Nov 3, 2007

Look ma, no hurts

Anonymous wrote: Hi Aekta, In spite of having a superficially normal relation with my mother, I have not been able to forgive or forget certain incidents from the past which have hurt me at an unimaginable level. The problem is my partner doesnt know of these and I dont want him to know. Is it wrong to hide these things from your partner? If not, how do I explain to him the certain coldness in my relationship with my mother? Thanks.

It's funny how every single person I know has a love-hate relationship with their mom or has gone through one at some point in their lives! At least in my own or the younger generations. I haven't been close enough to the older generation to know if they had the same issues. I suspect they used to accept a lot of things with fewer hang-ups than we are willing to do today.

In our case, we are constantly dealing with various conflicting emotions and beliefs: (1) We compare ourselves to them, and come out better or worse. (2) We try to see ourselves as 'beyond' just their daughters (or sons), but it always comes down to the fact that we cannot escape the one who gave us birth. (3) We try to see them as humans capable of failings too but it messes us up because we'd seen them as some sort of demi-gods as little kids. (4) We insist we aren't like them; and then are freaked out when we begin showing exactly the same traits.

Our relationships with our moms are vital because they define our relationships with ourselves. She is both human and god for us. And in a way, that's who we all are: both human and god. Like humans, we err, stumble, wonder, hurt, seek. Like gods, we create, give birth, know.

Hence, your mother is a godsent lesson in the laws of the universe if you look at it that way: (1) That's who or what you come from (does that make you happy or sad?); see your past karmas (2) If you repeat the choices / actions she's made or is making, you'll end up the same way (does that make you happy or sad?); be careful with your current karmas (3) If you can accept her for what she is and yet not judge her for it, great, you're on the path to enlightenment because you've just done that for yourself and, consequently, all of mankind.

Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own selves and our own choices. We cannot undo the choices our mothers made for us, which we may think caused us hurt or damage. We can merely accept them as past karma and move on from that point. What's more important now is: what are we doing with our present? Are we making choices we believe in, or are we re-making the choices our mothers made? Are we learning from her mistakes, or are we adding on to them like toppings on a ruined pizza?

Forget what her past actions say about her, what are your present actions saying about you? Her actions define her. Your actions define you. Are you happy with who you are? If yes, I congratulate you and would like some tips from you! If not, ask yourself, am I the person I have always wanted to be? What more can I do to be that person? And then do it. And all your relationships will fall in place, those with people and with the whole universe.

Of course, healing is a process and it's necessary for most of us. I personally went in for something called 'hypnotherapy' to deal with assumed hurt that my mother had caused me. The therapist took me down to my childhood, and we discovered that I'd carried certain perceptions of my mom as a god-figure that I could never compare with from the age of four. So it's hardly surprising that when she did not behave too god-like, and what in my defintion would be 'weak', I felt subconsciously betrayed in my teens and later years. The therapist made me 'ask' her (in my dream state) why she did all that, why she let me down, why she didn't stand up for me when I needed her. And the answers made me realise just how human my mother was: she had her own compulsions; health issues; family issues; shift of house and adjustment issues; and yes emotional dilemmas or simple weaknesses that she was going through at those times in our lives.

Was it my mother giving me those answers? She wasn't even in the country! No, it was my own subconscious talking back to me. Stuff that I knew but didn't know I knew (well, some would say it's a universal consciousness, so it was my mother, but let's not get into that). But by 'understanding' her point of view, I was able to accept a lot of whys and hows. It helped me tremendously in letting go of those ghosts from my past. Of course I have a lot of day-to-day or ideological issues with her even now. But somehow, things are calmer inside me. I understand where she's coming from. And I know where I have to go. And I am able to love her as a reflection of my past karma, respect her for being the god who created me, and accept her for the human she is without judging her.

But why am I boring you with my own story?

Instead, in my next post, I will bore you with something else entirely. The meaning of Om.

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