Mother’s Day is a timeless tradition so I chose a photograph of my mother for the front cover, taken some sixty years ago in Hudson Bay Junction, Saskatchewan. My mom and her brother, Jerry are posing for my great aunt, a professional photographer. I am grateful to have a supportive and unique Mom, who was way ahead of her time. Her love, guidance and impatience have taught me a lot about getting along in life. Her many photographs of our family help me to focus and remember why I am the way I am.
Processing deeply each month helps me to see more clearly the patterns of my own childhood. Unexpressed or unfinished emotional dramas repeat themselves in my dealings with work, play, food, friends, business partners and even strangers. People and events are mirrors for me, reflecting back so that I may see the many different parts of myself and heal them. Sometimes I would rather not be faced with the reality, especially if it is negative, but once I get past my comfort zone, I discover amazing connections that I hadn’t thought about before. I know I am guided unconsciously into situations or events that help me to see more clearly the bigger overall picture. For example….
My mother always had interesting friends because as she put it “I don’t like boring people.” That must have made an impression on me, though I didn’t realize it at the time. As I look at my friends today, I see the reflection, for we seldom talk of mundane topics.
My mom was always busy, she never worked a normal job, and she seldom worked just for the money. Her mother was the same, putting all her energy into horses and politics. Grandma Kost was the only white woman living in the Arctic in the 1930’s, and her will power, vision and determination brought many changes to her surroundings. The women in my family have all spent time educating people in non-traditional ways and supporting grass roots dedicated towards greater awareness of self and health. My brothers, like their dad and granddad, all became roofers and carpenters.
My mother can create and spend money faster than anybody I know. She has a slightly different style than me, based on her programming. Watching her as a teenager taught me that anything is possible. She still amazes me with her creative thinking and colourful ideas that make an impression on people. She taught me to believe in the abundance of the universe and that it would support me as long as I am doing what I love.
My mother is totally her own person; I give her bouquets of orchids and blessings for not getting trapped into the system and showing me by example that this is possible. My mother is not without flaws and when I point them out in my Musings, it is with love, for a whole generation of people were raised with beliefs that we now need to let go of. I learn more easily when information is taught to me by example. I love listening to or reading stories of people who have changed themselves and made the world a better place for all of us to live in.
I believe we choose our parents for many reasons. My journey is to balance the practical, hard-working aspects of my father’s personality with the fun-loving, creative and emotional aspects of my mother’s personality. I believe Barbara De Angelis when she says, “Your unconscious mind seeks to complete its unfinished emotional business from childhood by getting you to ‘choose’ people who will help you to recreate your childhood dramas, as if you were reincarnating mom or dad in someone else.” Our emotions get triggered by our relationships, and our definition of love, so that we may look at the past and heal it. It just may not feel like it at the time. I know my Mom and Dad loved each other when they got married, so why did they argue so much? Barbara says, that happens once a level of trust is great enough that we let down our defenses and trust once again. Children trust everybody till they are hurt, and if the hurt is deep enough or repeated often, they develop defensive patterns to protect themselves from being hurt again. Relationships bring up the old emotional hurts and as adults we get confused, thinking it is our partner’s fault, when all that person did was trigger an emotional flashback so that we could work through it and heal. We would not have reacted if those feelings weren’t buried deep inside of us.
Joel and Gary have done great work with me in the past month helping me to reconnect my emotional and physical bodies. I know both my parents loved me, especially if I did what they wanted. But I wasn’t always loved in the way I wanted to be. Usually I got my father’s love and attention when I was hurt. At age five, I remember being thrown off our mule. My Dad saw it happen and came running over to see if I was okay. It was one of the few times I felt his love and concern for me. While I was having one of my Nesshi sessions with Joel Whitehead, DCTM, his two-year-old daughter was crying so Vicki, his wife, brought her to the window to assure her that daddy was still around and hadn’t left without saying good-bye. Her tears were acknowledged and with a big hug she scampered off to play. As a child I needed to be picked up, held, and praised for being good, but it seemed like I only got attention when I was hurt or had bitten my brothers. After that session, I parked beside the lake and screamed out my anger and frustration; then the tears came, followed by sadness and grief, and finally an understanding and a deeper love for my Dad as I let go of some very old baggage.
After my last rolf session, done at the Holistic Centre, I went outside to cry as I could feel tears welling up from old grief. I wanted to be alone to process my thoughts as they came up. Just feeling my feelings brought up delightful tears of joy. After a long while, Jan and Mike got concerned for me and offered me Reiki. I didn’t know what I wanted, and I knew they were concerned, so I said yes. Half an hour later as I lay on the table, I started fidgeting and getting frustrated. The session was not relaxing and it puzzled me, so I tried getting some work done but I was too tired to do much of anything. That night as I lay awake with a scratchy throat, I asked myself, “What is it that I can’t say, what do I really want?” I knew it was stuck emotional energy for it felt heavy. I thought about the day and realized that I had wanted to be left alone to process and cry, I just couldn’t say “no” to my friends.
That night a few more pieces of the puzzle came together as I remembered a time when I said “no” to my Dad and got whipped with a willow. That incident and a few others taught me that love means doing or giving and seldom taking or asking for what I really want. So I married a man who helped me repeat my emotional programming. It was very difficult for me to say “no” to his needs and I didn’t understand why. When I got frustrated and angry, we would have power struggles. I remembered how I hated it when my parents argued and with a great deal of will power, I changed. I buried my feeling even deeper and lost touch with my stomach. My liver stored my anger and I became very good at rationalizing my frustration. Soon I lost my joy for being in the relationship, so I busied myself in my work: for I had three boys to raise and I wanted them to have a Dad. Rae was wonderful with the boys and that gave me great pleasure. Rae taught me much, once I let go of my need to control. With time I learned to appreciate his strengths and developed some of these characteristics in myself. One of my affirmations that helped me to change was, “He is my teacher and I intend to learn my lessons well.”
Unless both people are committed to making changes, relationships can’t grow. In the past our parents suffered in silence, wondering where the joy and intimacy went. Today the times are a-changing, and so are our relationships. We no longer have to stay together just to survive.
At the age of forty-four I am starting to realize that I have repeated many times the same patterns of love that my parents taught me so many years ago. It is getting easier to say “no,” but doing so still brings up feelings of anxiety in my stomach. I have learned to ask for support and I am getting better at asking for what I want. I now realize I can choose to be busy but that I don’t have to be busy to be loved! Taking time for myself is still difficult because I love what I do, and I love to cram as much into one day as possible.
Stifling my emotions as a child was a survival technique that is no longer serving me. Opening up my heart and learning to feel my feelings is wonderful. I am enjoying the experience of understanding the past and the complex connections of my mind, body and spirit. Bringing that knowledge into my working relationships with my business partners is going to help me grow younger and younger, as I come to understand and let go of my unconscious programming … and that my friends… is going to allow me to be all that I came here to be!
PS. There are many great books, audio tapes and videos available if you are ready to embrace being more of who you are. Right now I am reading The Joy of Feeling, Bodymind Acupressure by Iona Marsaa Teeguarden and listening to audio tapes of Barbara De Angelis called Making Love Work.