Podcast: How to Have a Loving Relationship with Your Mom

Also available on iTunes, listen here.

 

 

A woman from New Orleans struggles with her mother’s decision to be friends with a man who has served prison time for rape and who assaulted her when she was a child. Her mother wants to spend time with him because she feels he adds value to her life. “When you are arguing with your mom,” Katie says, “are you adding value to your life or her life? It’s war. Defense is the first act of war. “And in fact, through no choice of your mother’s, the man is no longer in her life. You wanted him out of her life and you have that, but it’s not doing much for you, because you’re feeling betrayed by your mom. He’s fallen out of her life, and you’re still holding onto your resentment. The pain of the past is over, and it appears in the mind as images, as though it were real. This problem has to be kept alive in your mind in order to be a problem. And it’s held at your own expense. “You have to be there at that moment,” Katie says, “in that place, sitting there with your mother when she’s saying she wants him in her life. Identify and collect what you were thinking and believing in that moment. Those beliefs are the ones that caused the feelings of resentment, hatred, rage, and betrayal. When you question these thoughts, you’re questioning the cause of all of those emotions and your separation from your mother. “It’s huge to finally understand not only the cause of all our suffering, but how to identify the specific thought. That’s such a gift.” What I love about the past is: it’s over.

 

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1 comment

  1. I kept thinking, as Katie asked this lovely woman whether it was really her in her memories of the rape, about all the neuroscience and social science research out there about how memory is constructed, malleable, easily manipulated, and at base a false record.

    All these clear and replicated results in these studies, and I’ve never heard a researcher say, “this means that trauma you remember is likely mostly a fictitious memory, an untrue story you re-tell and you morph with each retelling. You are hereby absolved from having to believe that it ever happened that way.” I am deeply grateful to Katie for being the one who does say that.

    And I think about a fatal motorcycle accident that unfolded in front of me six years ago as I was waiting to turn off of a busy highway, and how I was so sure of what I saw because it even unfolded in slow motion (and utter silence) 15 feet in front of my jeep. From a place of deep shock, I attempted to be helpful in the aftermath, I waited for investigators and gave my “testimony” to an officer who dutifully wrote everything down. The next day when I read the news reports, I was stunned, completely stunned to realize how I had gotten two huge details of the accident completely wrong (in fact, I still cling to the belief that I am right about one of them, which makes me laugh in this moment.)

    It is such a gift to release any belief in the infallibility of memory. One of the minor but many gifts of the Work. Thank you, Katie.

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