How do I get past the sheer hatred and rage that I feel for my mother? I have gone no contact for the past two years but I still feel it every day. I don’t want it to affect my life anymore. But I don’t know how to get past it.

Dear you…⠀

I love your question.⠀

You might not love my answer.⠀

But having been in the same position, and no longer feeling hatred and rage, this is what I know to be true:⠀

It’s nearly impossible to get past hatred and rage if you don’t know you’re making a choice to feel it.⠀

The turning point for me, in regards to the hatred and rage I felt for my mother, was the moment I realized that I wanted to feel it…that I was choosing it. And? This is the really important part: I didn’t judge myself for it.⠀

That’s the moment I started to get past it.⠀

Because up until that point I didn’t know it was a choice.⠀

Up until that point, mother = rage.⠀

To my mind, It was an incontrovertible fact. I believed that any rage or hatred I felt was because of her. When I separated myself from her (not just physically by going no-contact, but emotionally) and took responsibility for it, I was then free to choose other emotions.⠀

It was one of the hardest and best things I’ve ever done because it required me to question the closely and deeply held beliefs I had about myself, her, and our relationship. It shattered the identity I had created for myself. It was uncomfortable and confronting. And on the other side? That’s where my freedom and power resided.⠀

And that’s where your freedom and power reside: in acknowledging that you are choosing to feel hatred and rage, and not judging yourself for it.⠀

That you feel these intense emotions doesn’t prove anything about you other than that you’re human. Humans are designed and built to feel all emotions, including hated and rage.⠀

I’m guessing that at one time in your life you turned to hatred and rage in an effort to protect yourself. It’s what your younger self decided you needed in order to feel safe. And your younger self made that choice for a good reason. You may have been in danger. Your brain got really good at believing it and over time, those beliefs became, to your mind, an incontrovertible fact: mother = hatred and rage.

But if that equation were universally true, then everyone would feel hatred and rage towards your mother. And they don’t. Other people don’t have the same thoughts and beliefs about her that you do. This isn’t a criticism of you. It doesn’t make you bad or wrong.

This is what I had to realize in order to no longer feel hatred and rage. I had to realize that my younger self made choices that were no longer serving me and that mother = rage is not a fact, it’s a choice. It’s optional.

When you take responsibility for your emotions in this way and extend some compassion to yourself at the same time, you create the opportunity to choose a different emotion. If hatred and rage are a choice, then so are all the other emotions.

So the question becomes, how do you want to feel when you think about her? You no longer need your hatred and rage, so what would you like to replace it with? What emotions would you like to choose?

Reveal patterns. Heal shame. Transform legacies.

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