Being in strained relationship with your mother is difficult. but for the child, the daughter sometimes are perception of the relationship can get very one-sided. Rightfully so, because we have become a victim at the hands of someone who we love and who loves us. we place high expectations on the one we call mother, mom, mama, ma. I mean, she shouldn’t be the one to hurt us, to introduce us to pain, right?
But when your stuck in a victim mentality and especially one where the person causing the victimization is the one who brought you into this workd after carrying you inside of them, it is hard to excuse such behavior.
I know it is. trust me.
I challenge you though, to look at your mother as just another woman. Humanize her, even if only a second. Strip the role and the expectations that come with it from her and just look at her like an ordinary person, another woman.
What do you see?
If you look real closely you can see the hurt little girl, the broken woman, and the burden that she has been carrying probably way before you were born. Pay attention behind the anger, the words, the actions that isn’t always or never “motherly-like” is a woman who quite possibly doesn’t know how to love you right because she doesn’t know how to love herself right because somewhere along the way She wasn’t love right. No excuses for any behavior but in order to forgive we have to understand the person on the other side.
Understanding isn’t to be mistaken for justification. Understanding just open your eyes a little more to how the other person may justify their behavior, the their choices, their way of thinking. It doesn’t change anything about what happened but it does change how you view things and if understanding is mutual that is even better. Sometimes we strive so much for agreement when all we can ever get in return is understanding. this rule of understanding can be applied across the board in many situations. But I digress.
You have your reality, your testimony, your story but so does she. Next time look your mother in her eyes, watch her non verbal communication, read between the lines of her words, look beyond the ill behavior…….what do you see/hear? If your mother is no longer here with us anymore, reflect on a time, situation and playback the scenario. But don’t pay attention to what happened, pay attention to your mother. Journal it.
I learned awhile ago before my mother hurt me, she had to hurt herself first and for her to hurt herself she had to more than likely be hurt by someone else. Maybe a family member, maybe someone she loved, maybe friend. But even bigger than that, was once she was hurt what did she do with it to heal, my answer would be nothing or at least not enough, or just trying to cope with the pain hoping that it would one day go away but it didn’t. We know pain can be unbearable and it tends to invoke a reaction from us. Her lashing out at me if the pain she has endured, being treated less than her daughter, sometimes even human was from her own pain.
Although, it doesn’t make it right but it does make sense now because I understand and with that understanding of her, I can forgive her, I can heal, I can stop the cycle in my life and not past the recycled pain to my children and into relationships whether personal or professional.
Remember hurt people hurt people. You know your hurt but what’s your mother’s hurt? Ask her maybe she will tell you and if she does, put your experience with her aside and experience her life with her. you may be surprised.
Sharisa T. Robertson is founder and forgiveness facilitator of Lilies of the Field, where she assist women with healing from the past change the present while working towards the future. She is founder of Daughters United which a s support group for adult daughters who have/had strained relationship with their mother and are still impacted negatively from it. Author and Visionary of book collaboration, of A Letter To My Mother: A Daughter’s Perspective. Sharisa is currently working on other projects which deals with and brings awareness, healing, and solutions to the mother daughter issue. www.sharisarobertson.com