In addition to my mother, I'm thinking about a couple of women who were surrogate moms to me. Both have passed on, but I still acknowledge their influence on my life. They were open, accepting and supportive. I could talk to them. We spent lots of time laughing together, but I also gained invaluable wisdom from them as well. They filled a spot for me that I needed at the time, and I will always be grateful for their presence in my life.
Of course, I had my own mom....the one who birthed me. And I loved her dearly, but I had a vision of what a "mom" should be, and she didn't measure up. I wanted a cookie-baking, recipe-sharing, mom/daughter trip-taking mom. And, I suspect she wanted a thin, graceful, compliant daughter, and I'm not too sure I measured up either. I was "challenging"......go figure.
I have since learned that having expectations about anyone is a recipe for disaster. My mother taught me that, and gave me many opportunities to practice. You see, she had a stroke thirteen years before she died in 2005. As a result, she was hemi-plegic on her left side, and she had dementia.
For awhile, her mind worked pretty well. She might forget dates or events, but she was mostly lucid, most of the time, until a few years before she died. Sometimes when I visited her, her body may have been present, but her mind was elsewhere. Maybe Austin....maybe New York....maybe San Francisco. All great places to visit, admittedly, but she usually didn't have a round trip ticket. I tried to reorient her to the correct surroundings, but it didn't work. I thought I was helping her, but it was painful and/or confusing for both of us.
I finally went for a visit, determined to "meet" her where she was.....no expectations.....and it was wonderful. Once, she told me about her daughter.....things she never told me. Wow. It was the most precious gift I ever received from her.
I wish I hadn't waited so long to accept Mother exactly as she was. I wish I could "meet" everyone like that..... I'm working on it.
Have you given up expectations in your dealings with other people? Have you discovered the amazing freedom you get from having no expectations? Do you have any tips to share about giving up expectations?
Have you been there?
I *love* this message, thank you!ReplyDelete
Today I was feeling into the concept of Mother and Mother's Day and how some feel an exclusion because they don't have children...or there are challenges with their mother/their mother is no longer present. Yet, we have all been birthed so perhaps we can choose to collectively tap into the energy of gratitude for that miracle which will dissolve the general anxiety and tension around the day. I also realize we have all birthed something dear to us, if not a child, then a connection or creative expression...so we all have something to celebrate on Mother's Day.
As for expectations, I used to have them surrounding whatever "label" was used as a description, but at a very young age, I learned that I wasn't a "conventional label" and expectations somehow limited the joy and freedom within connecting. I feel "should" is something as toxic as any poison, essence wilts when should is in the room, but people still use it quite frequently and if we might just ditch the word, peace will be most prevalent.
Claire..besides being an incredible woman, friend, and sister.you are a natural born writer. I hear Claire...the motorcycle momma with angel wings on her back...with an eagle eye and a heart of gold. This was a brilliant letter on so many levels. Thank you for sharing this with me, as I come to the other side of my life long journey to love my mother as I always wanted her to love me, unconditionally. And just saying it out loud makes me realize even more that she always loved me unconditionally. It was my perception of what love was supposed to look like. I was the one that placed conditions on love!!! Thank you beautiful friend. I love you.ReplyDelete
So wonderful, Claire! My mom wasn't all that I wanted either, we grew up in an abusive home and she spent a lot of time protecting herself when she should have protected us. I have long-ago forgiven her and was so lucky that she was in hospice for 5 months so that I could truly get to know her without any judgment and fall in love with who she really was - which was an amazing woman caught in a really bad situation. Much love!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you learned that your lessons early! It took me a bit longer. You're right about "should"....I really try not to use it! Thanks for stopping by. :)ReplyDelete
I love you back, Soul Sister! <3ReplyDelete
I'm so glad you had that experience, Marci! What a beautiful time for you both. Thanks for reading!ReplyDelete
Claire - This was BEAUTIFUL! I'm so grateful to have found your blog today! XOXOReplyDelete
OMG, I know!!!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you both! Keep coming back! ;)ReplyDelete
I am very blessed to have an awesome mom, and we have a fantastic relationship. In fact, the thought of losing her is so painful that it brings tears. I can relate to having expectations that will never be met, but that's more related to my marriage than anything else, as I'm sure many women can attest to. It's hard not to have expectations, but it sure does make life a lot easier if you don't.ReplyDelete
I hope you and your mom had a wonderful Mother's Day! Thanks for stopping by!ReplyDelete