It’s taken me a while to follow up the post about my mom meeting my kids for the first time. I think I was waiting for something grand to happen. Like an emotional break through, an epiphany, or some other drama to occur.
But it didn’t.
With all the anticipatory emotions rolling around inside my head and heart, the actual experience of my children meeting my mom was uneventful. It was sweet, and I needed it to happen.
(I’m sure why I was riding a roller coaster of feelings was due to the last two times I ever saw my mom there was turmoil: 1. When she left me alone at the restaurant, and 2. When my brother and I flew to Colorado to figure out what to do with her in a week’s time.)
As the days grew closer to our family leaving for Colorado I just wanted to be there already. I felt like a dancer on the wings of the stage waiting to go out into the spotlight. There was nothing more I could do to prepare. A sense of calmness actually encapsulated me. I was comfortable with whatever would happen. I trusted the process.
My mom and I had spoken about us visiting, and she was excited. We were/are at a peaceful place in our relationship. I’m pretty sure we’ll never speak about the hardships of the past. I don’t need to bring them up, like I shared before – I was prepared for her death. I processed those unresolved issues without her presence years ago. If she wants to bring something up, then I’m game.
Still, it was awkward and joyous at the same time when my mom met my children. But those are feelings. And we have the capability to feel more than one emotion at a time.
Surprisingly, something else popped out of this whole experience. What interested me was other people’s reactions. Many asked what I was hoping for, or what I wanted to change out of this visit. While the idea of hope is nice, it’s not helpful to place expectations on myself or anyone else. I almost cringed whenever someone asked what I was hoping for.
It was always said with well-intentions. That’s not the issue. It’s that we (as humans) have a habit of placing expectations on ourselves and others. It’s probably why so many people are unhappy with where they’re at in life – always hoping for a better tomorrow.
The practice of yoga, along with years of therapy, has opened me up to observing myself. Looking inward without placing labels like “good” or “bad” hasn’t been easy, but it’s happening! The encounters proved to me how I didn’t place expectations on myself, my children, my husband, or even my mom.
Being able to observe the feelings; being curious why they’re there is healthy. When we constantly deflect, or look to others as the problem, then we stunt our own growth. Challenging times create transformation. I am the nurturer, loving, and courageous woman I am because of my mom.