Author: Karen Copeland
Image via @TechNinjaTodd
At the Promoting Mental Health in Schools Summer Institute in August 2014, Keli Anderson from the Institute of Families mentioned that we need a great deal of forgiveness on our journeys. I loved this statement, and I am going to tell you why.
I have written before about some of the challenges we have faced on our journey with our child. From navigating the systems, to learning how to advocate in the best possible way, we have had a wide variety of not so pleasant experiences. It became critical for me to shift the way I was thinking about these challenges, to forgive those who perhaps had the best of intentions but did not know the impact of their words or actions.
But the most important person I needed to forgive was myself. I needed to stop beating myself up over things I could not control, stop bemoaning the fact that I didn’t learn how to advocate the right way sooner. I needed to forgive myself for not being the perfect parent and partner. I needed to realize that it was okay to embrace grief every once in awhile, to acknowledge that our path would be different – and then pick myself up and continue on. I needed to take the time to reflect and understand how my actions influenced the trajectory of our situations, forgive myself for these and learn to do better.
I carry hurt in my heart, but I also embrace forgiveness. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.