By Andreas Hummel
During my Process, I made a public declaration at our graduation to visit my mother, who had shunned me for 18 years, bring her flowers, and tell her I LOVE her.
At the two-month mark, on 4/1/15, I did exactly that – I showed up at her door unannounced and did it. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
She raged, screamed, and was beside herself with anger. She demanded I leave her house at once. At one point, I was sure she was about to spit in my face. I was shaking down to my core. But I stood firm and kept saying “Mom, I love you no matter what.” No matter what obscenity she screamed, I held on to the only mantra I could find – Mom I love you.
I left her flowers, a card, and the letter of appreciation I had written her while I was at Hoffman and quickly exited her home. The entire episode took less than 3 minutes. And then I was back in my car, shaken down to my core, trembling inside, and I began to sob those tears that only come from a lifetime of pain.
To be perfectly clear here, the outcome was not what I had hoped for, but that is beside the point.
The point is I did what I said I was going to do, and I stood for the universal principal of Love that I learned at Hoffman. As I looked deep into her face while she raged on me, I could see the broken woman she was. I could feel her deep, immeasurable pain that she had chosen to imprison herself with.
At that moment, I was able to have empathy and compassion, and was able to hold a space of love for her no matter what. I knew, going into the scene with her, that no matter what she said, no matter what she did, that my love for her was NOT DEPENDENT on how she felt about me. I finally realized that I AM the LOVE, and that I can BE the LOVE, at all times and under all circumstances. This exercise, despite the outcome, actually helped me profoundly. My sense of worth was no longer dependent upon my mother’s opinion or approval of me.
At that moment in time, I had truly been set free, and my Hoffman Process was now complete.
At the four-month mark, my brother, who was the one who enrolled me in Hoffman, called to say he had terminal cancer and was given only a few months to live.
I drove to Las Vegas, to be by my brother’s side as he lay in intensive care after emergency surgery, and stayed with him for most of the next two months, May and June. I reached out to one of my classmates while I was there, and he was a lifesaver for me. I was in a dark place at that exact moment in time, and he made time for me. Thank you, Bill!
If you ever wondered if God has a sense of humor, wonder no more. Because while I visited my brother in intensive care, guess who else had to be there? My mother – the same one who just 60 days earlier raged on me because I went to tell her I loved her.
OMG, if there was ever such a thing as guardian angels, I’m sure that they were just rolling over. The irony of it all!
Ultimately, I took daily care of my brother, while my mother, who was still hostile toward me, couldn’t help but notice my service to her other son, the one she so dearly loved.
After a few weeks of watching me, my mother finally capitulated, broke down, and apologized for shunning me for the last 18 years. While it wasn’t easy, my mother was finally able to let go of the long-standing resentment she had toward me. Once I found out what it was, I was able to resolve it, and then, bingo, the magic happened, and our relationship went back to normal, as though the shunning of the last 18 years had never happened. It was nothing short of a true miracle. I know my guardian angels were smiling.
Since that time, I have begun an epic journey of becoming a permanent traveler. I put all my personal belongings in storage, gave up my residence in southern California, and have begun an epic journey of traveling across America. In a few weeks, I’ll be in New York City, then Toronto, and then New Zealand and Australia. And if the facts be known, I’m happier now, and feel more love than ever before.
In order for us to see up, we have to see down. To know pleasure, we need to know pain. To know cheerfulness, we need to know despair – that’s the journey of life: to compare and contrast so we can appreciate it all.
Thank you, everyone, for loving me when I couldn’t love myself.