27 Jan A fairer family fight
Family arguments can feel like the worst pain.
On one hand, you have loved this person most of your life. As a mother, she has done many things to sustain your life and nurture your development.
And now you’re – *gasp*– disagreeing with her.
And yet, when you start to explain your perspective, she doesn’t listen. Or she looks like she listens, and then returns to her same argument. You may go round in circles for months or years. You feel misunderstood. You want to get along, but you also want to make your own life choices.
Narrow down the issue to the root of the disagreement. Gauge where you stand on the particular topic. Yes, it may be tempting to want to agree so that everyone can easily get along. But when you take the time to truly connect deep within, you will start to feel what you truly want for your life, what is more in accordance with your values, and what you would be happiest choosing. You may already have made this choice years ago, and now may be your time to consider any additional helpful info on it, and then make your choice.
Once you have observed the possibilities, and found what your true centre of your being / your soul / your inner wisdom want for your life, commit to this being your decision for you. You can change and adapt down the track, as you readjust, but for the time being, this is the decision you’ve made, and this is your commitment.
If you have made a choice that is different to how your mother lived, this may be confronting for her. She may think that your choice reflects poorly on how she raised you and if only she’d done a better job, you would’ve been just like her. Or she may think that your new lifestyle is a threat to hers, or means that she made poor choices when raising you, or it may bring to the foreground her current lifestyle choices. For example, if you’re enjoying whole foods and your family raised you on pastries and cakes, and you decline to participate with them now, that may uncover a whole raft of guilt and emotions and perhaps denial.
But in reality, none of this is true. Put simply, you are a different human being, with a different life and set of experiences, and you are exercising your free will to make a different choice at this moment.
THE TALK – 1
Thank her. Thank her for raising you to have your own opinions, values and free will to make your own decisions. Remind her that as two individuals you will never agree on everything (eg, you may have a favourite outfit she doesn’t like, or one of you loves celery and the other can’t stand it).
All that she can do is respect your choices, and hopefully accept them.
THE TALK – 2
Continue to firmly assert your choice and independence.
If it is going well, you may see if she is open to hearing your reasons for the last time.
LET GO TOGETHER
Agree to not talk about it again. Tell her that for the relationship between the two of you to continue to flourish, you cannot continue to tempt each other with this particular topic. You have already talked this topic round in circles, and you need to progress.
LET GO ON YOUR OWN
Regardless of the outcome of how she has responded, you need to clear the air on your side as much as possible.
Some options for this are: free writing in a journal, writing a letter that is not sent, writing your thoughts and then symbolically or ritually destroying the paper so as to release it, a visualisation meditation, a yoga practice dedicated to letting go.
Contact me here to learn more about setting boundaries and expressing yourself.