Shawn: If you’re feeling your relationship with your mom is in pretty good shape now, look to see where else you were hurt and how you set up rules for yourself and conditions for others and life along the way (i.e., “I can only be happy and safe if….”) as that is how the mom stuff gets played out.
We follow those threads back to our childhood wounds via whatever upsets us now. Also notice conditions you place on yourself: “I have to project ‘this’ identity to be safe and loved’; then notice the ways you get mad at yourself when you don’t!
These reactions to yourself may look a lot like the way your mom treated you, or you may treat those close to you in that same way, or you may sometimes feel the way you felt as a child (originally in reaction to her, but it’s been transferred to others close to you, and no longer seems to be about her).
BELIEVING OLD SCRIPTS
And it’s actually not! It’s not about the “who she is now,” as our mind can easily forgive and see she is no longer a threat to you. And it’s not even about who shows up now that seems to trigger you. It’s about the “what you needed then” that you didn’t get, when your mind made a decision about how to get it from others and it blamed them for your pain when they couldn’t do the job of returning YOU to you. (Only you can do that, since you were the one who left!)
My mom and I did not have a simple relationship–and my early decisions about what I needed to do to fix it for her and for me predisposed much codependency and dysfunction for me in later relationships. In sharing my lessons learned, I wish to help you heal, even thrive!, not only in relationship to your mother, but by extension to yourself and to others. This path you’re on in this group is the most gentle and yet efficient path to untangling all that and to working through parent issues that seem to surface from time to time.
FORGIVE & GIVE IT BACK TO YOURSELF
Of each year-long group and during our forgiveness work, you get to give yourself back what you thought you lost at your mother’s hands. I see you starting to get back both your freedom and the ability to feel unconditionally connected and to loving the mom of the past, as well as the mom of the present and future (even after death, with no regrets). And all the surrogate triggers life sends out to give you as many perfect chances as you need to be there for you in ways she simply couldn’t.