Your Mother's Voice

How many times have you opened your mouth only to hear your mother's voice come out? Did you await that day with terror or were you hoping and praying to someday have her grace and wisdom? This post is for the ones of us who dread hearing her voice move through us. It is for the ones who are terrified that we will turn into her.

No matter what your relationship with your mother is or was you do NOT have to turn into her. It is not inevitable. We can each chart our own paths.

But how?

YOUR MOTHER'S VOICE

What does it say? Is it the voice of judgment on your parenting? When you hear that voice in your head or coming out of your mouth do you like what you hear?

When you hear it stop and ask yourself - is this actually true? Just because your mother said it to you doesn't mean that it's real or true. And it doesn't mean that you need to carry it or pass it on to your children, either. Stop and really listen to the things that you say to yourself and the way you treat yourself. How much of her voice is hurting you?

Question it every time. Don't let her judgment, her trauma, her pain become your inner voice. You are worthy of so much more than that.

When does it show up? Do you hear her when you need her? Or do you hear her when you are about to take a chance, do something different, stretch in a new direction?

Identify when her voice comes to you and through you. When you're scared, hurt, or stressed you're more vulnerable to slipping into patterns of harm. Once you know when it usually happens you can take steps to avoid it or to support yourself through those rough times.

Is it helpful? Is it wisdom that you can lean on? A light guiding you through the darkness? Or is her voice painful to hear and to speak with?

This may seem obvious, but stopping and reminding yourself that this is not helpful can go a long way. So many times we don't notice until we've said the words that they aren't our own. We don't realize until after we've reacted that we are operating the way she would and not the way we want to. We slip into being our mothers because that is the way we were taught to mother.

YOUR CHOICE

We cannot change our pasts. We cannot make our mothers or our own childhoods any different than they were. We can change our lives now and we can change the people we are becoming.

If you feel your mother's voice as a weight, as an expectation that you can never live up to, you have time to shake that off. You can set that down.

If you have a complicated relationship with your mother and with the parts of you that are like her, you have the ability to reconcile those. You do NOT have to turn into her. You can forge a new path.

But we have to STOP. We have to see it, notice it, name it. Remember that it is NOT you and that you have a choice. You can let her go.

YOUR FUTURE

What do you want for yourself? 

Do you want to repair the relationship that you have with your mother? Do you want to heal from the relationship you had with her? Do you want to finally be free of it? 

If you were happy and healthy and free - what would that life look like? Can you see it? Close your eyes and think about how it would feel to be healed from the pain in your relationship with your mother. Really sit in what that would mean for your life. 

For you.

For your child(ren). 

There is no magic potion that will bring you that peace and that freedom. You may need therapy. You may need time. You may need to write about it, to sing about it, to paint about it. You may need to run it out. You may need to pray about it.

I wish I could give you THE ANSWER (TM) to reconcile the mothers we had with the mothers we are. But there is no one answer. What I can tell you is that the future has not been written. Healing and freedom are possible for you, for all of us. I can promise you that it's not just you. You are not alone on this journey to healing.

Graeme Seabrook