Allowing your mother to be human, you permit yourself and her, to be perfectly imperfect. The pressure is off both of you, as you work towards accepting you are both learning about life and dealing with its many challenges. As you discover events which go towards explaining why your mother may not have been able to love you in the way you wanted, healing can begin.
Every daughter will have something to say on the topic of her mother. Some daughters roll their eyes, vent a barrage of abuse and criticise - while others feel pity, even despair for their mothers. Growth comes when you are able to change what you can and accept what you can’t. Releasing any blame you might feel towards your mother frees you from being a victim of your own suffering. Having the wisdom your mother is who she is, purely from her own life experience helps towards knowing your life could not have been different, because she has been living her life and raising you based on her own learning.
Our underlying need for love, validation, acceptance and approval, becomes the driving force in our lives and can cause much destruction in all our personal relationships. Some of us may project these needs into our adult relationships and partnerships, setting up another chain of unrealistic demands when we expect our husbands and partners to parent us. It will be impossible for another person to give us a mother’s love. Working through your relationship problems with your mother, will improve significant other relationships too. We cannot change our mothers but we can change the meaning we place on our experiences with her.
It is impractical for us to expect our mothers to parent us in the way we need for the whole of our lives. Admitting we may never receive what we want from her is part of the process of letting go of an unrewarding quest. Instead we become our own inner mothers and are able to love, validate, accept and approve of ourselves independently. Breaking the cycle and letting go of the idealised mother, we are able to begin embracing who she really is and in turn take responsibility for ourselves.
Within each of us there is a spark which can understand, forgive and accept we are not our pasts. Being aware of the past is helpful, living there isn’t. Always remember, you are so much more than what has happened to you. You may like to listen to the free audio download 'Negative Memory Release' to support you on your healing journey.
Growing yourself back up
I think every girl needs to love herself, regardless of anything. Like if you’re having a bad day, if you don’t like your hair, if you don’t have the best family situation, whatever, you have to love yourself and you can’t do anything until you love yourself first - Julianne Hough
There is much sadness, anger and grief which goes with the realisation the child within is no longer a child and therefore those childhood needs can never be met in the traditional sense. Having this understanding aids us in nurturing ourselves, taking us further into healing.
Eleanor Case Study
Eleanor came to see me to improve confidence and self-esteem
Ever since her mother died when Eleanor was 19, she found herself searching for the validation she never received from her mother looking to lovers, friends and colleagues instead. With awareness of what was happening at a deeper level, Eleanor was able to deal with her unexpressed anger, sadness and grief, not just in terms of mourning her mother but also, in the sense of saying goodbye to the mother she hoped for. Working through her feelings of guilt (for arguing with her mother, blaming herself for her mother’s ill health and eventual death) and seeing the relationship with more clarity, Eleanor realised many teenagers fought with their parents and that she wasn’t personally to blame for her mother’s decline.
By talking to her father more openly, Eleanor learned that her mother had a long-term health condition which her parents had not wanted to discuss this with her. As you can imagine, although her parents were trying to protect her Eleanor felt angry because she would have related to her mother in a different way had she known about the illness.
Eleanor and I worked together using EFT to release her anger and to find a way to forgive herself and her mother and accept her parent’s choices. In doing so, she formed a healthier bond with her father and has the loving support of other female family members, as she continues to process her loss.
Coming to terms with the past and your life circumstances, also includes the self-acceptance that as a child you did the best you could with the knowledge and wisdom you had at the time. Acknowledging there may have been times when you struggled to live up to your mother’s ideals, removes the excess baggage of blaming yourself. Self-judgment is removed and you simply “let go” of what was an impossible task.
For further support on the Mother - Daughter relationship do check out my second Book Mothers and Daughters: The guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother.
If you feel you would benefit from some personal support please do contact me to talk through my range of support services and programmes.
Before you can live a part of you has to die. You have to let go of what could have been, how you could have acted and what you wish you could have said differently. You have to accept you can’t change past experiences, opinions of others at that moment in time, or the outcomes from their choices or yours. When you finally recognise the truth then you will understand the true meaning of forgiveness of yourself and others. From this point you will finally be free - Shannon L. Alder