By Suzanne E. Harrill
I laugh sometimes at the healing process that
continues in my life. As a weekly assignment in a self-discovery
class I am enrolled in, I learned I am to journal write about my
inner experiences each week. I sat there with deep feelings of
satisfaction for my life and thinking, "My life is great
right now. I am so grateful for all the wonderful inner work I
have done over the years." I was wondering what I would
write about as I was not feeling any motivation. I have spent
many hours over the years journaling, which helped me heal and
process my beliefs and feelings. I normally write when something
is troubling me. At this stage in my life, I am enjoying that I
can usually get to the bottom of things quickly now without
writing. So when I sent the thought out, "I wonder what I
will write about this week?" I had to smile when I answered
my phone the next day.
I laughed to myself when my oldest daughter
started into a conversation about her therapy session that day.
She had had a major insight involving me, one where I negatively
influenced her at age nine. While she started talking, I knew I
would have something to write about for my class assignment. I
got the cosmic humor even though it was painful to hear. Next
week I think Iíll send out the message, "I am willing to
write about something more philosophical or my reaction to
watching the news."
I value my grown children being able to
approach me and bring up unresolved issues, probably for two
reasons. First, I am trained and have been a counselor and
marriage and family therapist for much of my adult life, and
second, I would have liked a relationship with my own mother
where I could have talked about our issues. I know now it takes
a lot of ego strength and letting go of the ego to handle a
grown child expressing these things.
If there is one area of my consciousness
where I still beat myself up for not being perfect, it is in my
parenting. I can do a pretty good job looking at my younger self
and critiquing her for her unawareness and her mistakes. But
this conversation with my daughter was a big one for me and an
opportunity for my healing, as well as hers.
Watching myself be uncomfortable during the
start of our conversation, I immediately felt guilty and ashamed
at the incident my daughter reminded me of that took place 25
years ago. As I reacted, I wanted to defend myself and justify
my behavior, find a good excuse in order to get me "off the
hook." Luckily, I watched my internal dialogue and mainly
listened and validated my daughterís experience. I am proud of
myself for not immediately trying to "fix" things,
which is not what the situation required and was not in my
power. The conversation ended well, with my daughter
acknowledging that she appreciated that I made it feel safe for
her to say the things she needed to express. We definitely are
going to a new level with our relationship.
Today, as I write, I am very pensive about
this humbling experience where I have to look at my not so
perfect side. I do forgive myself intellectually, knowing I did
the best I could do at the time with my level of awareness. Yet,
I am working on shifting my feeling forgiveness to the emotional
level. It helps to face the fact that I had some negative
affects on my daughter ─ the worst thing in my mind that I
could do ─ and that it is okay that I was not a perfect
parent and that I am still a good person.
What does a mother do when she finds herself
in this predicament? It is important to honestly look at the
thoughts, actions, behaviors, and beliefs of the past. Admit
that, yes, there were negative affects, yet, emphasize the
positive intention behind the whole parenting experience. As a
young parent, I loved and wanted the best for each of my
children. I would never have set out on purpose to hurt any of
them. I know this in my heart of hearts. Knowing this helps me
get in touch with my younger self and love her. I have
compassion and understanding that she did not have the awareness
I have today or the wisdom available at that time to do anything
other than what she did.
Next, I remind myself of higher truths, such
as each soul is on a journey of creativity, experience, and
expansion, evolving to greater heights of awareness and
enlightenment, including my daughterís. Each of us, myself
included, is responsible for healing our past, becoming self
consciously aware, getting in touch with our reason for being
here and expressing our gifts and developing our talents. The
process of self-discovery, self-inquiry, and inner work bring
healing and integration for our consciousness. Wholeness is
remembered and experienced as we go on this inner healing
journey, whether from the perspective of the wounded parent who
passed on unintentional negativity or as the child who
experienced the effect of the limited awareness level of the
parent. Sometimes experiencing both perspectives serves our
greater awareness. Another truth is that no one can give another
awareness or enlightenment; we each are on the journey of
returning and remembering who we really are, reawakening
individually. Each of us who is aware we are on this journey
have to accept we cannot heal our grown children, as each must
do that for his/herself in the right time and under the right
Now, I come to the most powerful part of the
healing process of what to do if I judge and criticize my
parenting of the past. To further the healing, I update negative
thoughts and beliefs about myself. I talk to myself with the
light of higher understanding, love, and power with the truth.
It is helpful to remember that to change our consciousness, we
must feel deeply and affirm as if each updated belief is already
true and operating in our lives. This expands our consciousness
to receive and experience the new reality. I conclude this
article with the following affirmations I wrote for myself after
my conversation with my daughter.
I love and accept myself right now and
send healing, supportive energy to my overwhelmed, younger
I stop judging the inadequacies of my
I release the habit of being judgmental
towards myself today and forever more.
I realize I am human and know I make
mistakes and that they are the result of unawareness, not
I learn from all my mistakes and unwise
I have always had good intentions for my
daughters and like that in myself.
I celebrate my close relationship with
all three of my daughters.
I am joyful each is on her path and
taking responsibility to heal herself.
I accept each daughterís love,
forgiveness, humor, and support.I release all judgments,
shame, blame, and criticism towards myself for shortcomings,
now or in the past.
I am blessed to be a mother and to have
each of my daughters in my life.
I gain clarity daily on how to be in a
positive relationship with each individual daughter and to
support each oneís highest good.I correct, apologize, and
make amends when appropriate with each daughter.
I listen to my grown children more
intently so I can be with each as they grow and unfold.
I smile inside as I see each of my
relationships with my grown children blossom and grow.
I know I am a good mother.