Wasn't Jesus the original hippie? With his sandals, dress and kind, compassionate, tender, joyful nature? What a loaded word that is! I am oftentimes called a hippie – in some ways, I am, some not. I am an Older Mom with Young Kids and Older Kids, Four in All – Remarried, Striving to make a Step Family with Love and God's help.
I have always been accused of being too ‘emotional’ by my mother, my ex-husband and my husband.
What I am figuring out is that, as an empath, I was a reflection of their emotions and holding them for them in an unhealthy layaway program.
Myself? Yes, I feel deeply. I feel deeply, and then I let it go.
Long story short, my mother is very upset with me for a couple of reasons: the first being my omnistic views of life which hold that religion is a path to God and divinity. I have always been interested in learning about and respecting other paths – Hindu, Muslim, Pagan, Science. I believe they are all valid in their own ways. You have to find your unique way to connect with God.
That does not sit well with my traditional Catholic mother.
The second is my publicly sharing posts as these that pop the illusion of a perfect family, life, etc. That sits even worse.
I do feel torn about this as my purpose is not to hurt her. My writing has been incredibly healing for me and helped me connect with many others and also help others. I don’t share many specifics, and I don’t place blame at any one person’s feet.
I think we all struggle to do the best with what we are given.
If you have struggled to do your best, that is between you and God only. I try not to judge. We all have vastly different perspectives on things.
But back to my story, the above led to an exchange with my mother where I told her I felt the root of our problem was that I get the sense that if I were not her daughter, she would never talk to me again.
She said ‘yes’.
I asked her again later in the conversaton: to make sure she understood what I said, did not say that hastily, etc., and she replied, ‘yes, Karen, what do you expect? We are very different.’
That really, truly hurt, and I have been sitting with it on and off the past few days. Of course, I have felt this truth from her before but never faced it so openly.
But as I hold it closely, I look at it, and then I turn the garment over, I read the fine print.
‘You don’t deserve that. You did nothing to ‘earn’ that. A mother should be your source of unconditional love and acceptance. A mother should be the one who helps you to find your unique gifts. And then a mother should be your biggest fan of those gifts.’
Facing that truth also helps shed light on a lot of bad decisions that I have made in the past.
It is helpful. And freeing. And liberating.
Don’t get me wrong, every once in awhile, the pain of that hits me a bit hard. I feel it and then I let it go, gently reminding myself I am worthy, I am beautiful and I am loved.
But I have noticed this other more pervasive negative feeling that has been hanging over me since that conversation, and when I looked hard enough, the light switched on:
This is not my feeling! This is my sorrow for my mother who wants to be close with her daughter but does not know how. I feel her pain and confusion.
When I look at my children, I see perfection even in their imperfections. And I don’t care if they were not genetically mine or how far different from me they end up being, I have known them since birth. I have watched them grow, take their first steps, succeed at things and fail at others.
We have connected.
And one of my most important jobs as their mother is to help them find things that fill their soul and to do my best in encouraging them to follow those paths despite what anyone else thinks – even their own mother.
I am learning to like being an empath. Not only do you feel things deeply, but you understand and pick up easily on other people’s feelings. It can help you bond closely in healthy relationships, because you get things quickly about the other person’s experience.
But I have learned the hard way not to live there and don’t take responsibility for others’ pain and growth. Just like your own feelings, feel them and then let them go.
Find the clothes that fit you and wear them proudly.
* First picture credit to: http://www.eraig.com/page/5/
* Second picture credit to: http://connxn.net/customer-service/7-things-not-to-do-with-a-customer/attachment/be-yourself-quotes/
Colette O'Neill, Innovator of Goddess Permaculture ~Writer ~ Teacher ~ Photographer
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