It’s been almost 3 months since I’ve spoken to my mother, I’d like to say that it’s the first time but regrettably it’s not. Throughout the years there have been stretches of silence and many times without a reason. There are moments where she tries to regain her role as a mother, become my best friend calling me constantly. She’ll tell me that she loves me, shifting from silence to a suffocating love. In the past I would take those moments as hope that things have changed, that perhaps we could establish some sort of relationship. Sadly it’s these very moments where I tread lightly because I know that it will be short lived. I know she will become upset about something and not speak to me for months. It’s in those moments of silence that I learn the most about myself.
My relationship with my Mother has always been a difficult one. It’s hard to see someone constantly fall apart and have respect for them. Growing up she would constantly ask me for advice and many times I felt that I had to encompass the role of the responsible adult, something I deeply resented. Someone who was constantly left picking up the pieces. The glue that held everything together. I don’t remember ever feeling as if I was a child, I was always worried about her and what would happen to us. I desperately wanted to fix her and take her pain away. Back then it was difficult to see that my mother had been shoved into a role of parenthood that she was ill prepared for, and that she was doing the best she could while dealing terribly with her past.
From a young age I was very aware of how present her past was in our lives. She was very open about her abuse as a child bringing to light the severity of things. At times I felt like her therapist. I urged her to seek help, but she would insist that she was healed. It often left me wondering if she would ever be ok. During those early years I vowed I would never allow my circumstances to determine the person I was. I would grow up and do things differently, never allow hurt to have a standing place in my life. My idealistic mind said many things but I hadn’t experience the pain my mother had. I was just experiencing the painful aftermath. I’m ashamed to say that I judged her immensely. I didn’t realize then that when judge we feed into the very thing we dislike. We give it attention and slowly it becomes part of our reality.
I grew up in a very strict, religious home and although I believed everything I was taught I couldn’t understand why she was still so broken. If God heals all, why wasn’t she healed? Why did she struggle with anxiety attacks? Why did I feel like the adult all the time? We lived our lives isolated from family and the world. I remember moments when my Aunts would come and visit because they hadn’t seen us in a long time. She would pretend we weren’t home. Then there were moments when we would all be together as a family, then someone would say something and a fight would ensue. They were concerned about us, but my mother didn’t know how to handle it. Perhaps she didn’t want to face them because they were a reminder of her past and all of the terrible things that had happened to her.
When I was 16 we moved to Denver, Colorado and as I began to change our relationship suffered severely. It was then things began to dissolve. We were constantly fighting and the stress of work and school was almost too unbearable. While I wouldn’t define myself as a rebellious kid, I had an opinion and possessed a sense of strength my mother often relied on. I viewed college as my only way out, and as I began applying to colleges I know she felt utterly alone. The idea of me leaving scared her and in her own way she didn’t want to be left, but instead be the person to decide when I would leave. A few months after I turned 18 she kicked me out. “Get the hell out of my house! Aren’t you tired of me telling you to leave? Aren’t you embarrassed to still be here?!” Those words stung me to the core. It was just the two of us and I felt so betrayed.
“For every beautiful thing, you have to pass through a valley of hardship. There is no liberation without labor. There is no freedom which is free. To create in you the power to create the intelligence which will give you power to be effect in your own living and give you satisfaction in your own joy. You have to work for it. You have to earn it.”
In the midst of our fight she called a friend. M became a saving grace, a light in the darkness. She asked to speak to me. I was crying, almost hyperventilating. My world was crumbling. She told me to calm down and begin to gather some things. “You need some space from each other. I’ll tell her you’re coming over for a few day and then you’ll be back to grab the rest of your things at another time.” Surprisingly my mother thought it was a great idea, perhaps she thought that if I left I would come running back home begging for forgiveness but that was not the case. As soon as I left I felt a heaviness lift. M took me in and treated me with grace and unconditional love. It was the first time I felt unconditional love and for many years after I had a hard time receiving it. She taught me acceptance and at 18 that was one of the greatest lessons I could learn.
When things fall apart it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It can be difficult to not replay the hurt and wonder why, or how things could be different. Instead of moving on we end up creating more damage for ourselves and our loved ones. We push them away and base our current experiences on the past ones instead of trusting that the outcome will be different. When things fall apart they do so to fall back together, stronger and exactly as they should. All of the things that have happened in my life have lead me to where I am today. I wouldn’t have found a career that helps me accentuate the true beauty of others. I wouldn’t have moved to California, met my soul mate or discovered a beautiful practice through Kundalini Yoga. I would never know what it means to be joyful, because without pain we will never be able to appreciate and accept the beauty in our lives.
I’d like to say that I’ve completely forgiven my mother but I’ll be candid and say that I’m a work in progress and forgiveness doesn’t automatically come. It’s something that I work on daily. There’s no doubt in my mind that in her own way my mother loves me. She did the best she could with the tools that she had. When someone has hurt you the most powerful thing you can do for yourself is to make a conscious decision to forgive them, and in doing so you break the invisible hold they have on you. You give space for miraculous things to happen in your life and to have the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Here’s a powerful mediation that will assist you in sending healing thoughts to yourself or someone who’s hurt you:
Sending Healing Thoughts Meditation
Posture and Mudra: Sit in Easy Pose and place the hands in Prayer Pose (palms together at the center of the chest).
Focus: Concentrate at the Heart Center. Press the hands tightly together and press the total weight of the body against them. Fill up your Heart Center with love; hate will go. Minus hate, man is great.
Time: Continue for 4 to 5 minutes.
Then think of someone you love most and send healing thoughts. This divine medicine can heal them mentally, physically, and spiritually. Begin with someone you really love and do it sincerely; your channels will open.
Once your channels are opened, you can do it at anytime for anyone. Healing thoughts can be transmitted like a wireless. Fill the whole room with them. Project. Give from your heart. It is the highest meditation to live for others.
Time: Keep up your concentration for at least 10 minutes.
To End: Then inhale deeply, fill in your chest with love and project pranas (life force) like a thunderbolt. Exhale, inhale again and send this breath to the person you are meditating on. Exhale. Inhale again, and feel the energy flowing through your hands to the person. Create this mental link. Feel this energy massaging this person. Exhale. Inhale again and be totally with that person. This will make you one with the Universal Mind. Exhale. Inhale and continue. Exhale and relax.
Those who send out good vibrations will receive ten times the amount from the Universe. You gain when you give. There is no need to pray for yourself. Pray for others and the Creator will pray for you.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan
Do you remember a moment in your life when things fell apart? What was something that helped you?