Learning how to have a more happy relationship through discovering my Mother's story.
We girls learn so many things from our Mother's. Good things and not so good things. We even may misunderstand our Mother's role in our lives and our roles in theirs.
We learn how to interact with other women through our Mother's influence. We learn how to treat ourselves and our bodies from how our Mother treated hers.
Maybe your Mother didn't quite know how to talk with you about life and its challenges. Maybe how she spoke about her weight and how she told you to not eat so many treats came from her own fears about how she sees her body and food as an enemy instead of as a gift.
Maybe she wished that she could relate to you more. To share with you about the pains of life and the challenges she has faced, but she doesn't know how to share that burden, so she keeps them hidden and unfortunately the messages she sends out communicate more hurt and pain, when what you are wishing for is understanding and love.
Maybe she has a lot of shame from her past decisions or hurts. Maybe she has wounds and scars that are hidden under harsh words, trying to convey a warning to you: Don't make the same mistakes I made.
I had a challenging relationship with my own Mother while she was alive. We never seemed to see eye to eye on anything and a lot of that was something I own. I wanted to be nothing like my own Mother. I wanted to be better. Because I really didn't know her all that well. She grew up in an era where women weren't encouraged to own their own feminine, to share their own pain and shame. To hide. So the only thing I saw was a weakness. I didn't understand her strength because I clouded it with a lot of judgement about how a Mother "should" be.
I no longer have a challenging relationship. My Mother passed away in 2012. My new closer relationship came at the end of her journey. My Mother was transformed by a relationship with Jesus. She started opening up just a little about some of her past pain. And something bloomed in my heart, and for the first time I felt compassion for the woman she was. For the life she lived, bravely and boldly. I started to understand her fears, her challenges, her triumph of finally letting go of the struggle to lose weight, to prove that she was good enough. I started to see her as lovely and smart and strong and brave. The things that I once rejected in her, I found a hidden treasure of strength, unconditional love and support.
As a daughter I failed her often. I can own that without shame because I now claim her strength and beauty. I have learned a lot about my Mother since her passing. She really was delighted with her grandchildren. She had pictures stored away of so many moment's where she showed up and supported, encouraged and some times still acted a little critical when she wanted them to "learn" some of those lessons she kept buried in her heart.
I am now a better daughter because of what I've learned about my Mother and I can say that I'm proud of the moments we had together where we connected, where she supported and encouraged. Where I gave more unconditional love. I am proud that I wanted to become better. Not better than her, but just a better woman and Mother.
I recently found some old letters that she wrote to my Father when he was in Viet Nam during the war. I read those letters and heard how scared and lonely she was. How raising two little girls and a little son all by herself while he was away at war was very frightening. How when he didn't write back right away how much she struggled to see her own worth.
My mom was a nurse. She worked long hours and for many years was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. My Mother did the best that she knew how to do. And she also strived to become a better Mother and woman.
What I once saw as failure to connect I now see as a Devine strength. How most of us as women don't know our own worth. We listen to the world about who we should be. A strong woman that just needs to hear well done more often is bombarded my messages that tell her she's never enough.
We need to know that God values women and calls us His beloved. That we are made in His image. That He is the only one who has true authority to tell us who we are and He gives us our true value. The worlds lies need to be uncovered and replaced by God's truth. He loves us girls. And that is more than enough.
I'm glad that I continue to work on the relationship I have with my Mother by learning more about her as a beautiful part of my own story.
For those of you Mothers and Daughters who struggle to connect with each other, I suggest that you strengthen your relationship through the power of God's vision for the woman He designed you or her to be. Look past the unknown stories of hurt and shame and decide to forgive and love more unconditionally. You won't regret it. By using the lens of God's love we are more able to see the truth of the beauty He designed women to be.
Wishing every woman more joy and love!