SAMPLE EXCERPT:

I see that as a continuation of the step of picturing a special future for her, too.

How do I plan to adapt this to my life in the future? I think I will keep a copy of this book in my bookshelf, just in case I forget the five steps. I will also be more forgiving of others, and open to them and their wants and needs. I have seen that as a result of doing this with my mother, I have learned more about her and myself in the process. I took my mother for granted and I did not give her much of myself in return. I resented her because of all the things she didn't do for me, rather than treasuring her for all the things she did do. It was hard for me to admit that, and hard to share with her. I did though, and I think that it will always be an important turning point in our relationship. I think we respect each other more, and that she finally sees me as an adult that she can share things with, rather than a child that she has to dominate and control. I think we are more friends now, and happier because of it. I will continue to work on my relationship with my mother, and as it continues to evolve I will use the five steps on other members of my family that I want to bless, like my father, my brothers, and my grandparents. I think that I will be more open and loving because of putting these steps into practice, and that I will be more tolerant of others and all their idiosyncrasies. At least I hope that I will!

After I had completed all the steps, I told my mother about what I had been doing and about the book. She was very interested, and bought the book for herself. I think she will begin to do the steps on others. I truly hope that she uses the steps on her mother and father and blesses them, because I think their relationship has been strained through the years, just like ours was. I think that is one reason she is not able to ask for things she wants or desires, because my grandparents just don't encourage that kind of communication and sharing. They are pretty set in their ways and not very open to change, so I don't know exactly what their reaction will be, but I hope that my mom can use the steps and bless her parents, I think it will make a difference in her life and in the lives of the people around her. I'm not sure my dad is as open to this as she has been, but we will have to see, because I know I want to bless him, and I'm pretty sure mom will too. I don't know how he'll manage to ward off both of us!! I have seen mom hugging him, and he has been receptive and even a little playful in his reaction, and so, maybe mom is starting on the steps already without my knowing it.

Sure, a lot of this project was uncomfortable, because my mother and I have not always seen eye-to-eye. Frankly, I don't think my mother ever received the blessing from her parents, and that has colored her own relationships -- certainly our own relationship. I have seen how she can hold people at arm's length and how she can be intensely critical of herself and of those around her. I think she is always looking for acceptance from us all but has never found it in herself, or found that what we give is "good" enough. It was uncomfortable for me to confront my mother and tell her that I wanted to give her a blessing, and it was uncomfortable when she told me some of the things I have done to disappoint her. In fact, it could have been quite traumatic. However, using the tools in the book helped diffuse some of the information, and ultimately my discomfort disappeared as results began to occur. I found the final result to be very positive and beneficial. I think my mother and I have a better relationship now, we're both happier, and I would not be surprised if my mother does not work on her own blessing. (She is reading the book now and enjoying it.) She has talked to me about it as she reads through the steps and the author's ideas, and says she recognizes some of the things I did, and is thankful for them. That truly made my day.

References

Smalley, Gary & Trent, John. The Blessing. New York: Pocket Books,…