One of the greatest joys of writing this blog is hearing about your success stories.
I can't tell you how much it makes us beam every time we receive an email from someone who says they've been inspired to think about their lives differently.
Over the weekend in Philly (full birthday report coming soon! :) Danny happened to snap these photos of me while I was reading some of your emails.
After reading some of them, I had the idea that we really should post more of these stories on the blog (with the author's permission, of course!). They are just way too dang inspiring and it almost seems selfish for Danny & I to just file them all away in a gmail folder. So here & there - when we can fit it in - we will share with you some of the amazing glimpses we get into your lives. So many of you are doing remarkable things, and there's so much power in hearing each other's stories.
I think this story will blow you away, as it did us.......
I came across your blog this week and I just wanted to thank you because it's helped me come to a very important decision in my life to let go of a difficult experience in my past that has been affecting my present.
You see, my relationship with my mother has been very trying over the past 10 years - almost non-existent, and when it does exist I often get my feelings hurt. I've had feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem because of this. I guess I've underestimated how much my mom's opinion of me meant, even as a grown woman with a family of my own.
I would often cry to my husband over the emptiness I felt at not having my mother in my life. So many others call their mom their best friend and I wanted so desperately to have the same relationship. I felt somehow defective and embarrassed with out it. I've been married for nearly 6 years and during this entire time my husband has been so patient and long suffering. I've tried to suppress the sadness, thinking I'm over it, and then something will happen that will bring all my hurt feelings back.
Things clicked for me when I found your blog. The amazing thing is, nothing you said is new to me. I KNOW these things in my mind but didn't know how to transfer them to my heart. Knowing something and living something are two different things. Understanding the struggles you've gone through with your divorce and the fact that you came to a realization of your worth WELL BEFORE your husband left gave me hope that in the midst of my trial I can still have peace, that external forces have no bearing on our happiness.
I realized that I have been valuing myself based upon my perception of what my mother thinks. I have spent so much time yearning for her love and it has been draining me physically and spiritually. This week, with your help I have come to a realization that my life is FULL of love and that I don't need my mother's love (or approval) to be happy. God has blessed me with an AMAZING husband and beautiful daughter and they shower me with unconditional love every day. After coming to this realization, I wrote a post about how I know God's love through my daughter and husband. Ever since, I've allowed myself to bask in their love, all the while knowing that God MUST love me because He blessed me with them at all. And even if they weren't a part of my life, I know God would find other ways to show me that He loves me.
This has allowed me to let go of my need for my mother. I still love her, and still keep my heart open to her, but I no longer feel like my life is incomplete because she's not in it. A week ago I wouldn't have been able to write about her without bursting into tears. Today as I type this, I feel an acute sense of gratitude and am just OVERFLOWING with love.
I've been trying for so long to figure out how to forgive her and move on from this because it was holding me back in every way, and I know now that tuning in to God's love for me and really feeling it and letting it come into my life has allowed me to be full and whole. I know it's real because the bitterness is GONE from me, and it is replaced with compassion for my mother. I don't know if our relationship will ever be what I want it to be, but I'm OK with it now because I've released her from the responsibility of making me happy. That's not her job. It's mine.
I feel so liberated now! I almost don't know what to do with all the energy and time I've now freed up for myself (that I would normally spend wallowing in self pity). Even as a fully functioning person, I was just a shell, empty, consumed by what I thought was missing in my life. I can't BELIEVE I've spent so long living like this when it really is so simple. I can now be a waaay better wife and mother.
I don't know what it is exactly about your writing that has caused such a tremendous shift in my thinking. My only conclusion is that you teach with the Spirit because I could only have learned these things through the Spirit. Never stop what you're doing. You and Danny are literally changing lives.
Thank you so, so much!
Lots of Love,
Isn't it cool to see how this message really does apply to EVERY situation you could think of? We've found countless ways to apply it to our lives.....and we just love, love, love seeing so many of you doing the same.
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