Reality Check - Making the best of a bad situation
Never seen 'eye to eye' with your mother. You're not alone. In this series of blog posts we continue with the theme of improving communications in relationships. Excerpts are taken from my second book Mothers and Daughters: The guide to understanding and transforming the relationship with your mother . Samples exercises of clear communication can be applied across all relationships.
It takes maturity to understand your mother and who she has become as a result of her own reality. You do not need to follow in her footsteps and can choose how you use your experiences of the mother-daughter relationship.
If your mother was unavailable due to depression, poor health, addiction, overwork or, because of her own grief or unmet needs, it is still possible for you to move past the physical or emotional neglect you have experienced. This does not condone her behaviour, it simply means you are able to move beyond your experiences with your mother and begin to heal. You are no longer being a victim of your past but instead, you are using your past to make you ever stronger.
Will you choose rage or resolution?
When we hold the belief that we are un-loved, we may have attachment and trust issues as well as feeling unsafe in the world. Left unaddressed, this spills over into all our relationships.
Although our past may be considered undesirable, we are able to learn discernment and consider our choices. We can as adults learn to protect ourselves from the unwanted behaviours of others and learn how to create boundaries, so that our choices are in line with our core values and self-worth. Our adverse childhood experiences need not create a negative future.
WHO AM I - WHAT DO I WANT?
When you are balanced and when you listen and attend to the needs of your body, mind and spirit, your natural beauty comes out - Christy Turlington
If we yearn for more love and connection with our mother than she is able to give then, rather like rowing upstream against the tide we will become frustrated and exhausted in our quest. It would serve us better to go with the flow and accept what is. By doing so, we end the inner struggle of wanting more than is available to us. By choosing to end the struggle, we will gain a sense of freedom and inner peace.
Consider what you want for your future using the ‘do want’, ‘don’t want’ exercise which follows:
Turning your ‘don’t wants to do wants’
Take some time to reflect on what you are choosing for yourself, not just in this moment but for the future. When you choose these things for yourself from your heart, you open up a fountain of endless love and self-fulfilment. Turn your don’t wants into do wants and you will change your energy vibration. The more focussed you are on what you want, the more likely it is you will get it.
Use the exercise below adding your own Do Wants and Don’t Wants, the following are simply examples. The samples can also be changed into do wants for your signifigant other relationships too.
I don’t want to feel unloved/I want to love and honour who I am taking full responsibility to meet my needs as an adult
I don’t want to continue arguing with my mother/I want to communicate assertively in a calm and clear manner when speaking with my mother
I don’t want my mother to keep calling me and dropping round unexpectedly/I want to arrange definite times to see my mother and be able to enjoy her company
I don’t want to feel sad and lonely as a result of my mother abandoning me/I want to come to terms with what’s happened in my past and to know I’m worth loving regardless of her actions
I don’t want to suffer from the past/I want to move on from the past and focus on getting my life back on track
If you find it difficult to state precisely what you want in relation to your mother or significant other relationships, you may like to consider working with a qualified therapist, ideally one who specialises in relationship work who can support you in making lasting positive changes. If you'd like to work with me please do make contact to discuss the best programme of support to meet your needs.
When the Japanese mend broken pots they aggrandize the damage filling the cracks with gold. They believe when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful - Barbara Bloom
In forthcoming posts I will share with you some strategies for effective communication and later on setting boundaries.
Until then, do what it takes to stay true to yourself and where possible speak with love and from the place of what you want. Begin all conversation with I, Me, My it's so much less attacking than 'YOU'.