For me, Mother’s Day reminds me of two things. My feelings towards my own mother and my feelings about not being a mother. This is not the same every year, but this year, these feelings have taken over.
The feelings I get the majority of the time when I am around my mother, or going to be around her are dread, draining, inadequacy, guilt, not belonging, not good enough, disconnection, inauthentic, and deep deep shame. I have done an abundance of work around issues with her. And despite all the work I’ve done, I still feel shame not only with the issues with her, but also shame about the feelings I have. Especially when I have so much empathy with her about her own experiences.
I made a list of the emerging emotions around issues with my mother and issues with not being a mother and they are alarmingly similar! Today, however, I am going to lean towards addressing the experiences in regards to my own mother.
I was on my way to my mother’s house yesterday, walking along, an abundance of negative self talk (about the feelings about my mother), going through my head (I’m an asshole, I’m mean, I’m spoilt, I have no gratitude, I hate myself for feeling like this, I’m ashamed), and desperately wanting to smoke (I quit 4 years ago) or wanting some cake type thing (I still do this!).
So there I am, perpetuating the shame experience by either indulging in, or thinking about undertaking behaviours where I believe I should be isolated – eating crap & smoking. And when I do eat crap now, it is in isolation.
These behaviours don’t align with two of my core values of authenticity & connection.
Instead I want to disconnect – numb and be inauthentic by hiding my way of ‘coping’.
I suddenly remembered some work I’ve been doing in Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly & Rising Strong courses I have been looking at all that I do, say, think, feel & running them through these values – authenticity & connection, my driving forces.
So I came back to authenticity and connection – the resources that help me show up when I lose sight of my way and those shaming thoughts take over.
The only way to pull myself out of the shame I feel is to reconnect with my heart space & my reminder through the day became to shower myself with love & empathy, to love myself even though I feel this way.
From my work in Kinesiology & working with clients, I come back to reminding myself in my more logical moments, that the reaction I am having is an emotional one and that part of my brain has taken the reigns & logic is tied to the back of the horse carriage by a rope, stumbling along, trying to catch up to help steer the carriage. My entire being, in this reactional state, has gone into either a fight mode, fly away mode, freeze – just stop dead in its tracks or fragmentation mode – where I am trying to fight, fly away & freeze all at the same time and my being doesn’t know where its at.
In a kinesiology session, one of the techniques we often work with to help move through this kind of state are subconscious sabotages. We use a combination of tapping and the following phrase (the wording changes with some variables), along with an emotion, to clear whatever obstacle or sabotage our subconscious patterning is putting in the way of us moving forward with an issue:
“In spite of this conflict in attitude about shame around my mother, I deeply and profoundly love, accept, respect and appreciate myself.”
So, along with reconnecting with my values of connection and authenticity, I found the variables, did the technique and released that deep emotional state that took hold……
Then I showered myself in love and empathy. And not in the form of cake either!
I don’t think I’m alone with my feelings about being around my mother and my feelings about not being a mother.
To stay authentic and connected, I am showing up and being seen with this experience.
I am writing this so whoever reads this and can relate with the emotions of the experiences, can know that they are not alone. I have been second guessing about whether to put this out there or not, for several reasons, one of which is that someone I know has lost her mother today. And also, because I look at all the flak people receive in the media for speaking about things like this and it almost stops me.
This time, I won’t let it stop me. The importance of connection and authenticity far outweigh any flak I might receive for any of the content of this article.