Do you have something unresolved that beckons your attention? Is it emotional, like telling someone your feelings of love or anger or hurt? Does it require an action such as asserting yourself to a parent, spouse, or boss, or righting a wrong through legal means? Are you seeking redemption for a failure or horrible mistake? Or is it forgiving someone for a slight, an insult, or a trauma? And most of all, do you need to forgive yourself for your own shortcomings?

What is it you need to do to tie up the loose ends in your psyche? For me, it was to forgive my parents for the way they parented me. My father was tough, irrational, and abusive. My mother was over-protective, forming an anxious attachment with me and my sister. As I entered adulthood, I realized that their life experiences shaped their anger and anxiety. My father’s World War II survival story was filled with trauma. My mother had lost her whole family. Considering what had happened to them, I still came through their traumas visited upon me–the vicarious traumatization Ike speaks about in the novel–fairly well because underlying it all was a basis of love. Finishing business meant forgiving myself too, as I’d carried guilt for not ever being able to live up to some of their impossible standards that were there to give meaning to their lives. Years of sweat and tears went into my work and I have to say I’m at peace with myself and feel peace about them.

We all have unfinished business or unsettled scores that need closure. We all need to release our shame and guilt. We all need to find peace with the things we didn’t live up to or the things we wished we could have done better. Ultimately, forgiveness of self and others is the punctuation on finishing unfinished business.

Will you share with us stories of unfinished business and your attempts to bring about a resolution to these issues? If you are having difficulty doing it ask us your questions. Bring us your music that may have softened the times of pain and hurt. We are here for you.

Let’s start off with the following musical set: Mumford and Sons, “Unfinished Business,” Don Henley, “The Heart of the Matter,” and “Trouble,” by Ray Lamontagne.

  “Unfinished Business” — Mumford and Sons

“The Heart of the Matter,” Don Henley
“Trouble,” — Ray Lamontagne

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