Our parents are our mirrors
How to notice a pattern of self-abandonment and create new empowered habits.
Today marks my third week in North Carolina caring for my Mom post surgery. It’s the gift of a lifetime to experience such immersive time with the woman that raised me. It’s been a joint journey of investing in both of our mental health, and I’m putting all my training to good use.
It's also been a spiritual journey being here.
My biggest takeaway: My parents are my mirrors.
The morning after Mom’s surgery, I asked her what was important to her about how we spent our morning, after listening to what she needed I shared what was important to me too.
As soon as I got the words out of my mouth, tears streamed down her face.
She said “I just feel like my needs are secondary to yours.” Ah. Sweet Mamma.
I share with Mom that my desire was to have a conversation so that we can both get our needs met. I bravely challenge her belief that my needs take precedence over hers.
“It’s a pitfall of being a mamma,” she says, “worrying more about your children's needs than your own.”
So, I ask her how she knows that’s true — Is that true? Absolutely true?
It was a vulnerable place to be — challenging my Mom about her beliefs and world view.
In doing it, I was also challenging my own world view.
I can see now how I’d dropped everything to be here with her, and placed her needs as a priority above my own.
There’s a portion that’s a genuine desire to be of service to her, and then a layer on top of that that’s rooted in abandoning what I need.
And self-abandonment to serve the people we love runs in the family.
I tracked it back at least two generations in her lineage.
So, I shared the pattern with her from the insight I’d gained through mental health training, in NLP coaching w/ Carla Camou (where we reprogram beliefs by tracking it back to the origins of when the belief was formed, and add new perspective to create more freedom of choice).
The newfound freedom I’d found, and shared with her included:
Noticing when one of us is in the pattern.
Asking what new choice we’d like to make that honors both our needs.
Then, her wisdom starts to pour out and Mom says to me…
“It’s a higher way when everyone gets what they want. Self abandonment disempowers you. One leads to the other. And it’s not just us and our lineage. It’s all mothers of all time. It’s our choice to poke our head up above it and decide that it doesn’t have to be this way.”
This became our practice, and we became a team in creating new habits together.
The more I question my beliefs, the more I get to break free of old patterns and discover options I couldn’t see before, that gives me more freedom.
I knew that to be true intellectually, but being with my Mom these last three weeks has really anchored this practice of exploration into my body.
As of last month, my husband Edmond and I officially settled in Boulder, Colorado!! And right as our house began to feel like a home, I arrived in North Carolina for 30 days to care for Mamma Sauvé post-hip-surgery. Since arriving back in the U.S. four months ago I’ve lived in six different states (NC, VA, CA, CO, AZ, NV) deeply craving the feeling of having my own home.
P.S. One of my favorite ways to explore beliefs when I’m alone is by asking myself these four questions in my journaling.
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