In her later years, my mother wanted only to know peace and harmony.
“Stop being so difficult,” she would say to me whenever I wanted to talk about our relationship. “Just be nicer to me and everything will be fine.”
I struggled to understand how wanting to talk about our relationship was not nice. I believed talking about the challenges we faced was the path to peace and harmony.
My mother felt otherwise.
Peace and harmony come when we let the past lie where it belongs.
For me, peace and harmony are founded on honesty. Not the ‘brutal honesty’ that some feel is necessary to get it all out in the open, but rather, the heart-driven honesty of being vulnerable and truthful about what is true for you. Your pains, hurts, feelings and thoughts.
Honesty does not accuse. It reflects.It listens. It hears. I respects.
What is true for me. What is true for you. What I’m feeling. What you’re feeling. Understanding. Observing. Making conclusions about. Making decisions on.
My mother struggled to face ‘truths’, at least truths of the personal kind. To her, my constant quest to understand, know, explore and talk about our human frailties, quibbles, quirks and inconsistencies was disagreeable.
We struggled to find peace and harmony together.
In looking back on my relationship with my mother, I can see the gaps where I could have built a bridge but chose instead to stand in the brutal truth of my position without respecting hers.
I see where her need for letting the past lie in peace was in constant conflict with my desire to unearth it, dig up the roots and till the soil so we could plant new seeds.
And I see where I ignored her cries for silence in my efforts to be heard.
And I am at peace.
Today, I can see where I judged our dance of intimacy as not enough and she saw it as too much.
I can see the steps I took that were out of time with hers, and, where our truths were singing different songs.
There is truth in everything but not all things are true.
For my mother and me, there is one truth that can never be denyed. It is unassailably true. The truth is, she gave me birth. I am grateful for the gift of life.
The rest is just a story we created to make sense of a relationship that could never be what either of us wanted or believed we needed because neither of us could see the other as the other wanted to be seen.
My mother wanted to seen as a ‘good mother’. I judged her harshly.
She felt my judgements. I felt her disappointment in me.
To grow, to learn, to become, I had to move through my feelings of not being who she wanted to become who I want to be.
I am becoming. Everyday. Me..
And there’s the truth shining bright. My relationship with my mother was exactly the one I needed to become who I am today. It was exactly the one I took to get here now.
I am grateful for the journey.
And that’s the truth.
Thank you Mom!