How was your relationship with your mother?
My family didn’t have any real money growing up. Dad was a plumber and my mom was a nurse. When I finally went to school is when mom went back to work full time and I had a nanny when I got home from school. I guess that part is typical.
Well maybe not.
You see my mom was very insecure. She always was trying to please others. I thought that was normal.
I was the last of three children. The runt of the family. I have an older sister and brother. My sister never met mom’s expectations. They bucked heads all the time. My brother, on the other hand, was a perfect child.
Me? According to mom when ever she got upset with me would remind me, “You know you were a mistake. Your dad and I never planned on having a third child.”
At the time I didn’t really understand how that affirmation affected me. My mom, like her mom and dad, shamed me into compliance.
I grew up thinking two things and unfortunately for years were the legacy I received from my mom.
I wasn’t worthy of love because after all, I was a mistake. Plus my roll in life was to please others and not be myself.
I did those two things very skillfully for the first 50+ years of my life. Trying to be who others wanted me to be was draining. It took a lot of energy. But I excelled at being who they wanted me to be. Well, one only thinks they excelled. Truth is I sucked at being someone other than myself.
I even was able to fake my way as a great athlete growing up. Although when things went south and a coach yelled at me I became fearful and that hampered my performance. You can’t escape the consequences of shame. It will kick your butt every time.
Trouble with the mantra of not owning your own story, the bad crap you don’t want anyone else to know about, is that at some point in your life you’re going to crash and burn.
I did. I crashed hard. Hurt like hell.
I learned from an angel sent to me from heaven how powerful it is to be authentic. In fact, Brene’ Brown, PhD in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, define authentic as, “The daily practice of letting go of who you think you should be and embracing who you really are.”
It wasn’t an easy transition. I had a lot of shame in my life. I didn’t want to own up to it either. But I did. I passed through the dark and I could finally see the light.
But one thing I did learn well. I learned and fully believe that I am worthy of love. I fully believe that I am enough just as I am. I don’t have to pretend and be a perfectionist anymore. I don’t have to perform for others so they will like and accept me. And the best is I don’t have to constantly please others all the time. I embrace that my imperfections, and I have many, are really gifts and that all people have them.
My mom never felt she was enough or worthy of love. Finally I could get rid of the anger I held for her. I saw her with compassion for the first time. I don’t know how my mom ever acquired her beliefs but she did. I released my mom to the other side knowing that I had reconciled in my heart that she never really meant to cause me pain and suffering. She was doing the only thing that ever seemed to work for her; please others and shame your kids into being good people.
Today I practice daily being authentic. So many wonderful things have happened to me since this discovery. No longer do I need to please others. Gads that alone freed up ton’s of wasted energy. With this new energy my business has skyrocketed. I’m able to connect with everyone at a deeper level. My relationships with my family have improved.
It’s still scary at times being open and vulnerable. There are some who do not like me for who I really am. That’s their problem. I feel good about me.
I am enough.
Got a mom like me? If so, there is hope.