Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 120 ~ Seventy Times Seven Times

All my life I have struggled making friends...  When I was little, about five, it seemed as if I didn't fit in.  Already I felt like an outcast.... and as I grew older that feeling did not go away.  This was mostly because my last name was not "all american" and I spoke with a slight Spanish accent.  Back in the 70s, let alone the 60s, the Latin population in Los Angeles was barely a tenth of what it is today.

By the time I was ten, my parents had started their "ugly" divorce.  A midst all of the drama and among all of the dust and rubble of what was once our family, there remained my sister, brother and I.  We were all about three years apart, I was the eldest and my brother the youngest, leaving my sister in the middle.

Today, as a mom to three beautiful children, I have learned that my siblings and I had a very unhealthy upbringing.  At a time in life when children should be loved, taught and guided by their parents, we were instead being used as pawns against one another and between our parents.

My eyes fill with tears just at the thought of what we went through and what we witnessed.  If my parents were not fighting, they were putting us in the middle or just not talking at all.

When either one of them would get upset... WHAM-O!  Once the major fighting was over,  all communication would stop.  There wouldn't be any discussions, let alone agreeing to disagree.  This included other family members and friends.  This is how they handled conflict.  

So... as I grew up and became an adult and formed my own relationships with people... can you guess what happens next?  Well you got it!  I learned what I witnessed.  I developed nearly the same way of handling things.  Oh and never mind if you made me mad or did me wrong... my answer was a simple one... I just stopped talking to you and basically crossed you out of my life.  I stopped associating with you.

The last ten years of my life have been very enlightening.  I now witness healthy relationships, discussions and people agreeing to disagree.  I can still be harsh.  However, if I realize after the fact that I acted like a jerk... I am the first to apologize.

Forgiveness... this is a tough one.  Nonetheless, this is something I have been working on.  Forgiving people who have done me wrong has been very difficult for me.  But I have done it.  The "biggie" was forgiving the woman who helped my ex-husband (his newest ex-wife) take my boys from me.  At first they were just words.  I was just going through the motion and seeing where it took me.  However, as time went on I really forgave her.  The surprise of it all was that I felt AWESOME!!!

Today I was reading a pamphlet, by Christopher News Notes, I found among Nana's books, to Calley... the title, "Forgiveness Seventy Times Seven".  As I read on so many things were making sense to me. First off, forgiveness is not a feeling it's  a choice.  Right then I realize that I did make the choice to forgive my ex's ex.  All those times I was not feeling like forgiving... I was way off!

More recently, after nearly twenty-five years of not having a relationship with my sister I made the choice to forgive her.  This one was not easy.  I was reluctant, fearful of becoming vulnerable.  I am struggling with opening up my heart 100% to her because I am scared to get hurt and not have a sister once again.

As I read on [to Calley] I read that forgiveness is taking a risk.  It read on saying that it is making making myself vulnerable.  Some would even say it was foolishness, BUT to renew my commitment to my sister who had betrayed my trust is to trust myself to handle being hurt again.

Forgiveness is...
a decision; showing mercy even when the injury has been deliberate; accepting the person as he is; taking a risk; accepting an apology; a way of living; and choosing to love!

Forgiveness is not... 
sentimental, not condescending, not righteous.  Above all it is not conditional.

Peter asked Jesus, " 'Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me?  As often as seven times?'  'No,' He replied, 'Not seven times; I say, seventy times seven times'."            ~ Matthew 18:22

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Blessings to all!!

245 days to go...

All contents herein are protected under Copyright laws and can not be used, altered or copied. All accounts herein are written by Cali-Gal/Carla B Karam and are true accounts of her life. Some names may be changed to protect the innocent.

1 comment:

laruzzia said...

You couldn't have said it better. But, it takes two. Let the past remain THE PAST!!!! Even though we didn't speak , I would sit and dream about the day I had my SISTER in my life, and here you are. There is something much more powerful that binds us, OUR EXPERIECE of being without eachother. Times have changed, and yes I do agree, YOU had to forgive me, but I had to do the same. This is a new beggining that will take us to eternity.
GOD BLESS YOU for taking that step when I was afraid of dying, especially without you. Although, I do admit, throughout my life, during the really tough times, I remember you as being not only my sister but what a Mother wants for child. You are the closest to perfection in my eyes and soon, real soon yours as well as my child will know. How funny we both have a gurly gurl, years apart but yet very much the same. They are by our side no matter what.
Thank you a trillion times for taking the stand.
I love you with all my heart and so do your kids, THEY will come around. I wait day by day for Jerome to come around and believe it is hard, with that being said, soon we will all be together. Just like you said "70 times 7"!!!!!
Your sisiter Claudia