{edited for context from “A Love Letter To The World” by Kate Courageous, with her permission}

In the face of her complaints, look at your mother and imagine what it might have been like to be raised to see only what is wrong.

In the face of her selfishness, wonder what it might be like to walk the world with a feeling of lack, of depletion.

In the face of her insults, consider where she first learned that it’s okay to abuse others.

In the face of her disconnection, think about what causes it, and ask if your response will widen the river between us (and it’s okay if it does).

In the face of her criticism, recognize her fear of living big dreams.

In the face of her controlling behavior, understand the chaos that must have bred it.

In the face of her “always needing to be right,” see how often she was made wrong.

In the face of her arrogance or bravado, hold gently that still, small piece that says “I’m not enough.”

In the face of her drama or attention-seeking, see the woman who wishes so much to be seen.

In the face of her accusations, imagine what it might be like to live life with suspicion.

In the face of her judgment or comparisons, step into the opportunity the world has provided you for practicing love and acceptance.

In the face of her passive-aggressiveness, recognize the child she once was, the child who wasn’t taught a safe way to express her truth.

In the face of her anger, see the pain of isolation (even if self-imposed).

In the face of all of this, also see yourself.

And most importantly: In the face of what sometimes seems like ferocious hatred, believe in the possibility that there exists the potential for equally as big, intense, lovely and fiery ferocious love.

This doesn’t mean you don’t have impeccable boundaries. It doesn’t mean you tolerate abusive behavior. It doesn’t mean you force yourself into situations that don’t feel good.

It just means that instead of chronic frustration, bitterness, anger, annoyance, hurt, and resentment you get to feel big huge compassion, kindness, respect, equanimity, clarity, and love.

And from there? You can show up in the world in a way that you like and respect.

For me, this is what’s been made possible.