The current most popular show on Netflix is Bridgerton. Like, if you haven’t seen Bridgerton you are sleeping on a bicycle. The show is dominating conversations on social media. Some say it’s good, others have criticisms here and there but the consensus is that Bridgerton is an enjoyable period drama.
One of the points of the series that stuck with me is the relationship between the Duke and his father. So, the Duke (yes, the one girls are swooning over on Twitter) had a very difficult relationship with his father. Their relationship was so difficult that on the Duke’s father’s deathbed, the Duke could not forgive him and swore the title would die with him. Meaning, the Duke will never have a child. Fast forward to the future, the Duke falls in love against the wishes of his mind and he gets married. But he wouldn’t have a child because of the promise he made to his father and a heart that was unwilling to forgive past pains.
I imagine many of us have similar relationships with our parents or close family members (including chosen family you don’t share blood with) I, for one, didn’t have a good relationship with my mother. We never saw eye to eye but as I grew up, I realized her anger and toughness on me was really fear. She was afraid of the very patriarchal world I lived in and didn’t want my life “ruined.” I acknowledge that there are better ways she could have protected me but what did our parents know? A lot of them didn’t have good examples from their own parents and Nigerian society in the 1990s generally accepted corporal punishment on children. It took many years for me to understand, to pray and to forgive. My mum and I aren’t best friends but I know without doubt that she loves me dearly.
Family relationships are often difficult. That’s the truth. A lot of us are going around with trauma inflicted on us by our parents and family members. This trauma extends into our lives with friends, partners and even our relationship with God.
As we progress into this new year, if you have a difficult relationship with your family over past wrongs, I encourage you to face these problems and acknowledge them. It is not an easy journey. We are all imperfect. The thing about forgiveness is that it is not only for the person you are forgiving, but also for yourself. When we are able to forgive past wrongs, we face the world with a lighter heart. If you cannot understand the motives of those who have hurt you, follow the words of Mother Theresa, forgive anyway