“Nothing unkind ever turns out to be true, and nothing true ever turns out to be unkind.” ~ Martha Beck

I get some form of this question often: “How do I deal with the fact that my mother is gossiping about me and turning everyone in my family against me?”

It is hard to know that your mother is saying unkind things about you that aren’t true.

So let’s pretend that everything she says or does is the result of everything she has ever experienced in her life including the way her parents treated her, her fears, defenses, beliefs, and so on.

Let’s also pretend that all of that has nothing to do with you, even if what she says seems directly aimed at you or is about you.

And finally, let’s assume that she’s suffering, even though it might not appear that way. Saying unkind, untrue things is a form of suffering.

Saying unkind, untrue things is a form of suffering.

(Think about that for a second…)

This does not mean that her suffering is your responsibility. It’s just a signal to you. A moment to pause, take a breath, and ask yourself, “What do I believe? What do I WANT to believe? How do I want to feel? How do I want to show up in this moment?”

In this way, you will experience less suffering and more freedom.

As you practice not taking anything that your mother says or does personally, you may find that she stops. You will see that it’s only abuse when you believe what she is saying and take on her suffering. You will know that your reputation and worth are not determined by what your mother says, does, or believes.

And if necessary, you can walk away without creating more suffering for yourself, and without having to convince her that you are a good and worthy daughter.

You are worthy because you exist.

As for the rest of your family…

“…if we want to be free, we have to let every body be free. I hate and resent this so much. It means we have to let the people in our families and galaxies be free to be asshats, if that is how they choose to live. This however, does not mean we have to have lunch with them. Or go on vacation with them again. But we do have to let them be free.” ~ Anne Lamott