Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is oneself. Desire Howard is struggling with self-forgiveness when she is confronted with a test and failure in one aspect of her life. It leads to much self-examination while discovering love, healing and acceptance on a level she never imagines.
Scene: Lunch with Desire, Philip and Eva, Desire’s mother.
“She is better Mrs. Howard. But I’ve been quite worried about her.” Philip said with no jest in his voice.
“Why’s that?” Eva asked directing her attention to her son n law.
“I think I’m failing in some way in making her happy.” Philip could feel the shocked stare of his wife. He had started out teasing but somehow the true emotions of his words began to surface. They were both drowning and he didn’t know what else to do.
“Well Philip that’s because it’s not your responsibility to make my daughter happy. You can enhance her happiness, add to it, complement it-but you cannot be the source of Desire’s happiness.” Eva said as she measured her gaze between the two of them. “And conversely Desire can’t be the source of your happiness. I think it’s this misconception that often leaves people so disappointed. It’s up to each of us to individually tap into what our purpose in life is. The bible tells us ‘Happy are those conscious of their spiritual needs’.” Desire has lived with her spirituality being the center of her life for so long and now she’s feeling a bit lost. But once she regains her balance, you will see some of the old Desire. She’s just got to figure out how to move pass where she’s stuck. Am I right Princess?”
Desire nodded, afraid to speak for fear she would cry.
Gently resting her hand on her shoulder, she continued, “Desi, honey, we all have made bad choices. But look at you now. You have a husband that loves you with all his heart. Do you see him? Look at him. Look in his eyes. Do you see the love?”
Then turning to Philip she said. “I know Desire has a tendency to run away from things that scare her. You love her so deeply Philip and from such a pure place it’s probably scary to her. She has never been the type of person fully aware of how beautiful she is-inside and out. If there is such a thing as a perfect child, it was Desire. But she made many of her choices in life to please me and her dad-maybe too many choices. I don’t think we were aware of the pressure we were putting on her.”
Silent tears streamed down her face as if she was reflecting. “And when she needed us the most, she was so ashamed –so afraid of paining us she just turned into herself. And what I wouldn’t give to be able to make my daughter convinced that she has always been our joy and that she is truly loved. Now that you two are becoming parents may you succeed where we failed by conveying to your child you will love them no matter what. Let them know you will cry with them, and rejoice with them, because they are part of you.” She ended looking over at Desire.
Desire slid over to her mother and unable to hold the sobs back any longer leaned into her embrace as Eva continued, “Your father and I love you so very much Desire. You are loved by so many. Never forget the love God makes available to us and he demonstrates it in every sunrise or sunset, even a raindrop –we are surrounded by so many miracles Desire. But to have a family that loves you, to have a home that is your haven is a beautiful gift. Your father and I love and respect Philip not because of the amount in his bank account, but because he provides for you out of love which he demonstrated at your wedding and we know our grandchild will be loved as well. But Desire, you have got to love and forgive yourself so that you and Philip can move forward into your future; because sweetheart, if you don’t find a way to do that I fear you will remain broken.”
Desire looked over at Philip. His eyes were shiny with unshed tears. He walked toward her and placed her in his lap. He looked into her eyes locking their gazes. “I love you with all my heart Desi. I hope one day you will be able to truly believe that.”
Desire looked into his eyes with eyes unfettered of doubt and fear, into the eyes she once thought could see into the depths of her soul and it became very clear to her once and for all that this was the look of love.
“I am looking into eyes reflecting the look of love. What do you see when you look into my eyes?” She asked.
He smiled and said softly, “I am looking into eyes reflecting the look of love –with no reservations. And I am humbled and feeling incredibly blessed.”
Desire rested her head against his chest. She raised her eyes to her mother. “It goes to show a woman will always need her mother. Thank you so very much mom!”
“Anytime sweetie. Now would I be rude in asking if we can dig into this food? I mean what’s a girl gotta do to get some fried chicken and macaroni and cheese!”