My lesson from my Mother
My mother experienced terrible trauma as a young child, psychic wounding which she never really got the proper support for. She lacked human connection and resources that possibly would have allowed her to thrive. I was a witness to her practice of survival, which included isolation, disconnection, victimhood, judgment, and self-medication.
Thinking back to when I was a young child I can see now, how hard she tried to hold it all together. Although I didn't feel super attached and connected to her, she kept me safe, she fed me healthy food, and entertained me by many activities outside of the home to make up for the lack of personal play time and loving connection that she just wasn't capable of.
For much of my adulthood, I've been angry about the emotional neglect, and the mothering it felt like was robbed from me, but also confused and guilty because I know I was well provided for. I had learned well from Mom's model of victimhood, and have been my own worst enemy holding myself back many times in my life. I've had moments where following in her path seemed somehow more comfortable than creating a life I love.
-So interesting how that works.
As I have gotten older, my rage has softened, and I've been able to grow my compassion for her and her personal story. I've gained some skill in carefully watching out for and getting curious about my own dysfunctional survival skills. I have also decided to learn from the experience, and break the cycle rather than repeat it with my daughter. My ability to take personal responsibility for how my life turns out increases each day.
I wish so badly that she would have searched out the right support system as I was lucky enough to do. I wish she could have taken personal responsibility for how her life turned out and realized her power to create her reality.
As an observer, I do see the mighty creator of reality she is, but in my opinion, it could have been a better reality.
At 62 she is in the end stages of alcoholism. She is yellow with jaundice. She is malnourished and has the haunted eyes of a sad, lonely little girl. She is challenging to have a conversation with because her ears are going, but more so it's the wet brain also known as alcoholic's brain damage. Our realities don't match up. Her legs and abdomen are fluid filled. She is in grave danger because she falls. Yes, she's drunk, but alcohol messes with her brain's ability to balance among so many other abilities and it thins her blood so that she could hemorrhage or stroke out at any time. Also, her liver and heart are under extreme duress due to this horrific and self-inflicted disease. This is what she has created.
As awful as it sounds and is to witness, It's strange because she always tells me she's fine.
She doesn't seem fine though. Her denial is just another way to push away responsibility.
Mom says she doesn't want to be a burden, and I believe it, yet when we don't take responsibility for ourselves that is precisely how we end up - a burden.
I tell this story because we can all learn from it. My mother is a severe example of what it's like to slip far out of your sphere of brilliance.
Unfortunately, self-love was not modeled for her, and she didn't find or utilize the resources she needed to learn it on her own. I can see she only valued herself through outside proof; she used my sister and me for that. As relieved as she was once we were out of the house, and on our own, her proof of value was limited.
She didn't understand that self-care, self-acceptance, and self- forgiveness are exercises to be practiced regularly. She never realized her deeper truth as an empowered resourceful woman
(I believe when we get down to it, some version of this is the deeper truth for all of us). Instead, she was and still is the little girl locked inside of her trauma.
As an adult she never really lived authentically, alcohol and other substances were always there to dull her pain and her truth. She rarely asked for what she wanted and almost never got it. I don't believe she ever felt worthy. In her mind, she was a sadly damaged orphan. Like the hungry ghosts from the Buddhist tradition, she was starving and couldn't see that the way to nourish herself and find fulfillment was through self-love, authenticity, expression, and connection.
I do remember times when she had a small glimmer of hope, and some possibility lived within her, but I watched as it slowly drained from her.
I always try to find gratitude for my mother's teachings. Although she is an extreme case, my most recent lesson is how important it is to live with hope and possibility, and how love towards self, un-apologetic realness, and courageous connection to yourself and others feed the possibility of our brilliance. Our brilliance potential is life force, and when we shut it down through hiding, blaming, shaming, and distracting. We die.
***September 2018 Update: My Mother passed away 4-30-2018 from complications of alcoholism. These lessons ring even truer now. I am processing a load of new lessons at the moment as I learn to live in a whole new paradigm. As I gain more clarity, I will be sharing what happens next...
If there is a part of you that is lacking alive-ness set up a complimentary clarity session and discover your unique version of self love, authenticity, and freedom, how to leap over the hurdles that have always held you back, and how to own your brilliance.