This morning, I was super upset by a conversation with my mother. I should have known: The topic in question always brings up the same frustrating result. The subject of the disagreement is of no importance to you. All you need to know is that it’s chronic, systemic, painful and old.
My attempts to work it from different angles always results in the same Groundhog Day fight.
Every. Single. Time.
Each time, my heart shuts down. I want to disconnect myself from her and withhold something of value to her, such as my time or my love. I spiral into a familiar dark place; it affects my day, my mood, my everything!
Here is what my studies, experiences and the wisdom of my friends are re-minding me of today:
- This is not about my mother. She’s reflecting something I need to examine within myself. If I feel she is being mean, it’s because I am being mean. (Thank you Katie Byron and The Work you created.)
- Withholding love is never the answer! At the very least, I owe her love. Not because she’s my mother, but because she’s a human being.
- I (and only I) must learn to manage my (and only my) expectations and stop setting myself up to be disappointed. I must create boundaries and stick to them.
- I can take back my self-respect and detach her from the emotion I’m experiencing. It’s not, “My mother is making me feel un-nurtured!” It’s simply, “I feel un-nurtured.” I take responsibility and bring it back onto myself. (Good one Shane!)
- When debating confrontation, ask yourself these three wise questions (such a gem, Lolly! ):
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Will it make a difference?
Only proceed to engage if the answer to all three is a big “Yes!” Otherwise you’re just unloading your own unexamined pain onto another person, who is not necessarily capable of receiving it. And that is quite unkind.
That’s all I have to share for now. Hope it helps your process!