Every morning, except for her days off, my daughter calls me around 7:30 and then again around 8:45 just before she steps into her workplace. Our conversations cover the extremely important issues of the world to the mundane. This relationship with my daughter, this closeness took years to cultivate. There was a time not so long ago when it seemed as if we would never regain our connection, when we were so estranged, at opposites as she fought me to become the woman she is today.
We always loved each other but our connection now is born out of compassion and my intentional ‘work’ to transform into the woman who I too have become.
Mother’s Demons Haunting Daughter
My daughter was born to a stubborn, aggressive, hungry-for-education, combative and talkative young woman. She grew up with a mother who was still very much unaware of the emotional scars she bore, the ones that were oozing anger, low self-esteem and no self-confidence.
Throughout the first 20 years of my daughter’s life, her mother was fighting ghosts of her childhood – ones that haunted her every sleeping and waking moments. Childhood sexual abuse, parental abuse, an absent father, domestic violence and rape were some of cloaked specters that woke me up in terror and spoke and acted out in my relationships with just about everyone that came into my space. They were very present in my relationship with my daughter and created havoc!
So many times during those years, the fear was vivid in my daughter’s eyes as she waited for me to lash out, explode or deliver a verbal beating at her request for money, to go on a date or if she really had no desire to eat sardines or liver yet again. Little did my daughter know that her mother was unwell. How was she to know that it was my insecurities about poverty, safety and well-being and our survival that was choking the love out of our relationship?
The Road To Wellness
My transformation began in the pews of a very non-traditional church and would deepen in the hospital sanctuaries where I spent a two years in training as a spiritual counsellor. As trainee chaplains, it was mandatory for us to undergo psychological and spiritual counselling ourselves. Our own wounds had to be lanced before we would be allowed to independently support the journey of another.
Wounded healers is what we were. Our wellness had to be assured before a supervisor would sign off that we were ready to walk with patients and clients along their journey. Many of us slipped along the way, myself included, but the crazy thing with intentionally deciding to do self-care is that you learn to let go of all the pain, negativity, blaming and shaming that were inflicted on you or that you blindly gave to others.
Letting go has become central in my life. It was only through releasing all that was no longer serving me that my daughter and my relationship became so connected. Things got worse before it got this good between us – and that is one of the paradoxes of change. It is one that prevents many from inviting change into their lives. To exorcise the demons of our lives, we must install the emotional filters that I wrote about in another post. If you are to enjoy the freedom of an examined life and if you are to get well, clarity and compassion must be your friends.
The Pay-Offs of Exorcism
If for a moment you feel that you are ready for:
- Freedom to be all that you want to be
- Clarity to guide your daily experiences
- Compassion to heal your wounds and allow you to be grateful to your ‘Teachers’
then please visit our letting go page that was created. I invite you to explore the various posts and links included on it. Your wellness is as profound and long-lasting as your willingness to incorporate healthy practices in all areas of your life. Yes, at the risk of sounding like a broken record – your wellness is only complete when it covers your body, your mind, your emotions and your spirit.
This morning, the conversation between my daughter and I covered the news that Caitlyn Jenner has been declared “Woman of the Year,” by Glamour magazine. We looked at work/life balance and what next for each of us to level the scale in each of our lives. And of course, we laughed about my granddaughter’s temper tantrums and new practice of throwing herself on the floor when she does not get her way. Agreeing that this has to stop before it becomes a habit, we rung off and launched into our day, happy to have spoken and even more happy that love is now the only tie that binds us.
What about you, how well are you today? Are you experiencing the three pay-offs of letting go?
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