Your Mother’s Story

I was flipping through the birthday calendar which my girls made for me last year for Mother’s day and which is filled with quotes about mothers, when my eye got caught on a particular quote:

Mother's Story - There is a story

“But there’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins.”

Mitch Albom

 

I have been reading a fascinating book by Bryan Sykes called “The Seven Daughters of Eve”. In his book, Sykes, who is a leading DNA scientist, gives a report of his research into a specific gene, which passes undiluted from generation to generation through the maternal line. After examining thousands of DNA sequences from all over the world, Sykes found that almost everyone of native European descent, wherever they may live throughout the world, can trace their ancestry back to one of seven women, seven “clan mother’s” who he calls the Seven Daughters of Eve.

His book is written almost like a mystery novel, but what really intrigued me was this idea itself: As Caucasians, we can all trace our history back to the woman who was our ancestor and lived 10,000 to 45,000 years ago.

Usually, we barely think back two or three generations. What is your mother’s story? And what is the story of your mother’s mother? Do you know it?

Mother's Story - book

My mother’s story is one of courage and new beginnings. She grew up during World War II, which pretty much robbed her of any care-free childhood. When she was 21, her mother died and soon after, she packed her suitcase to move to Spain. She learned Spanish and made Barcelona her new home. As a woman in the fifties, coming from a working class background, she never had the privilege of a higher education, yet she made her way in life, working in a bank and later on as a secretary. If she wanted something, she set her mind to it and made it happen. When she was in her early thirties, she set out for yet another adventure, accepting a job in Liberia, Africa where she met my father. Getting married and having children was another new start. And ten years later, she moved to Africa again with her husband and her daughters, this time Nigeria.

My mother’s story is also one of a lot of suppressed pain, grief and other painful emotions. She lost her own mother when she was young and never processed that loss. I hardly know anything about my grandmother’s story because my mother couldn’t speak about her without breaking down in tears. So I stopped asking. Due to all the unprocessed experiences, my mom struggled with addictions, with anorexia and alcohol. She had a hard time with getting older and with life slowing down. She didn’t do “calm” very well. Staying still and being present was “torture” for her. It must have scared her a lot to stop. She loved activity, like talking, laughing, dancing, exercising, playing sports and travelling. The ancestral healing process which Dhebi DeWitz describes in her book “The Messenger Within” is one way of bringing healing to previous generations.

Ruth Monrovia

My story begins when my mother was 37 years old. Back in the sixties, that was old to be a first time mother. She stayed active though, and always looked younger than she was. She was at times a bit overprotective, but she was present, taking on the unfamiliar role of the homemaker, and made the best out of what she felt was expected of her. She encouraged education and understood the longing to discover other horizons. When I moved to Malaysia in my late twenties, and to Canada in my early thirties, she was sad, but at the same time, completely supportive. She understood all about new beginnings.

For me, one way to honour my mom’s story is to encourage my own girls to embrace life to the fullest, to travel, to seize opportunities that come along, to be a master of their own destiny. That for me is a huge part of their grandmother’s legacy. I also believe another part of her legacy is for me and them to learn from her errors. My mom never had the opportunity to process her grief or learn how to address her emotions in a healthy way, to heal her pain. She searched for relief in distractions. Her granddaughters, on the other hand, have all the tools to live life more consciously and I am very grateful to say that they do.

Mother's Day card

 

If you are enjoying my articles, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

If you are interested in grief recovery work, shadow work, belief changes or relationship coaching contact

Angelika, 905-286-9466, greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day

I got married in 1991, and a few years later I was told I would never have children of my own—or so the doctors believed. I suppose I never liked being told “you can’t”. I had a strong calling to be a mother and was going to manifest that experience even if it meant taking detours.

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day- obstacles

By the beginning 1994, my first husband and I had taken in a seven-year-old foster daughter with the intention of adopting her. We moved to Asia with her. Another year down the road, I ended up in a doctor’s office with alarming symptoms. I had almost fainted on a school trip to the Zoo in 45 degrees heat, followed by memory loss and speech problems.

Sitting in front of his desk, I was scared to hear some terrible news about having had a stroke. I recall up to today how this Indian doctor looked at me and said, “You are in the family way.” I remember thinking, “What in heaven’s name is he talking about?!” It required some further explanation and adjusting to the unexpected changes until the news fully sunk in. That was the beginning of my journey with my oldest biological child.

Over the next 20 years, many other life changes occurred that needed adapting to. Our foster daughter left us, my younger daughter was born, we moved to Canada soon after, and we separated and divorced a few years later and much more.

Fast forward to this year; two weeks ago, I had an accident and broke both of my feet, leaving me unable to walk or take care of mundane everyday tasks that we all take for granted. My family stepped up immediately and without hesitation, with my 20-year-old daughter becoming one of my main caretakers. I am in awe of what this situation brought out in her and how it has further strengthened our bond.

When I think of saying thank you to a mother or mother figure this Mother’s Day, I think of this remarkable young woman who is heart-centred, dependable and tender. She is an outstanding human being who I am very proud to call my daughter.

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day- baby Cara

 

To my daughter on Mother’s Day,

I am incredibly proud of you, this year even more so than ever. Ever since you were 5 years old and you asked the midwife to show you how to change your new baby sister’s diapers, I knew you had a special caring side in you. You also have a strong sense of loyalty and responsibility, sometimes holding you back from taking care of your own needs, at other times a wonderful trait.

