In Search of Gold
Our mothers live within each of us. We are part of her and she is part of us. But how well do we actually know our mothers? Through finding out more about your mother and her mother before takes away some of the ‘mother blame’ and you can begin to recognise your mother was never going to be perfect. You can take her down from the pedestal you may have put her on and accept her for who she is, warts and all. By doing so, she is more likely to accept you and your behaviours, creating a more harmonious relationship between you.
Linda’s Words of Wisdom - Case Study
‘‘I know in the past, I’ve had many negative beliefs about my mother. It was difficult at first to move beyond my hatred of her. I have been guilty of only focusing on lack, magnifying the things I haven’t liked about her, playing over old scenarios where her words wounded me. The last thing on my mind was forgiving her. She had hurt me so much over the years with her comments, coldness and put-downs; I just didn’t know where to begin. Now, on reflection and after doing the inner work, I’m aware it was me, hurting me, by constantly reminding myself of my mother’s absence of nurturing. Taking time to learn more about my mother’s past, I now empathise and understand why she wasn’t more loving. I no longer blame her, I just feel very sad for her. What I’ve discovered is compassion of sorts and this gives me huge sense of relief. I finally feel free from having to search for my mother’s love, in its place I have found my own kind of peace with the past.’’
Those who have hurt you in the past cannot continue to hurt you now unless you hold onto the pain through resentment - Rick Warren
In Search of Gold
For most of us, our relationship with our mothers is a mixture of negative and positive, happy and sad, good and bad experiences. If we focus on the negative, sad and bad then it leaves little room for the positive aspects of our relationships to flourish.
An honest examination of your relationship with your mother can be completed at any time. However, the sooner you expand your beliefs and knowledge about your mother, the better you will feel. This exercise will help you to mine for gold and focus on the positive aspects of your experiences with your mother – even if you feel these are few and far between.
· Divide a sheet of paper into two columns, label the right hand side ‘Positive’ and the left ‘Negative’
· Write down the positive and negative aspects of your relationship with your mother
· Include such occasions as her caring for you if you were unwell, making your favourite meal, coming to your school plays, encouraging you to try new things etc (this will go in the positive column)
· Record times when your mother was being punishing, judgemental, critical, ignoring you or playing you off against your siblings etc (this will be for the negative column)
· Take your time with this exercise and keep adding to the list for up to a week
· The list is not to cast blame, but to create an awareness of both negative and positive behaviours
· When you have completed the list take time to reflect and compare the negatives and positives. Do the negatives outweigh the positives or, is it the other way round?
· Writing this list should be cathartic, an opportunity to release negative feelings and help you to remember the happy times and treasured moments with your mother, no matter how few and far between
· Allowing yourself to feel the range of emotions connected to both the positives and negatives, will further aid your awareness of what needs to be healed and transformed
· Use of EFT, journaling or art work will support you in letting go of your mother wounds and will take you to a place of healing (see Chapter Six of Mothers and Daughters: The Guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother for more detail)
* Free chapter - Welcome to the Journey of You * EFT Quick Start Guide (Emotional Freedom Technique) * Mothers and Daughters Q&A * Love and Relationship Inventory * Guided Relaxation - Negative Memory Release * The Spotlight Process * Power Questions * Who Am I? Exercise * 10 Steps to Setting Healthy Personal Boundaries * A Time for Healing
Be aware, that the thought of doing something is nearly always worse than actually doing it. The more inner work you complete, the more you will improve your relationships in general.
Love is the only gold - Alfred Lord Tennyson