Today my all-of-a-sudden-philosophical sister decided that it was my day to focus on "Forgiveness". (Hers was "Boundaries" and Wouter (The office "Jack"- we love him to death!!), well, Wouter got "Hope". Personally I would trade him his Hope for my Forgiveness in a heartbeat - he got off lightly!!)

But I did take her seriously and started doing a bit of past reflection (NEVER a great idea is you are hovering on the fence between a good mood and extreme irritation!). None the less, I contemplated.

First off, I have mother-in-law issues. We love each other dearly, but have very different opinions on how to do most things. Raise kids, decorate a house, house keeping, boundaries, cooking - you name it - we have probably butted heads about it. In the past 17 years we have had many, many, many, verbal (and written, sms'ed, emailed, and lately bbm'd) difference of opinions. And every time we seem to reach a plateau of peace, something happens to rattle status quo.

She thinks I'm controlling and bossy, that I don't include her enough in my life, that I over react and am keeping her son and grand kids from her. I think she doesn't respect me as a wife or mother, doesn't respect my boundaries, and basically thinks I am not good enough. Without analysing every issue, without rehashing past injuries, past injustices, past fights, without doing the he-said-she-said dance, playing the finger pointing, name calling (oh yes!) blame game, admitting we have issues is a first BIG step. Admitting that we probably always will have issues is the second BIG step. So now what?

The thing is, I need this emotional warfare to stop. There is no competition for affection, there is no ulterior motive, there is no hidden agenda. There is life. And life is complicated, and tumultuous, scary, fragile, short and amazing. I don't want it to be marred by constant walking on egg shells, ulcers, headaches, tears of frustration and sadness. There is no need for it. There shouldn't be. And quite honestly, there is no room in my life for it anymore.

I love my mother-in-law. I really do. She is kind, generous, spunky, creative, and a bit eccentric. Because of her I have my husband. Sometimes I forget that. We do, despite our differences, have  a lot in common as well. We both love making people feel special through the little things, how a gift is wrapped, a table set, a card written. We both love animals, and have a soft spot for helping those who need us. I like to think we both have huge hearts and generous spirits (I know she does). But above all, we both love Warren, Dylan and Kirsten beyond measure. Is that not what its all about at the end of the day?

So in my contemplation on forgiveness, I have decided that this is it. We both need to admit, accept, forgive, forget, and move on. For real. No more grudge baring. No more rehashing and reminding of past injustices. No more pettiness. No more jumping to conclusions. No more reading into things that are not there. No more assumptions. No more thinking the worst. No more harsh judgements. On both sides. Instead, more patience, more understanding, more mutual support. More listening, more empathy and more compassion. On both sides.

Maybe being forced to concentrate on this notion today has been a good thing.

Thanks, Jax. But no more being philosophical tomorrow - its exhausting!! I'm Just Saying....