Make Peace With Your Mum

They say a picture speaks a thousand words but sometimes photos lie. They can tell the truth for one person but the other person may be hiding unresolved emotions.

In a photo of me and my mum in 2005 that is the way it was for me. I had unresolved anger.

My 90 year old mum has since passed away. This is my legacy from her and a plea to you.

Just after the photo was taken in 2005, a friend and his sister visited me. I was overwhelmed by the anger she felt that her long-deceased mum had never appreciated her and her talents. It was still consuming her. On that day I thought that I did not want to be angry at my mum after she dies. This started a journey of which I will share a little with you.

No More Zena, Warrior Princess

I have always been the one my mum turned to, to solve her problems. My dad died 50 years ago. Eldest child! Only daughter! Cultural expectations of women! So Zena, Warrior Princess, champion of the world's downtrodden and my alter ego was born. Over time at the first few words my mum would mention of her problems, I would drown out the rest of her words and start mentally solving them my way. It got so that in her later years, I dreaded visiting her in the nursing home. Oh no! what is going to be wrong today? would be my over-riding thought.

A lovely lady showed me how to look at it differently. Maybe mum had solved her own problems and was only giving me her weekly news report. Oh! I was assuming, not listening to all she said. Zena laid down her sword and stopped saving mum and the world. Life became more peaceful as I listened to every word and only stepped in when asked.

They Are Only Words

I will admit to being super-sensitive. I hated mum asking me Why are you so happy? I felt she did not like me as the optimist I am. I also felt that I was not allowed to be happy if she was not happy also. What stories we weave around other people's words.

The same lovely lady asked me to consider that this question was habit, maybe a family phrase from mum's younger days. They were about her life experiences and not a criticism of me. Oh! I did not have to change me to please my mum. When I changed my reaction to that question, I never heard my mum speak those words again. They had taught me the lesson I needed to learn and they left.

Love and Let Love

Like my friend's sister, I longed for my mum's appreciation and thanks. I wanted words of appreciation. I never heard them.

I had read a book on how introverts and extroverts act and think differently. It was a talk by a speaker, Leo Petrik, on this topic that triggered the 'Aha' moment. Some lessons take longer than others to absorb.

My mum was an introvert and spoken words of praise were not her natural way. She did appreciate and love me - her way not my way. I suddenly realised that the care she took when choosing cards for those who meant the most to her was her way of saying I love and appreciate you. I had read her cards to me before. This time I re-read them with love and new eyes.

My mum stayed true to herself. I had changed and become wiser. Our last years together were spent joyously.

My mum died peacefully over a year ago. I had no tears of anger or regret. There was just loving memories and peace.

Some family traumas are harder to reconcile and need more professional help than I can give. If your relationship with you mum or anyone is about everyday challenges, then I leave you my mum's legacy in this article.

My anger has gone and I can now look at our photo with love. It sits where I can see it every day.

Article Source: Margaret A Sims

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