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?