“But you don’t understand…this MY mother we’re talking about. She’s going to think ______. She’s going to feel ______. She’s not going to get it. She’ll just say ______.”
I get it. You’re on high alert when it comes to what your mother thinks, feels, says, and does.
(it’s 100% normal to be on high alert around her and there’s nothing wrong with you…no matter how old you are)
So much so that you can’t even consider what you think or feel.
Because that’s what being on high alert does…it crowds out rational, creative thought and disconnects you from the wisdom of your own emotions.
Here’s the thing I don’t often say, but maybe I should: it’s not about your mother.
It’s about who you become when you’re no longer joined at the mental/emotional hip. The space that opens up when you’re not on high alert.
But when you think about no longer being joined at the mental/emotional hip, two things tend to happen:
#1 You feel a bit untethered…you don’t know who you will become (and that can be identity rattling). I mean, you are still you, but in a slightly different way (and that rattles her identity…it rattles the relationship).
#2 You fear that she will be hurt/fall apart/fly into a rage and you won’t be able to handle it.
Here’s the thing:
Choosing to think for yourself doesn’t mean she can’t think for herself.
Considering how you feel about something doesn’t mean she can’t consider how she feels.
Stepping into your power (to use an overused phase) doesn’t disempower her.
Setting boundaries doesn’t mean she can’t set boundaries.
No longer sacrificing yourself doesn’t mean she has to continue sacrificing herself.
Respecting yourself doesn’t mean you don’t respect her or that she can’t respect herself.
The difference is that you’re learning to affirm yourself. To approve of yourself. To love yourself. To respect yourself. To know you’re worthy.
And she thinks she needs to get those things from others (because that’s the water we’ve been swimming in for thousands of years).
You are not harming her, even if she doesn’t understand or like the choices you are making.
She may not agree. Her ego may perceive hurt – her nervous system may perceive a threat that’s not actually there – but she won’t be harmed in the true sense of the word.
You are an intelligent, creative, warm, compassionate person, yes? And when you make the choice to honor yourself from a place of emotional maturity and compassion, it can’t help but serve the greater good. It can’t help but serve the relationship you have with her.
Much, much love,