penal envy

this is about forgiveness.
not about lindsay lohan.

although i have to say that i hope, sincerely hope, that when she gets out of rehab and goes back into the world that she uses her experience to inspire & encourage & help kids & teens & young folks who haven’t a clue who they are in the world and that it is not cool & hip & groovy to throw your life & talent away simply because you have the means to do it. i hope she walks out of rehab with dignity & integrity & a profound sense of mission.

ok. getting off my soap box.

like i said this is about forgiveness.
in our selves.

i went to a birthday party the other evening for a friend who just turned 70. a gorgeous brilliant talented woman who lives life so fully you swear she’s gonna burst at the seams. she is an artist and her paintings are huge and vibrant. it was a handful of women – only women – at the dinner party and we ended up talking about our mothers. a topic that comes up very often these days. it always amazes me when women declare how much they didn’t like their mothers. it is both inspiring & liberating to hear women who are so talented, so smart, so alive … that they became “who they are” IN SPITE of how they were raised and loved, or much more appropriately not loved, not cared for, not nurtured. and no, not every woman (my generation especially) has this experience, some women genuinely deeply adore(d) their mothers. and i can say with absolute conviction that i am envious of those relationships. the one’s that are so filled with reciprocation and unconditional love. oh my god i can only imagine.

which brings me to:

one woman (at the party) said she has finally forgiven herself, because for years she was judged and ridiculed and told that she can’t dislike or hate her mother because, well, it’s her mother. “you can not hate your mother, she is your mother.” and so for years & years she pretended and she said she felt like she was imprisoned (isn’t it cool how this all comes full circle?????!!!!!) in her very own self doubt & self loathing. a self imposed box. and here’s the best part, one day she said to another really good friend of hers, “you know, maybe i just need to forgive her. maybe i just need to forgive her for being so negligent and mean and cruel. maybe thats it. forgiving her.” and her friend said, “maybe you oughta just forgive yourself.”


it wasn’t instant, and it didn’t happen overnight … but eventually she forgave herself, 100% and then all the self imposed scaffolding – all the self doubt & self hatred & self loathing that she surrounded herself with – all of it fell away and she stood tall all on her own, and fell in love with herself, and then – only then – forgave her mother. fully, totally, no regrets. full on.

that’s a rest stop on a road i’d like to travel.

Category: Uncategorized 4 comments »

4 Responses to “penal envy”

  1. Madge Woods

    AS you know I love this topic. Thanks for another inspiring story. xoxoxo

  2. Hollye Dexter

    as liz lemon would say, “i want to go to there”.

  3. kristine

    ” I don’t know the road to success…but I know the road to failure is trying to live my life to please every one else.”


    I have spent a lifetime trying to forgive myself. I treat it as a full time job and have been able to knock off a few “forgivenessess” every week. Soon as I do though, another crops up. It seems to be full time employment now. But that’s okay. I take the weekend off and then start on Monday. Maybe that will help redeem Mondays from it’s ugly status. Monday will be the start of the forgiveness week.

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