Monday, March 27, 2017

Mothers, Daughters, and Egos

Mother Daughter Relationship Begins

The mother-child relationship involves intense emotions and expressions ranging from tender, caring and nurturing, to playful and creative, to fierce mama-bear protectiveness that seems unreasonably heightened when the child is a daughter. Above all, the parent wishes for a successful, happy child who grows up to be a successful, happy, well-adjusted adult.

mother_daughterA mother starts with the miracle and blessing of life, with a child who loves and needs her—and really only her—in the first few months. As the child develops her own personality and starts to express the ego is where the fun begins with the first battles-of-will; the mother determined not to be outwitted / outflanked / outranked by the miniature dictator standing before her expressing her demands and having to deal with the often unpleasant consequences of the quest for triumph.

Photo: daveparker / CC BY 2.0

Mother Daughter Paradox Unfolds

The paradox is that the mother wants an independent child who can stand on her own feet and have her own opinions, until the child tries to establish herself as something the mother cannot abide. In many cases this is due to the mother’s own unresolved issues, fears, self-limiting beliefs, etc. A mother is often the most significant role model for her daughter; however, while the daughter strives to establish her own identity, the gap can leave both mother and daughter wondering “What’s wrong with me?”, “What did I do wrong?” or more likely, “What’s wrong with HER?” The question behind all of these questions is “Why can’t she see that I love her and want the best for her?

How can she be so hateful / angry / resentful / dismissive of me?” Perhaps there is something uniquely special about the mother-daughter relationship that provides a forum for us to learn to surrender our egos so we can focus on lovingly supporting each other rather than tearing away at each other piece by piece.

Ego Actions And Reactions Interfere

The ego provides us with an illusion of control; it is that part of us that requires us to validate or justify our point of view, often to the detriment of others. As we put our ego’s “need to be right” or “need to win” stake in the ground, we believe we’re controlling an interaction or even controlling the other person. We yell louder, talk over each other, use threats, call each other names and even engage in the silent treatment.
Each of these behaviours are ego-based actions and reactions designed to make us feel like we’re in control. However, after an interaction of this nature occurs, when the anger starts to wear off and you’ve stopped justifying your position in your own mind, you may notice a small little voice telling you that you are not in control at all. I like to think of this particular little voice as the “voice in my heart”—the one that is being brutally honest with you even when you don’t want to hear it!

While theory is great, let’s talk tactics by looking at a relatively simple interaction that occurs in department stores across North America every day. My three-year old daughter asks to buy something and I say “No”. Why did I say “No”? The objective of looking at this question is not to determine whether “Yes” or “No” was a right or wrong answer, but rather to explore whether or not the response was a result of conscious thought rather than a habitual response that would, unconsciously—but still effectively—put me in the dominant position in the interaction. My daughter’s immediate response was, “Why?”, “I never get anything!”, “You’re mean!”, “I hate you!”, etc. The underlying ego-based confrontation in this situation didn’t truly hit home until the next time a similar situation arose and, for the sake of experimentation, I said, “Yes”. Sure enough, my daughter started in with the, “Why”, “You’re Mean!”, “I hate you!” response. Let me repeat, I said, “YES!” Her reaction was instinctive and habit-driven, but more importantly, it was ego-based.

As I observed other mothers and daughters engaging in arguments or disagreements I started to watch these interactions on an energetic level. It was as if the egos were engaging with each other like rams butting heads, and that the confrontation itself was only a physical manifestation of that ego-driven confrontation. Whenever I witnessed either the mother or the daughter stepping down, letting go of their ego, surrendering, and truly listening to the other with an open heart, I would see the immediate shift of the energy in the interaction—a deflation, a softening in both parties, an opening…a miracle.

For every mother or daughter who chooses to relinquish her ego, for even a single interaction, the door to embracing a more loving and peaceful relationship opens.

Co-Authored by Trish Bishop and Melanie Love

Trish Bishop

Trish Bishop

After being diagnosed with Scleroderma in 1998, Trish refused all medications and decided to look for alternative healing options. These included practical healing processes, such as diet and exercise, however, she was powerfully drawn towards how healing the spirit can heal the body. This resulted in Trish making some drastic changes in her high-income, high-stress, adrenaline-rush life. Trish lives with her husband and two amazing children on Vancouver Island, BC. See more about Trish Bishop’s spiritual healing and her new book, The Question Journey.

Melanie Love

Melanie Love

Melanie is an investment professional with more than 15 years of experience in the financial industry. She has an undergraduate degree in Economics and is a Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder. Melanie spends her personal time unlearning all the things they taught in university as she discovered that the true keys to success are found only from within. Melanie is married to her best friend Michael and they reside in their hometown of Calgary, AB.

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