Sunday, May 10, 2009

Letter to Myself

I've been trying to find a window of opportunity to blog all day but it hasn't happened till now. And even now I should be sleeping since I have to get up to exercise. But I really wanted to share this today.

I spent my pregnancy with Z1 extremely depressed at times longing for my "mommy", wanting to be cherished and nurtured. But this is not something my mother could offer. Two years ago, I wrote an entry in my journal about my mother and how I have come to deal with our relationship. It's a letter to myself and while my overstanding of the Almighty has changed quite a bit since then, the letter is still essentially true.

You were blessed with a mother who is not described by any of the warm, fuzzy Hallmark Mother's Day Greeting Cards. In fact, you pore through countless cards trying to find the most generic, non-specific card there is. You can't get one that says, "You always know what to say to lift my spirit". Not true. No, you look for cards that say, "Hope your day is great!"

There are two ways you can respond to this in the light of the fact that you are completely grown. You could become very bitter and angry, snap and complain at every opportunity. Or you can accept her for who and how she is, realizing that she's human only and has human flaws. Also, she is not in this world to live up to your expectation or idea of what a mother should be. She did for you and gave you the best she could. You may not think it was the best but it was. If she could have done better, she would have. You may be thinking she should have given me this or that because she had the ability but even if she did have the ability physically, mentally or psychologically she was not in a place where she could give you more, you cannot fault her for it. You're grown enough now to cut that umbilical cord and connect it to the Almighty who can be everything and anything you need. You can expect unwaveringly that the Almighty will always give you what you need, when you need it and how you need it.

When you let your natural, physical mother off the hook, forgive her and forgive yourself for believing that somehow it was you that caused your mother to treat you the way she did, you re-connect to a Higher Power, you free yourself and allow yourself the space to heal. When you begin to realize that you are who you are because of your mother and not in spite of, you learn to be grateful. Right now, you are blessed with a chance to be whole. You have the chance to be the way you want. You started out on this road a long time ago before you even knew yourself and you've been traveling on it for many years. There have been many potholes and bumps. You now realize that this particular road is not leading to where you'd like to go. You have the ability to get off at the next exit. You can pick the next road. You can decide the kind of woman you're going to be. You determine, most especially, the kind of mother you are going to be.

I hope all the mothers (mothers with their own children, spiritual mothers, godmothers, etc) enjoyed the day.

7 comments:

80sBaby70sSoul said...

Love it. You and I are kindred spirits. Our issues with our mothers are so similar. I know that I am who I am because she is who she is; because she did or didn't do certain things; because she said or didn't say certain thing. I am not so much bitter as I am saddened that I now have to teach myself how to be a wife, friend, daughter, and, eventually, a mother. I feel alone in that endeavor. But I do not blame her. For if I were her, i would have done all the same things.

blackgirlinmaine said...

Your mother sounds exactly like my father. When my mother was alive it was easy to overlook the fact that he lacked warmth and focus on my mother. However fate would have it that she would go first thus making him my only parental unit left and like you I have had to accept him for who he is.

The first years after my Mom's death I was mad that I was left with him, but I have reached the point where I realized having him as a my Dad made me who I am.

Like you and your mother, I was faced with the fact that it would have been easy to bitter about his personality and our relationship. Or I could and have come to accept him for who he is,even coming to understand more of why he is the way he is.

Its still not a easy relationship at times but its the life I have just like your Mom is who you have.

Its far easier to come to a place of acceptance than to be bitter...I hope you had a good mother's day!

I just wanted to add as someone who lost her mother. I don't ever think you ever stop wanting a "mommy" but as we get older we don't need her. I think we find our own inner Mama and nourish ourselves if that makes any sense.

Sabrina said...

I think the biggest lesson I've learned as an adult is about forgiveness and acceptance. Maya said it best "You do the best you can and when you know better you do better." Peace Sistah!

Smokie said...

I feel for you. I pray that the Universe (not sure of your religion) heals you as much as possible.

I have a great mom but a horrid biological dad. My mother divorced him when I was 1 so I don't remember living with him, but he's sporatically broken my heart from the time I was 18 until just a year ago. Most of the time he wasn't around (he didn't have drugs or being broke as an excuse) and I didn't really understad how he could know me and not want to be around me. It was so baffling to me how a parent couldn't love their child enough to be there. I had very high self esteem - so the fact that my father had the power to make me second guess myself like that mad me pissed and sad.

Then I got to know him. He wanted to come around after he realized I had no ill will towards him for being out of my life. Maaaan, after I got to know him, I knew I didn't even really want to know him, and surely didn't like him. I went from sadness, to disbelief, to madness, to "oh HE has a problem -- I don't. I'll pray for him but his poison won't be in MY life..." and I went back to life without good ole dad. lol

I know you can't do that when someone raises you...and your mom might not be the asshole that my is my dad. :-)

I love how you acknowledge and try to deal with real issues in your life ...in real ways that don't just produce a superficial healing (i.e., letter to self).

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

Thank you all for sharing your experiences with me. It's so amazing (and scary) how much our parents influence our lives.

You summed it up Sabrina "You do the best you can and when you know better you do better." That's my ENTIRE parenting philosophy. So I am trying hard to make sure I am healed, that I know better because my deepest desire is to do better!

BGIM . . ."I don't ever think you ever stop wanting a "mommy" but as we get older we don't need her. I think we find our own inner Mama and nourish ourselves if that makes any sense." Talk about it!!! When I said that my idea of the Almighty has changed, I meant that these days I have stopped looking outside of myself for the things I need . . . God/the Universe is right inside of me, part of me. I've got to get (and stay) connected to myself!!

Nya, yes, girl. It is not an easy challenge to teach yourself. But in a way, it's a gift because you don't have anything to unlearn per-se and you know just what to avoid!! I heard somewhere before . . . You can be a great example or a horrible warning. LoL. But you know you're never alone! (((hugs)))

Smokie, yeah, girl, my father is a post for another day! LoL . . .but yes, it is all about healing and I'm so happy to say that these days, the healing is happening and taking root. Right down to the bottom of my soul!

Chi-Chi, The Original Wombman said...

Thank you all for sharing your experiences with me. It's so amazing (and scary) how much our parents influence our lives.

You summed it up Sabrina "You do the best you can and when you know better you do better." That's my ENTIRE parenting philosophy. So I am trying hard to make sure I am healed, that I know better because my deepest desire is to do better!

BGIM . . ."I don't ever think you ever stop wanting a "mommy" but as we get older we don't need her. I think we find our own inner Mama and nourish ourselves if that makes any sense." Talk about it!!! When I said that my idea of the Almighty has changed, I meant that these days I have stopped looking outside of myself for the things I need . . . God/the Universe is right inside of me, part of me. I've got to get (and stay) connected to myself!!

Nya, yes, girl. It is not an easy challenge to teach yourself. But in a way, it's a gift because you don't have anything to unlearn per-se and you know just what to avoid!! I heard somewhere before . . . You can be a great example or a horrible warning. LoL. But you know you're never alone! (((hugs)))

Smokie, yeah, girl, my father is a post for another day! LoL . . .but yes, it is all about healing and I'm so happy to say that these days, the healing is happening and taking root. Right down to the bottom of my soul!

liberationtheory said...

i think you are writing the official black girl's song.. the one that we never want to admit but far too many of us have had this experience.

thank you for giving it voice.

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