Community Magazine

Forgiveness: A Stepmom's Best Tool

By Momishblog @momishblog
What's the first image that pops to mind when you think about stepfamilies?  Drama? Fighting? Hurt feelings?  Children feeling torn between both parents?  Crying and gnashing of teeth? Maybe all of the above?
Now imagine stepfamilies who have forgiven.  What do you see?  It's probably much harder to find an image that fits.  Would they be families that said hello and chatted politely during "the exchange"?  Would they be families that shared constructive information about their children? Maybe they'd even hug?
Finally, imagine parents and stepparents who forgiven themselves.  What do you see?  People who are accepting?  People who are loving?  People who work to build relationships with not only their spouses and their stepchildren but also with the exfamily members.  It's not something you see every day, is it?
Real forgiveness comes with clear heart and mind.  It takes patience, understanding, and a willingness to be honest with one's self.  Forgivness is a tricky thing.  It doesn't mean turning a blind eye just because you turn the other cheek.  It does mean letting go.  It means accepting people for who they are, flaws and all.  It means saying I'm sorry and accepting the same.  It means accepting an apology even when the other person hasn't apologized.
My father taught me during my teen drama of dealing with our divorced family that forgiveness benefits me more than it does the person I'm forgiving.  He taught me that turning the proverbial cheek would benefit my life more than I knew.  He was right.  So right in fact that the ripple effect through the rest of the family still impacts us today.
As you plan for the year ahead, ask yourself what life would be like if forgiveness was one of your goals.  Would it help you build better relationships with your partner, (s)kids, exfamilies, and with yourself?  If the answer is even "maybe", I encourage you to give it a try.  You wont be sorry.

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