My relationship with my Mom is so strained. She is always up in my business, telling me things like how to parent (when her other two kids other kids are not successful contributing members of society), or what I should be eating (when she is overweight herself). She doesn’t give me space. When we are with my adult daughter, who I don’t get to see often, she hogs all the time with her and I don’t get any, then she wonders why I don’t invite her when my daughter and I go on vacation together. I feel so angry and have a lot of resentment and rage building up. She is really a nice person who does so much for others. She would be devastated and absolutely couldn't handle it if I told her how much she is bothering me but I’m seething inside. What do I do?
The first and most important thing to do is to take care of yourself. Here’s a meditation on Healing Relationship Tension that I suggest doing at least a few times to begin the process of clearing up any emotional baggage between the two of you. And this can be done with any loved one (I highly recommend it with any difficult people in your life like family, bosses, teachers, etc. I’ve seen amazing shifts happen when people do this meditation. Even when the other person has had no contact changes happen within the relationship and for self esteem that have far reaching positive effects.) and this can be done for healing whether the other individual is still alive or deceased.
Know that in order to really take care of yourself you have to let go of responsibility for someone else. Talk to them about this tension that their behavior creates. Whether they can hear it or not, whether they can “take it” or not is not your responsibility. Their behaviors have consequences and the cause and effect are there. Whether they can handle that fact is not your problem. As long as you are holding onto your feelings you are holding onto their ability to take ownership and heal through their issues. You are doing them a disservice by protecting them from themselves, the consequences of their actions. This is exactly like someone who enables a drug addict to keep using. Other people are addicted to stepping over boundaries and you’re giving them another fix every time they violate yours and you do not stand up for yourself. If the violations continue to occur steeper consequences are in order: “I will have to visit or call you less often or not at all if this continues to happen. I can’t let someone treat me this way.” WHOA! Think about the message you’re now sending out into the Universe for how you want to be treated and the energy you want to allow in your life! The Universe sees this and responds. The amount of love you give yourself is how much love you’ll receive from the world around you... and how self-loving is it when you push out all unloving aspects from your energy field and life!?!
Know this: the Universe will respond, but at first you will be challenged. The Universe wants to see if you really mean it. As you start to get comfortable with upholding your own healthy boundaries the same person or others in your life with try to overstep them, giving you more opportunities to prove this new level of love for yourself. Take the challenge every time. In the times you slip up be gentle and forgiving with yourself (it did take a lifetime to get this way didn’t it? It won’t be healed overnight). Think of this as your Spirit’s wish to be made stronger. You Spirit knows you need to keep practicing the exercise of setting boundaries to gain the strength you need to to permanently change the energy you’ve been carrying with you all this time and make a new normal. Your new normal will be to draw people and experiences to your life that make you feel respected, honored even, and reinforce the new beliefs that “What I want matters,” and “My feelings are important (just as much as anyone else’s).” This is the type of experience you want to create in life, but you have to prove it by putting in the effort and work it takes in your relationships to command and demand this for you. If you don’t no one else will.
After doing the Healing Relationship Tension Imagery exercise for setting healthy boundaries mentioned above try this Spirit Letter exercise and model the conversation you want to have with her after it. Don’t feel like a coward if you prefer to write in a letter, email or text rather than talk at first, especially if you’re afraid of losing your cool. Sometimes it is better to start off writing and end with talking. You may also want to do the Relationship/Boundary Strengthening exercise multiple times before and after this conversation, if you choose to have one. Find out why and how imagery works for inner healing, personal development and even relationship repair here.
Worth noting: Isn’t it interesting that her lack of boundaries with you is a mirrored reflection of your own lack of boundaries for yourself? She may not consciously know it, but she’s here to teach you to learn how to set healthy boundaries through her lack of them.
Here are some affirmations you may want to adopt or adapt to heal through this situation:
I deserve respect and privacy
I don’t need to rebel to have my needs met
Blocking myself off and holding my wants in is not the answer - I choose to be open
I choose openness, authenticity and honesty
I am only responsible for showing up fully, authentically and with love - God will take care of the rest (and help others take care of what is theirs)
God only gives me enough grace to carry my own burdens
I lay down the burdens of everyone else (responsibility for their feelings or what they can handle)
Protecting others enables them to continue living without consequence or responsibility for their actions
If I am holding onto responsibility for others (feelings) they cannot take responsibility for themselves or heal through tit themselves
I reclaim my birthright to openness
I reclaim my birthright to opportunities that rightfully belong to me
I reclaim my birthright to the connection I’ve been missing out on
I reclaim my birthright to developing healthy and open relationships with people (with my loved ones)
I am willing to release the need for closing myself off in life
I am willing to release the need for taking care of everyone before myself (especially this person - she/he is not my responsibility);
I am willing to release the need for putting everyone else first
I am willing to release the need for saving people from themselves (the natural consequences of their choices)
It is safe to stand up for myself
I am standing up for myself