This piece is a bit more spiritual and a bit more personal so take what you need and leave the rest. This past weekend I was privileged to spend time and host my mother at our house. She came out to be part of my son’s pre-k promotion ceremony and my father is away so we spent some time with her. I’ve spoken before about how our loved ones can push us in all sorts of directions but I haven’t spoken often about how these people can highlight the pieces of ourselves that need work as well. The pieces that felt a little broken or that are a little jagged and not resting well with us any longer.
The whole goal of this week is personal healing. I now see the truth in the meme about awakening and healing where we think it’s a person sitting calmly and serenely, receiving healing energy from the universe when it reality it’s feeling crazy 90% of the time, crying, and feeling like the world is falling apart. The very first night highlighted that. We all assembled together to watch this group of 55 kids entering the next stage of their lives (I didn’t really consider pre-k completion a milestone until I experienced it). The dichotomy between seeing these kids at this little milestone and all of the other people in the room struck me. All of the different stages of life and how each day brings us closer to where we are going next.
Over the course of the evening and the next day, we discussed future plans and where my parents may settle, I took care of my mother, and she shared a lot of stories about her past that I hadn’t heard before. Through the course of one conversation, about a hundred pieces of the puzzle fell into place for me. All the time I had spent feeling crazy, trying to figure my way out through my own healing and growth, feeling like a terrible person for some of the things that went through my head and not understanding where they could be coming from. All of that suddenly made sense and I saw the pattern through at least three generations of my family. I thought I saw it all, I thought I understood it, but just like any journey, that path came right back to the next layer. It shocked me at first because I never expected that from her—but I felt SO much relief. This was a direction I hadn’t focused on before either together or on my own path.
Now, I want to be clear that I’m not trying to heal my mother—I AM trying to help her recognize where her power comes from because she still has time to make some different choices in her life and to get some peace for herself. She still has time to shift perspective. Through that focus, I was gifted the ability to learn what else I need to heal and the reminder that I am able to shift my perspective AGAIN. I am completely grateful for that experience. I learned what I carried forward in my life that isn’t mine and I recognized what I’m looking to heal as well. And truthfully, I no longer feel the need to seek what I was looking for because I feel better going this new direction. Gabby Bernstein calls being a mother the ultimate spiritual practice because we have to practice patience and presence at all times as we navigate our own healing with a child’s emotional level—and the same is said working with our parents. They are healing as well.
The last point I want to highlight here is that I had reservations about having my mother overnight. I had been so focused on her previous behavior and I felt like I was going to be sucked into that for 24 hours—and I know I’m not strong enough to keep myself from spiraling with that kind of constant exposure. But it didn’t turn out that way. It turned out she did need an ear and in doing that, she assisted me as a mother would in learning new things and seeing a new truth. She is always and forever my mother, and I am grateful to close the gap in the healing that I still needed to do. We don’t need to repeat that patterns, and on a journey of awakening/healing, when we have those opportunities to see where the behaviors come from, take advantage and do the work. The relief is nearly instant.