Monday, December 3

MONDAY MOTIVATION: Dear Gabby Douglas, Waiting for Your Father's Apology Will Not Heal Your Hurt

Guest Blog By: Safia Bartholomew

Gabby Douglas won the hearts and respect of the world this past summer when she made history as an Olympic gold medalist for the American gymnastics team. But, an unfortunate story that was also discussed throughout this time (besides the ridiculous criticism of her hair) was of her absentee father. This is of course a story that many little girls and women around the world can relate to. 

She recently revealed to People magazine that although her father wasn't present in her life, he did attend the Olymipc games to cheer her on. But, it was a text message from him after the games requesting for her to "autograph some things for me" that broke her heart. She reveals that she now wants an apology from him. I sincerely hope that her father does apologize for the hurt that he caused her. But, the unfortunate case is that in most cases she won't get it. There are plenty of grown women today that are still waiting on apologies from their daddies. There are so many more people in general that are anticipating the day that the person who did them wrong will finally apologize and accept responsibility. They too are still waiting.

See the thing is,  I think we have all been set up since our kindergarten days to believe that once someone hurts us they will automatically apologize. Remember when Johnny kicked you in the playground and your teacher would come running over demanding that Johnny apologize. He would say sorry begrudgingly but his apology would give you instant satisfaction and you could carry on about your day. As we grow up, we come to realize that life without a moderator to demand apologies for us means that the apologies come far and few between. So what do we do now? How can we move on when the person we care about/ once cared about is still out there seemingly not acknowledging the pain they caused.

One of the hardest things to do is to let go and forgive the people that hurt you the most. You replay their wrongdoings over and over in your head like a clip out of a bad movie. These people have claimed space in your heart and mind, holding you hostage from truly being free and as happy as you deserve to be. I've had friends in my life that I've allowed to take up space in my mind, as I sit waiting for them to make it right. But, Oprah said something awhile back that really stood out to me and I try to remember everytime those terrible movie clips decide to hit replay again. She described the story of an ex-friend who she harbored much hurt and anger towards for many years. Basically, one day she was out shopping and she saw that very person laughing outside of a Tiffany store having a good time. She was in shock and could not believe how happy that person was. I love this story! Doesn't that illustrate exactly how it feels to be so affected by someone who has clearly moved on and is living and enjoying their life meanwhile you are stuck in rewind?

This isn't to say that Gabby just needs to simply move on. But, she does need to forgive her father and accept that he is going to be the way he is until he decides to change. Who knows when he will finally wake up and decide to be a father. In the meantime, she needs to find peace with it and enjoy this incredible journey that she is on whole-heartedly.

As some motivation for this week, if you are dealing with the wrongdoings of others still haunting you let the following words from Maya Angelou soak in as you set yourself up to clear some emotional space for 2013.
In the sweet shadow of Thanksgiving I am giving forgiveness to everyone I thought ill treated me. I want to enter the Christmas month with a clean slate. I want to think that everyone I know can enter the last month of this year free of any ill will between us. Let us all go into December 2012 free, giving and expecting the good thing.
 I'm ready to start December off with a clean slate.Who's up to join me? Let me know your thoughts on the Gabby Douglas situation. Also, what are you going to do to start this last month of the year to let go of any resentments towards others. Meet me in the comment section to discuss.