I recently received an email from a client which touched me deeply, especially given the struggle she has experienced for many years with her narcissistic mother. In recent times, Stephanie finally realised that no matter how much she tried to help her mother, she would never receive what she yearned for—a mother who loved and accepted her. She could clearly see her mother was not destined to change this lifetime.
Stephanie had worked hard to understand her mother and the cruel words and actions her mother had directed towards her. She accepted that her need for connection to her mother had kept her trapped in victimhood. Taking responsibility for this—her role in the relationship—was a powerful stance for Stephanie. Now she was ready to take a further step and, with her permission, below is what she sent me:
I want to share what happened for me today regarding my mother, which I am so happy about. I am hoping this peaceful feeling I now have lasts!
I was thinking of the quote, “In life, you will always be faced with a series of God-ordained opportunities brilliantly disguised as problems and challenges.” I realised we have to experience the opposite side of something to really know what the other side feels like (e.g. sad versus happy). Then I decided to list what I learnt from my mother. I found a photo of her and looked deeply into her eyes. This is what I found:
She showed me the opposite of unconditional love, so I could learn to have unconditional love for myself (which is the most important lesson in life).
She showed me the serious impact on me and anyone who has to deal with a loved one with severe insecurities and a complete lack of self-love. I can see clearly how important self-love is.
She allowed me to find and utilise my real internal strength and resilience very quickly. She taught me to develop and rely on my strong intuition from a young age.
She showed me how compassionate, understanding and loving I am to someone who treated me with the opposite of those qualities.
She showed me that self-absorbed people don’t warrant the time and compassion I gave them, while denying it to myself.
She taught me that I have a right to be honest and to express my needs to others.
She taught me that I am only responsible for myself, no one else.
She taught me that forgiving her, being grateful and loving her just, as she is, sets me free to be more loving and more of who I want to be, instead of being stuck in feeling sad, angry and a victim.
My mother, brilliantly disguised as a narcissistic, sad, highly-insecure, lonely and lost soul, taught me these wonderful gifts. If someone said they could wave a magic wand and take from me all these qualities I have learned and, instead, give me a kind Mum, I would absolutely decline their offer.
Then I remembered The Little Soul and the Sun parable by Neale Donald Walsh which reminds us who we really are.
I felt so grateful to this soul, my Mum, who incarnated into such a heavy, burdened, sad and vengeful body. She did it so I could learn these lessons that I wanted to learn, which made me the amazing, strong, resilient, intuitive and wonderful person that I am, and still becoming.
I owe my Mum so much for who I am, and I feel very emotional and loving toward her now, even though I know that she’s no longer meant to be in my life. Her purpose in my life has been fulfilled and I am eternally grateful.
Thank you Stephanie. I trust you will retain the peace you now feel about the role your mother played in your life. I hope those who read this will be touched, as I have been, by your generosity in sharing your journey, and that anyone with similar challenging loved ones will also find peace.