“So, tell me about your relationship with your mother?”
Classic, right? It’s what every therapist I’ve ever seen, traditional or alternative, has (eventually) asked when I sought help for various issues (from weight loss to anxiety).
And then there are all the books I’ve read…books like “Mothers Who Can’t Love: A Healing Guide For Daughters” by Dr. Susan Forward and “Will I Ever Be Good Enough: Healing The Daughters Of Narcissistic Mothers” by Dr. Karyl McBride.
While I found great comfort in telling my story to therapists, and in realizing that I am so not alone when I read those books, none of it did anything to bring me true and lasting freedom and peace.
(Of course not, because freedom and peace can only come from within.)
Now, that’s not to say that therapy and books weren’t helpful, because they most certainly were. In fact, I’d say they were key parts of the process.
As I said, it was a relief to have an explanation, but I also found myself even more validated in feeling angry, sad, bitter, disappointed, and reactive. And for a while that was rather exhilarating. But what I didn’t realize is that, as a result, I went deeper in blame mode than I ever had before.
And that’s because I had a deep-seated unconscious belief: it shouldn’t have been that way. My mother shouldn’t have been the way she was, I shouldn’t have been the way I was, and all the bad things that happened in the past shouldn’t have happened.
I don’t know about you, but I have never found freedom and peace in shoulds and shouldn’ts. I just didn’t know any other way!
So while I didn’t like feeling angry, sad, bitter, disappointed, and reactive, those emotions were validated by therapists and books (and friends and family)…I thought had a “good reason” to feel them.
Besides, there’s certainly nothing inherently wrong with feeling so-called negative emotions…it’s actually imperative that we DO feel them.
But here’s the big BUT (the one big sign that you might have unresolved mother issues): when we’re chronically angry, sad, bitter, disappointed, and reactive, we don’t perceive that we’re responsible for feeling those emotions – we believe that we either don’t have a choice or that we’re being made to feel them…by our mothers.
That’s where Sweet Blessed Relief comes in. If you’ve gone the therapy/book route and are still struggling to find peace and freedom in your relationship with your mother, I invite you to join me and the other daughters who have signed up for this six-week journey from defensive and reactive to empowered and resilient.
It’s time for true peace and freedom.
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