Your calm and sensible attitude was incredibly reassuring when the accident happened. Without hesitation, you stepped into problem solving mode, while still being loving and comforting. Thank you for repeatedly holding a loving space for me when I was going through excruciating pain over the last two weeks and for trusting me that I can take it. Thank you for being extremely practical and such an amazing planner and team player here at home. Thank you for communicating clearly and making sure everybody is on board.

Being helpless brought up moments of great vulnerability. I am so grateful to you for recognizing how important even the smallest sense of independence and dignity is. But most importantly, thank you for your sense of humour and thank you for laughing with me. That we could joke around as you were taking care of me was incredibly healing.

Thank for never making me feel like a burden, even during the last three days when you had to go back to your exhausting shift work. I could see the tiredness in your eyes and in your smile. Yet, you still mustered up the energy to lovingly take care of me for a bit at the end of a long day. I love and admire you more than you can imagine!

When you were a baby, I used to think I needed to help you to grow into the woman that you are today, but I had things upside down. Instead of me shaping you, being your mother taught me so much and made me the woman I am today.

Your sense of responsibility and caring is really boundless. With each day that my legs are healing, I hope that you will treat yourself to rest and to more “play time” for yourself. Each mommy needs a break, each mommy needs to have her needs met, and so do you.

Your mom

 

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

to all the amazing mothers, step-mothers, mothers-in-law,

and substitute mothers who take care of their loved ones.

 

To My Daughter on Mother’s Day - M O T H E R

If you enjoy my posts, you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the “follow” button in the right-hand corner of your screen.

 

The Perfect Mother

A client said to me this week, “I saw my mother again and suddenly realized that I could just be with her, treat her with compassion, see her as a human being. I really have stopped judging her, and am more able to love her the way she is.”

Isn’t that beautiful? Each time when somebody I am working with is healing a relationship, it touches me deeply in my heart.

Another client of mine wrote a letter of gratitude to her stepmother this week. She hasn’t seen her stepmother or her father in twenty years. Their last encounter was one full of anger, conflict and mutual hurt. The daughter has spent the last two decades blaming the stepmother for everything. Those feelings had bound up her energy in the past, and left her feeling unloved and “broken”. She felt she was victimized by her stepmother, who struggled to raise her stepdaughter with the same affection she had raised her own biological children with.

perfect mother - letter

My client did not write the letter for her stepmother, she wrote it for herself. After doing the inner work, she was able to acknowledge her own feelings, but also everything her stepmom had done or had attempted to do; she was truly able to forgive her for what she didn’t do. Nothing of that needed to be written in the letter. Instead it was a simple letter of thank you to the woman who was in her life for most part of her childhood. She didn’t send the letter off to receive a response, nor for the purpose of changing or influencing her stepmother. She wrote it to clear her own energy of resentment and anger out.

Forgiving and shifting into appreciation and gratitude is always primarily for ourselves, “for-giving” ourselves love and freedom. It is also a huge step towards taking responsibility for our own life. When we finally let go of blaming others, we win the ability to respond differently to past, present and future events in our life. We gain true response-ability.

Why do so many of us struggle for such a long time with forgiving our parents for their imperfections? Why do we insist on blaming them and on feeling that they ruined or affected our lives negatively?

We have idealized images of what our mother (and father) should be like. We might all have slightly different ideas, but the perfect mother somehow should be selfless, she should take care of us, she should always be patient and supportive, she should listen well and encourage us, she should be proud of us and make us proud of her, and so much more: in short she should love us unconditionally. Media images, TV shows, movies and books often perpetuate these ideas of the perfect mother and affect our beliefs of what a “good mother” is like. These images stem from our deepest desires to be truly loved. Yet, they cause us to judge our mother and ourselves as mothers because we naturally fall short of this perfect mother myth at times. They are the source of guilt and shame instead of enjoying the love we do feel.

Perfect Mother -Carpenter quote

Most people, no matter whether they are parents or not, are still learning to love themselves and others unconditionally. The perfect mother images disregard the fact that we always mirror and trigger each other’s issues and challenges. Children trigger their parents and parents trigger their children. That is a good thing. It is an opportunity to grow and do our inner work.

What triggers us in others, what we judge and dislike about them, is really what we dislike in ourselves. As long as we refuse to give ourselves what we would like to receive from others, it is out of our reach. Only when we truly feel we are good enough, do we become just perfectly lovable the way we are. We can feel loved by others, no matter how limited their ability to love unconditionally might be.

Perfect Mother - Desjardins quote

Nobody and nothing can prevent us from truly loving ourselves. It is our job to love ourselves; nobody can do it for us! No amount of love from the outside can penetrate through if we do not take the cape of self-judgment, self-loathing or even self-hatred off.

 John Gray cartoon love-hate

  from “What You Feel You Can Heal” by John Gray

On this Mother’s Day, make the choice to let go of the past. Forgive your mother or stepmother, whether they are alive or dead. What happened in the past is over and does not matter anymore. Realize that it doesn’t mean anything unless you give it a certain meaning. Decide that your mother, stepmother, or mother-in-law for that matter, is just perfect the way she is. Start telling your story differently, with love.

Perfect Mother - Tolstoi quote

Free yourself up to love your parents without expectations or needs. Be willing to love them the way they are. Take the cape off that prevents you from feeling the love of others. Finally give yourself the gift of loving yourself the way you are.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

If you are enjoying my posts you can follow Greendoor to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to click the follow button in the right hand corner of your screen.