My spouse hates her mother. She hasn't seen or spoken to her in nearly a decade and still says she is not ready to forgive her. I try to visit her mother with our kids when I can. My youngest is getting baptized and I invited her to his baptism and my wife is furious. I feel like the baptism is not about my wife; it's about my son and he wants his Grandma there. My wife is threatening to not attend the baptism. What should I do? I need help!
See if you can get your mother-in-law to write a sincere apology letter to your wife. Make sure the letter honestly owns her mistakes and asks for forgiveness. Then give the letter to your wife along with this article. Tell her you reached out to me only because you didn’t know what else to do because you don’t want her to suffer anymore. Ask her to read it all and consider the possibility that she could feel differently.
But, keep in mind that you can’t push your wife into forgiveness. It has to come from her heart in order to be real. She must change her mind to see this whole mess differently. All you can ask is that she be willing to read some things and think about it.
It’s very important that she doesn’t feel judged by you for struggling with this. She has every right to be where she is. Your job is to forgive her for struggling to forgive her mom.
We are all here (on earth) to learn and grow, and our main objective here is to learn to love ourselves, God and other people at a deeper level. If this is true, forgiving is the most important lesson. It’s easy to love people who are kind and good to us. Loving people who hurt us is a challenge that pushes us to the limits of our loving abilities. Forgiving your enemies makes you stretch and grow.
If you are going to change how you feel about an offense, you must learn to look at the situation in a new way. I’m going to help you do that. You may feel like you aren’t ready, but "I'm not ready" is usually an excuse we use when we can't articulate the real reason we don't want to forgive.
You must identify the real reason you don't want to forgive first, so you can work past it.
Here are some possibilities:
Your other option is a forgiveness energy. Here you choose to forgive yourself and others, and completely let go of every misconceived, stupid, selfish, fear-based mistake either of you has ever made. You choose to see these mistakes for what they really are, bad behavior born of confusion, self-doubt, lack of knowledge, low self-esteem and fear. In this place, you choose to see everyone as innocent and forgiven (by God) and let them (and you) start over with a clean slate every day. If you choose this mindset, you will feel safe, loved, whole and good about yourself and this energy will be light, peaceful and happy.
The question is: How do you want to live?
You may also want to download some of the forgiveness worksheets on my website to help you change your perspective.
You can do this.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.