This is the photo of one happy “farm boy!” And the one thing that I know is it wasn’t always the way he felt about the farm. In fact, when I met Kim nineteen short years ago, he told me the story of leaving the farm (at the age of eighteen) to later join the Air Force because, “he couldn’t get out of there quick enough.”
How many of us share a similar story? A background that involves growing up in a household or situation that as soon as we graduated from high school, we were “out of there!” The one thing that I know is I shared the same story with Kim. I, too, left as soon as I was able to do it. I didn’t join the armed forces, I took three jobs to support myself.
Each of us chose to get as far away as possible from our childhoods. In Kim’s case, he had had enough of (in his words), “scooping frozen hog shit in the freezing cold of winter.” And a father that was “very hard on him.” In my case, my family was being torn apart by a divorce. There was a lot of fighting, crying, name calling, and years of dysfunctional behavior. All I wanted was to create my own little family with the ideal husband, a cute little house, with a white picket fence. The American dream.
A lot of life happened for the both of us between then and now. And I’ll fast forward to the point! Something else we both shared was a strong feeling of discord with the relationship of one of our parents. Kim’s was his father. Mine was my mother. In 2006, with Kim’s encouragement, I took the Heal Your Life® Workshop Leader Training. In this week long intensive training, that I now have the honor and privilege to teach, I deeply explored the history with my mother. With the support of the others that showed up for this experience, I bared my soul. Spoke my truth. Cried my eyes out. Beat pillows to release all the years of pent up anger, frustration, and resentment. And with all that being said, the two most powerful things that I heard (and acted upon) were the following:
- If your parents are still alive and you wonder why they did something, ask them.
- Everyone is always doing the very best they can with the awareness, knowledge, and skills they have.
In a very condensed version of my story, I used this process (along with forgiveness) to *heal the relationship with my mother. When I saw that this is possible, naturally, I wanted the same for Kim and his father.
I’m not quite sure of what year it was exactly, but Jack Coffman, was very ill. It was Christmas Eve, Kim and his father hadn’t spoken in quite a while. With a bit of uneasiness, yet a willingness to make the first move, Kim boarded an airplane to the farm. His home that he’d been away from for nearly twenty years. Imagine the surprise on everyone’s faces when he walked into the front door to wish his father a Merry Christmas. A few years later, Jack Coffman, his stern, proud, burly father, left this planet. Fortunately, after they’d shared a holiday, hug, and healing.
It’s harvest time. The time of year when the farmers are reaping what they sowed. Kim has returned to the farm to be side-by-side in the fields with his two brothers, just as his father did over sixty+ years ago. You can tell by the expression on his face (in the photo above) that his heart and spirit are incredibly happy!
The one thing that I know is anything is possible when we have the courage to take responsibility for our lives and situations. If you could experience your own abundant harvest, what would it be and are you willing to do what it takes to get there? I’m so happy and grateful that each of us were willing to take the necessary steps in healing our old hurts. What we’ve learned together is truly “everyone is always doing the very best they can with the awareness, knowledge, and skills they have.” Plus, forgiveness and compassion are important seeds for a rich harvest.