You Are Enough!


Dear Daughter…

I am so grateful for our relationship…our freedom to speak our truth to each other…the acceptance…the understanding and support.  Both ways.  I hope you feel my love as deeply as I feel yours.

I understand your pain.  Probably better to say that I know how I felt when I was in your circumstances.  I’ve been there.  Divorce is brutal.  And the things that lead to divorce are devastating.

I am so proud of you and how you’re handling and learning.  How you’re making a conscious decision to help your sons through this – and consistently following thru with that decision.

In spite of the pain, I can’t help but feel joy at your growth- and for the outcome of all of this – no matter what it is.   I have to say I’m pretty amazed when I see your resolve, your mission to go through this with unconditional love for your husband, even when he’s making some very painful choices for all of you.  I’ve watch how you process events, and consistently keep from “reacting”.  The time you take to get yourself back so that you can respond in a loving way.  That is strength! I’m learning from you.  And so are others.

Yesterday when we were talking on the phone and I heard you questioning your appearance, who you are, your worth…well, that’s what I want to put in writing and hopefully you’ll re-read it when you find yourself questioning.

This is my truth to you

  • You ARE enough.   There is absolutely nothing more that you need to be.
  • I’m glad you’re considered “very attractive” physically.   However, in the “looks” department, there is always someone more beautiful, cuter, whatever…it’s a futile exercise, this comparison thing.  And it’s truly “in the eye of the beholder” anyway.  EVERYONE has something beautiful about them if we look for it.  He has chosen a younger gal, someone you consider “really cute” and I understand how devastating that is.  It would be a blow to any wife’s self-esteem.   Finding our way thru midlife can be a precarious journey for some.  Please just remember not to measure your self-worth by his behavior.  He’s admittedly very depressed, feeling very low about himself and his decisions.   Say “Stop it!” to your thoughts when you have a moment of measuring your worth by his actions.  Concentrate on what you know about yourself.   Lean on the rest of us during those times.   We’ll remind you of your “greatness” when you temporarily forget.  That’s what family and friends are for.  You are surrounded by many of us who see you clearly.  And like what we see.  Screw him!  Woops!
  • You are intelligent, kind, funny and such fun to be with.  You have a wonderful positive energy that lights up any room that you enter!  Look at the friends that surround you, the kind of people and clients that you attract.  That is a direct reflection of who you are.  Your business success attests to your integrity, caring and expertise in your career.   Your relationships with your sons and the rest of your family says everything about you.
  • You’ve been a joyous little spirit since the day you were conceived – since you were a mere flutter in me belly!   You’ve always been curious and full of adventure.  Through all of this pain you’ve been open to learning and growth.   You’ll get your joy and thrill of adventure back.  It’s who you are so no one can take any of these things away from you.
  • Remember how God has opened paths and doors that gave you such definite direction during this most difficult period of your life.  Remember your real boulder.  And all of the other rocks that are there for you anytime you need them.  And how much they care.
  • You are important -in fact vital – to me – and the universe.
  • You will have joy again.  You have a wonderful happy life ahead of you – full of love.

I’m so very grateful for you! And I love you deeply,

Mom

My Daughter – My Friend


As an adult, my daughter is also one of my best friends.  And she’s an awesome friend – and daughter as well.   We have a rare relationship that I cherish.  She’s very bright, funny, deeply caring and sensitive, has an off-the-wall sense of humor that makes people want to be around her.  I want to be like that!  Where did she get it?

She’s very successful in her business, in fact #1 agent in her company for over 12 years of the 16 she’s been in business.  We enjoy each other and spend a lot of time together,  know each other very well –  we finish each others sentences.   We usually slide  from mother and daughter roles into dear friend roles and back again very easily.

This is a confusing moment and right now I’m not so sure.  She’s in a very fragile state going thru a painful divorce.  With that, she’s digging deeply within herself, working thru her pain and trying to understand her part in the breakup.  It’s a very painful process for her. Delving into her past has brought up childhood issues and of course I’m included in her evaluation of her past, I’m sure.  She talks about painful experiences with her Dad, but I feel she is careful to protect my feelings.  There are almost certainly some issues that we need to talk about when the time is right.  Maybe we’ll talk these thru as we encounter them in our daily lives.  I don’t know.   Mother-daughter, friends….forgiveness.  How will it play out.  Is there anything to play?

Over the years, I’ve been nothing short of shocked at how my chidren have perceived events that happened in our pasts.  We’ve all talked, cried, laughed, and eventually worked thru issues as they’ve arisen.   Forgiving – lots of practice here!  All three of my children are very caring and sensitive to others.  One of my sons is very quiet and keeps things within himself.  My other son and I talk with each other about anything and everything.  I feel confident that we’ve hashed out all of our differences and I feel certain that we’re in a very good place in our relationship.  With my “Mother” hat on, I feel very comfortable about my relationship with all three of my children….most of the time.

