sue. Father abandons son but names him Sue. Boy has to fight his whole youth. Finds father and begins to beat him and draws his gun to kill him. Father begs for a moment’s mercy whereupon he explains how that name gave the son “the gravel in your gut and the spit in your eye.” Son experiences compassion and all is forgiven. I know, it’s just a song. But it warmed my heart even as a kid to think that somehow wisdom and love prevailed.
There will be a silver lining in this dark cloud for young Morgan. I don’t know what it is but I do know this. If she first gets neutral, she will see clearly what she needs to do. From that centered place of being grounded, she will decide to either invite her mother back into her life or shut her out. My prayer is that she will be at peace, whatever she decides. In the end, we can find purpose and love in any situation if we open our eyes to see as Jesus sees, by loving the unlovable, pardoning the unpardonable and believing the unbelievable. These are the situations in life that build our spiritual endurance to love and be loved.
Peace be with you,