Do you feel that you got what you needed from your mother? Do you feel that you get what you need from life? The two can be interrelated. When we feel nurtured and supported by our mothers, we often feel nurtured and supported in life. Conversely, when we feel that our mothers couldn’t give us what we needed, we often feel shortchanged by life. If we didn’t feel safe or supported early on, as adults, we can experience life—the food we eat, the environment we live in, the relationships we have—as being unsupportive and unsafe.
Focusing on what we didn’t get can bring us even more suffering and unhappiness. We can’t change what was, but we can change what is. A new relationship with our mother is possible, even if she has passed away. If she is alive, however, there is one cardinal rule: Don’t expect her to change or be any different than who she is. It is you who must hold the relationship differently. You can receive something good from her, even if there is only a small opening. Honor her by giving yourself the things she couldn’t give. To see you expand in life is a great gift to her.
Here is something you can do tonight. Place a photo of your mother on your nightstand or tape it on the wall above your pillow. Ask her to hold you while you sleep. As you lie in bed, feel her there behind you. Visualize her love like a current of energy supporting you, giving you strength. Ask her, “Mom, please teach me how to trust your love. Please teach me how to receive.” Then, open your heart and take it in. Fully take it in. This would be the greatest gift you can give her. When you fully take what your mother gives, she becomes full. She feels complete, and you feel complete.