Adoptive Mothers, Step Mothers and Foster Mothers - Love from different sources
Mothers come in many shapes and sizes; it’s not a case of one size fits all. If your mother was not able to parent you in the way you would have liked, perhaps there have been significant women in your life who have offered you unconditional love and who have helped to raise you. It’s possible those women were other members of your family such as grandmothers, aunts, sisters and cousins etc though I also wanted to acknowledge the role of other mothers who take a hand in raising daughters.
Many of the case studies included in Mothers and Daughters shared that they have been blessed with having a foster mother, adoptive mother or stepmother who have taken on the role of birth mother and who have done a marvellous job of nurturing someone else’s daughter as their own. Children need love and whether this love comes from a blood relative or not, solid and meaningful relationships can be formed. I’ve known many daughters who take on the mother role never having had children of their own, but who offer nurturance, care and love to another person’s child.
It’s true to say some daughters do not have great relationships with those who raised them. I hope that some of what is shared in my second book and series of blog posts touches on similar experiences of your own and will be helpful to you in understanding the women in your life, their past and their own mother’s parenting.
If you have been blessed with the love of another mother, you have been fortunate.
You don’t need to be a primary care giver of your children to be of primary influence in their lives. What you do for them behind the scenes in your own unique way is what makes the true difference in the long run - Miya Yamanouchi
When you realise your mother’s love is not something you can take for granted and which will continue throughout your life, the reality of this can be a very bitter pill to swallow. You may need to remind yourself your mother could not meet your needs as a child, because of her own experience. Staying strong and taking responsibility to care for yourself as an adult means you give up chasing a dream, you cannot go back and physically change the past though you can explore what limiting beliefs you may have formed about yourself, your mother and the world around you and then you can re-frame your experiences placing new meaning on what happened to you.
Mothers and daughters cannot always shield each other from pain; pain is a natural part of life. It is the challenges we go through which make us stronger. When you are able to reach beyond the difficulties in your mother-daughter relationship and actively parent yourself by providing your own needs, true healing begins.
You are far stronger than you may realise. Inside of you there is a light which will never go out. Allow your inner light to keep you safe in times of struggle, direct your light towards the thoughts which lift you up, use your light to explore unexamined parts of yourself and to guide you home, back home to you, the place where love resides. The Spotlight Process in Chapter Six of Mothers and Daughters, will aid you in staying strong and moving beyond the pain of the wounded child.
Create your own affirmation or mission statement
Let today be the day you learn the grace of letting go and the power of moving on - Steve Maraboli
The past gives us courage for the future. The obstacles already overcome are the foundations we build upon to create a more positive future.
Over the years, many people have asked me, ‘what got you through, how did you overcome your own self-doubts, insecurities, lack of self-belief etc in relation to my own adverse childhood experiences?’ It's actually been those very experiences which has led me to doing the work I love as a therapist, speaker and author and I wouldn't change my past as it's made me who I am.
The answer is in short 'I turned up my positive voice and decreased the negative one'. Sure, I’ve done plenty of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), talked to friends and therapists etc though fundamentally, I had to take responsibility to change the voice inside my head to one which was more encouraging, no one else could do that for me, so I made it my mission and took total responsibility to change my life. I simply started nurturing my inner-child and speaking to myself more positively. Since those dark days, I have continued in doing so every day of my life.
Here are some ideas of the affirmations I used to support me to overcome challenges and limitations. Some may resonate with you or, you can invent some of your own.
· I am safe right now
· I will get through this
· All is well
· I am alive
· I can do this
· I’m going to be ok
· I am strong
· This too will pass
· I embrace my inner-child
· I choose to let go of my past
Repetition of affirmations and mantras of this kind, help you overcome the difficult times. According to Bert Herna, author of the wonderful little E-book Affirmations and Self-Talk, without repetition - after 24 hours, 25% any new learning or idea is forgotten, 48 hours 50%, four days 85% and after 16 days a massive 98% of new learning and new ideas are forgotten. Repeating affirmations indicates they are more likely to have long lasting benefits.
My favourite affirmation is ‘this too will pass’. I have it engraved inside a bracelet and I never take it off to remind me everything is transient. It is my hope that the more you speak your own words of affirmation you too, will experience the joy and freedom of letting go of the past.
How can you affirm yourself today and every day?
Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future - Lewis B. Smedes
As always it's my pleasure to share information which may be of help and support to you. When you're ready to take the next step and work with me, I offer a range of support programmes to suit your needs. Contact for further details.