If you’re anything like me you have probably wondered, “Why am I the way I am? And is the way I am set in stone? Am I destined to carry on my family’s legacies? Is that just the way it is?”
You note when you’re being just like your mother and maybe you cringe. You remember all the times that someone told you that you look just like her. You understand that, because your mother (or father) had cancer or heart disease (or addiction or mental illness or whatever), that you have a greater chance of having it too.
I know many (MANY) women who make a conscious effort to not be like their mothers because they want life to be different (better) for their children. And yet, despite all their conscious efforts, their children often seemed destined to make many of the same choices, decisions, and mistakes.
And in some cases, the mothers were just not aware of some of the patterns they were passing on.
My mother and her mother had a very rocky relationship and I KNOW that my mother didn’t want to be the same kind of mother her mother was. She said it out loud, and a lot more than once. And in many ways, she wasn’t. And yet…and yet…
I’ll never forget the time, when I was in my early 20s, my mother wrote her mother a letter, effectively “divorcing” her. And then there I was, 25+ years later, effectively doing the same thing, despite my mother believing that things were different between us.
After I became my grandmother’s legal guardian in 2011 and it became obvious that she’d no longer be able to live alone in her home, I moved her into a nursing home, cleaned out her house, and sold it. I found a series of letters that my mother and her mother had written to each other, from the time my mother was 18.
I treasure those letters because they give me such insight…and they mirror, almost exactly, some of the correspondence my mother and I have exchanged over the years. In some cases, just basic day-to-day observations and news, but other times they were filled with rage, hurt, accusations, and confusion.
I didn’t have kids of my own…the desire was just never there. Sometimes I congratulate myself for not passing down the dysfunctional patterns, but if I am honest, I understand that the patterns get passed on anyway, if I don’t consciously choose to change them in me. I saw the effects of those patterns in my other relationships, from my marriage, to my sister, to my stepkids.
And here’s the surprising part: I have discovered that all that stuff ISN’T set in stone. By being honest and aware of how, at first I chose to take was was handed down to me, then deciding that I didn’t want it, I released it, not just for me, but for my mother, her mother, and on and on. I don’t have a direct future generation related to me…but I can be a role model and set an example.
Mothers hand down more than just physical stuff; they hand down beliefs, DNA, mental illness, addiction, and dysfunctional patterns. Sometimes we’re aware that we’ve chosen to take them on, and other times we’re not…those beliefs and patterns are running in the background of our lives and we have no clue. We just know that we’re not as content as we’d like to be.
It’s not something to blame them (or ourselves) for, it’s something to understand, accept, and work on, knowing that we can do hard work without suffering…that it can be one of the most joyful, affirming things we ever do.
So even if you chose to take what was handed to you, you can also choose to let it go.
Doing this work heals, not just you, and not just in the present, but past generations. And it sets up a healing vibration that ripples out into the world.
World peace does indeed start inside each and every one of us (and I know how corny-beauty-pageant-contestant that sounds, but it’s true).
Registration for Sweet Blessed Relief ends tomorrow at midnight. There are a few spots left and I’d be honored and thrilled if you joined us.
Questions? Here are some of the questions I’ve received about the class, and my answers.
Does my mother have to be alive in order for me to get something out this?
NO! To be honest, the class isn’t so much about the two of you as it is about just you and how you want to show up, not just in relation to your mother (whether she’s alive or not), but in general.
I don’t want to have to talk to/see/interact with my mother. Are you going to suggest that I should?
Absolutely not. For some women, choosing to not have their mothers in their lives is the very best choice. What I want for these women is to have made that choice from a loving, proactive, empowered place, not from a reactive, defensive place.
My mother was abusive and violent when I was a child. Am I supposed to forgive and forget?
This class isn’t about putting up with or approving of abuse whether it happened long ago or is happening now. It’s about learning how to tell the story about what happened in such a way that it doesn’t hurt you now, but rather empowers you. My job isn’t to tell you what to do; it’s to guide you in having your own back…in learning how to trust yourself implicitly when it comes to your relationship with your mother.
How many women will be in the class?
I’m keeping this relatively small and intimate…I envision 12-15 women participating.
What if I can’t attend the live calls?
If you can’t be on the line, no worries. I will be recording all of the calls and putting them up in our private forum within 24 hours. You will have plenty of time to ask questions and get individual attention from me in the forum.
Where is the forum?
We will join together for support, questions, and sharing on the Ruzuku platform, which allows participants to create their own profiles, keep track of their progress through the course, and share their writing, all on a confidential course website. I have taken several classes there myself and have found it super easy to use and intuitive.
Will you run this class again soon?
Probably, but I am not sure when. I actually have two, very cool related projects in the works, including an in-person workshop. I would recommend joining in for this round if you are feeling truly called to take part. If you have any questions about whether or not this class is for right for you, shoot me an email and we can chat…and no hard selling at all on my part. I am not here to force anyone to do anything!