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My Mother’s Sewing Basket January 19, 2009

Posted by Carole Lynne in Love.

I am sitting in the basement of the house my mother and father used to live in before they went to spirit.  I am fortunate that we were able to keep their house, which is in Maui, in the family.  While I rent out the house most of the year, when I am able to come to Maui and stay in this house, it is a joy to be in my parents home.

Today I am getting ready to sew a button on a jacket. I just took my mother’s sewing basket out of the closet to find some thread and a needle.  I remember seeing this sewing basket when I was a teenager and we lived in New York, and then I remember using it many times after my mother and father moved to Maui, sewing basket and all.

My mother suffered from many mental challenges and while a brilliant woman and incredibly creative, we did have hard times.  But I have fond memories of her hemming my pleated skirts when I was in high school in the 1950ies.  No matter happened, she was always there to hem my clothes and make sure I had a wonderful Halloween costume.

I am so fortunate that I began to forgive my mother for the hard times while she was still alive.   A good friend of mine in California called me one day in the 1980ies and told me that I just HAD to come and attend a workshop by Bob Trask on forgiveness.   At that time I was living in Massachusetts, we had just had a fire in our house and we were living in a mobile home on the front lawn while the roof was repaired. It seemed like a good time to go to California.   The seminar on forgiveness changed my life.  I spent many years visiting my mother and although times were always difficult, I was able to experience my love for my mother. I had some good conversations with her during her last years. She went to spirit in 1999.

As I sit in her house with her sewing basket, I am grateful for the love that I feel for my mother.

Do you have stories of forgiveness to share with us?




1. Ron M. - January 20, 2009

In my lifetime I have had many issues that have created tensions within relationships both past and present. For me it has been extremely important for my own progression to forgive people who have in any way contributed to these tensions, to learn to send love and healing, to accept that life is not always that bed of roses that we are looking for. It was also important for me to look at where I was responsible for contributing to these difficulties.

For years I had lived with bitterness and anger over some of these issues. I had suffered, especially emotionally, as a result of my own bitterness. I realized that what I was doing to myself by living in these past memories was creating a worse situation. Once I began to understand the importance of leaving the past behind and sending light and love into the situation, I started to feel better about myself. Holding onto these emotions had created a dislike for who I was becoming. Letting go of them allowed me to make forward strides on my evolutionary journey. So, for me the greatest part of letting go has not only been restoration of relationships that were formerly tense, but also the wonderful way in which I feel I have been able to evolve spiritually. When we go through these kinds of situations we are able to really know what it is to be restored to health of mind, body and spirit.

2. mary - January 20, 2009

These words make me question where I am on the forgivenss scale.. .

I am old enough to have been both the recevier and giver of pain. I have personal faith in my God that motivates me to forgive… and sometimes with lovely results. But, not always.

I am finding that the process of forgiveness is a continuing one – whether as directed at others or one’s self. Just when I am thinking I have that “old issue” dealt with something happens which reminds me of just how far from holy I am!

My capacity to forgive continues to grow along with my understanding of myself and others. I am encouraged that the process is so deeply satisfying… the emotions and gentleness these posts speak of…

But, I also think I have confused forgiveness for many years with allowing others to repeatedly trespass against me Unfortunately, many of the relationships of my extended family seem stuck in those behaviors whether I forgive or not…

It has been most difficult for me not just forgive, but set boundaries unapologetically with others. Not even close on that one by the way!

s greater than the year prior… but, that also my understanding of myself and others grows along with my willingness to learn.

But, I am still aware that any number of stimulus can trigger old learned responses and I must be dilgent to recognize them and deal witht he residual…

3. Carole Lynne - January 20, 2009

Dear Ron,

I can hear in your words that you have been through alot as you have moved on in your life. It sounds as if forgiveness has been part of your spiritual path. Thank you for your words about forgiveness.

4. Carole Lynne - January 20, 2009

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your insightful comment. You have addressed many of the issues that I feel we all go through as we struggle with forgiveness. Yes, we can forgive and still not condone the actions of others. Yes, we can forgive and still set firm boundaries with those who are not treating us well. I think each one of us has to deal with each situation and relationship in terms of that particular situation or relationship. There can be no hard and fast rules.

For me, I try to find ways to understand that I can still relate to some people who behave in a way that I do not approve of. Of course there are limits and some I will not relate to at all. But for the most part, I am trying to practice unconditional love, and accept that many have ideas that are different than mine, and also accept that others will not always live up to my expectations of who they should be and how they should act. This does not have to make me a doormat and I will remove myself situations with people who are unkind to me and others.