In my daughter’s new and very painful situation, I’m realizing she is sometimes pretty guarded.   She’s even more sensitive to others than I realized.  She tells me that she’s discovering she has a difficult time being vulnerable, a very difficult time.  I’ve know that in our relationship – I just didn’t have a name for it.   I’ve known, as well, that I have a very difficult time letting myself be vulnerable.  No wonder that she’s struggling with that.   Is this a human condition? Like Pema Chodron says (I’m quoting from memory?)….”out of a class of 600, 590 will be struggling with their self-value”.   Are these pretty universal issues?  No excuse….  just wondering.

The ripple effect is touching me.  I’m trying to see my part in teaching her to protect herself, that she can’t trust.  Herself? Me? Life?  Many times over the years I’ve tortured myself with my failures as a parent.  I was pretty clueless.  “Doing my best” just doesn’t cut it when it causes pain or fear in a child.   I want a “Do-Over” with what I know now – about myself and life!  I know better now, and I could do better!

I recognize that she emulates me in many ways.  I take that as a compliment.  But I also recognize, sense, that sometimes she grits her teeth and bears….and whatever I’m doing is such a part of who I am that I can’t identify what I’ve said or done.    And I start trying to analyze.   I’m sure I’ve also taught her what she doesn’t want to be – sometimes.   Yikes!

My Beloved Daughter is on a mission.  It’s a painful journey right now but she’s finding her way.   She’s a joyous person, loves adventure, fun, learning, doing.  She lives out loud.  She loves people.

I love that her first comment after an appointment with a client is, “Oh, I just love them!”  And she means it.

I’m so blessed to have her for my daughter – and my friend.

When I Know Better – I Do Better – My Maya Angelou Mantra


I feel that I hurt, turned off, scared, dumped (not about her)  on my daughter yesterday and she’s either hurt or very turned off.    It wasn’t anything devastating, in fact it was expressing myself about my own issues.   But she was trying to help and couldn’t and I have no idea about how she actually took it.   I wish I had taken a deep breath and made sure I knew how she took it.   I have a feeling she somehow ended up feeling guilty about “something”.  If I could have a “do over”, I’d have left her after making it clear to her that she had nothing to do with my pain – I think she knows – but I’d feel better had I made that clear.  That I didn’t expect her to “fix it”.   I feel I left her in my emotional turmoil.  She’s in a pretty painful place right now, going througha divorce, and I imagine our experience yesterday left her with some feelings of her own to deal with.

I  later texted her – her preferred communication – apologizing for expressing my anger and sadness in a way that I didn’t like.  She hasn’t responded.

She’s been in a very fragile state for the last couple of years and I’ve tried to be there for her.   I’m already pretty worn out trying to deal with some of my own presently heavy issues that she is not a part of – and still be there for her.  I realized recently that I’m feeling a little sad that she doesn’t realize – or at least express – any acknowledgement of what I’ve helped her with during her divorce.   It’s clear she’s had a lot of comfort from our talks and being together, a few “A Ha” moments.  She invariably attributes these to others.  She openly and often expresses gratitude for others who are there for her – and I’m so glad they are.  Deeply grateful for the love surrounding her.  She invariably attributes one of “our A Ha moments” to someone else when she’s recounting to me.

Is it my Ego?  Wanting to feel appreciated some times?  Acknowledged?  Does it really matter who helps her as long as she grows and finds her way?  My egoless self would certainly say that and most of the time I do.  While writing this I just realized – I want to know that she feels like my cherished daughter – a special, not to be duplicated relationship, not me as merely a friend.

We’re extremely close but rarely physically affectionate.  We’re more best friends than Mother-Daughter.  I know that’s appropriate for where we are now but I think I was not a “Mommy” – a consistent safe place – when she was growing up.   I still yearn for that feeling between us, even more as I get further away from the time when it was appropriate.   It’s loudly missing – and has always been missing.  She wasn’t a cuddler, but neither was I.   I missed that as a child and I wasn’t even aware of it.  I certainly would never have given it to my kids.  I was pretty emotionally detached in most ways in the past – from everyone – so that I’m so glad that we’ve been able to sustain the closeness that we have and see it grow as adults.  I guess it’s an intense mother-daughter closeness expressed in the best way that we both know how and are comfortable with.

The first time I can remember “feeling” a hug was when my daughter was about five years old.  My sister and brother-in-law were visiting us from out of town and just leaving our home.  We were in the driveway and my sister hugged me – which she did a lot.  All of a sudden I realized that I was being hugged and especially realized that I wasn’t hugging back.  I did it awkwardly.  It was an emotional milestone in my life that I’ll never forget.  That feeling.   I had always just stood motionless when anyone hugged me.  I got plenty of hugs – from my husband, family, kids – but never felt it until then.  That was the beginning of learning to relish hugs.  My children were about 5, 10 and 13.  I weep for the disconnection I taught them.   I wonder what pain and difficulty attaching they have experienced all of these years.   I’ve watched them as adults and they’re all very physically and emotionally affectionate and connected with their families but that missing part of their childhood  has to have affected them in some pretty deep ways?  Maybe they learned what they don’t want to be?  I’ll start a conversation with them at an appropriate time and hope for healing where needed.  I know from experience that it’s never to late.

Thanks Maya Angelou – once again I say to myself… “When I know better I do better”.  That helps.  And now I hug my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren every chance I get.  And really feel it.

And I’m grateful.