I understand what you mean when you write that just when you think you have forgiven someone, the old feelings of unhappiness come up again. I agree that forgiveness is a process, day by day, minute by minute.

Thank you for being so open with us.

5. Jessica - January 20, 2009

Carole, Ron, and Mary, Thank you for sharing your life experiences and insights. I, too, have had to forgive and be forgiven much. Healing and peace of mind come out of that forgiveness. The journey hasn’t been easy…but it is worth it. Along the way I’ve learned to accept people for who they are, warts and all. None of of is perfect, though I believe we are all being “perfected”. We are all to some degree a product of genetics or our environment…nurtured or not…criticized or praised, etc. The following meditation can be found at http://www.Intent.com, Who You Are, Who You Are Not: A New Meditation for Challenging Times From: Brian Vaszily It voices much better than I the path I took years finding to self-acceptance, forgiveness, and inner-peace.

6. mary - January 20, 2009

Carole – you are too kind..I came back to ask for forgiveness for my typos! I started down one sentence and ended with another and well.. my editing was poor….

I will try harder (although I do have an impatience with typing) in an effort to respect all the wonderful efforts and thoughts I read here.

On the other hand I also feel that free wheeling tyoping – typos be dam$#d – might also encourage others to post…with the sure knowledge they cannot look any worse!

7. Carole Lynne - January 20, 2009

Dear Jessica,

Thanks for your comment and for telling us about Brian Vaszily on Intent.com. I love that site and I take part in the posts there.

8. Carole Lynne - January 20, 2009

Dear Mary,

No problem with typos. Keep coming back!

9. mary - January 21, 2009

OK – nice story Carole and one that I could take and roll around in my mind over the days and nights…. an example of how forgiveness grows and changes with time….

my parents led difficult and troubled lives.. and along the way to adult understanding I worked hard at accepatnce forgiveness etc….

Not until this last week however, when I am facing the truth about my future employment prospects (at an appropriate professional level) that I really – in my gut – had a deep feeling of not just forgiveness for the difficulty;s they seemed to lay on me growing up… but for their forgiveness in my harsh judgments of them as they aged…

I hope I had some discretion when they were alive…that I didn’t blurt out “It’s your fault….” but even if I didn’t as a parent I now know the unspoken disapproval of kids… well it shouts from their eyes even without words…..

Anyway – this deep emotional bubble welled up – in a painful and disgusting expelling from my psyche….into a short essay of my need to tell them I am sorry and to ask for forgiveness….

I posted the essay on a political blog site…way out of their normal content.. and Lo! They put it on their “front page recommends”…not because it was so beautifully written (yes there were typos) but b/c this need to contually reevaluate and re-forgive and ask for forgivenss is in all of our hearts… even hard core Left political pundits….

So your story centered on your folks…hit home and thank you for taking the time to write in a personal and engagin manner… it is motivating to keep trying!

10. MaryLee Trettenero - January 21, 2009

Hi Carole –

I’m struggling with forgiveness as we speak. I’m in yet one more hassle with my condo association. This time it’s over a dangerous ice patch on the sidewalk in front of the house from the water that flows through our recently repaired drainage system. It’s a tremendous liability. There is a continuous flow of water (melted snow) through the downspout that ices over and surrounds our next door neighbors steps.

Monday night, after many unsuccessful calls to the other owners, I unhooked the downspout so the water flows into the back yard. This took two years of worry out of my life. I’ve been angry and worried and was ready to take it out in an email to my association today -only it really wouldn’t have changed anything.

Before I sent out the email, maybe because I was procrastinating or maybe for some wonderfully sychronistic reason, I thought I’d check in to see what Carole Lynne was blogging on today.

Wow. I don’t think I’m sending out any angry emails. Instead, I’ll consider forgiving myself for not taking action sooner when it was so simple and forgive my neighbors for their need to be in crisis.

I had a crisis orientation for many years. It takes conscious awareness to not set yourself up to be in crisis. I get mad when other people pull me into their crisis. Now, I’m going to forgive them and see it as a test from the Universe regarding self care.

I’m going to let go of the need to stew on this anymore.

Thank you!

11. Carole Lynne - January 21, 2009

Dear Mary Lee,

I can see myself in your story and I am sure many others on our blog can. Forgiveness is tough and a process one has to keep working on everyday. Thanks for your very frank and insighful comment.

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