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When Mothers Forgive Themselves: Tips for Adult Daughters on Not Getting What You (Still!) Want

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February 11th, 2021

By Robin Rainbow Gate

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

At this moment, I’m receiving a priceless gift: the forgiveness, acceptance and redemption that came to my foremothers in the full bloom of their sixties is arriving at my doorstep. I see the ancestors, the women of my lineage and soul community walking en masse, bringing message and meaning.

Each step heavy with the solidity of woman, of earth, of love.

I’m making them some campfire hot chocolate right now, in welcome.

While it heats up let me tell you a little story…

Mother work

A friend who is a decade my junior is struggling with the relationship she has with her mother. “Sue” wants to talk about her experiences of the past, and her mom doesn’t respond in ways that make my friend feel heard. Sue feels frustration and grief: if her mom would listen and validate her feelings, Sue would feel closer with her mom. As it is, her mom doesn’t want to “go there.” She says she’s forgiven herself. My friend receives this as shutting a door on intimacy with her daughter.

Sound familiar? I sure recognize and remember all that.

My mom died four years ago. During her last two years on the planet, I felt moved to go and be with her for two six month stretches.

That was among the hardest and biggest and best things I ever did.

I had spent my entire life (from the age of about four) distancing myself from and specifically not trusting my mother. I felt hatred and anger toward her, and placed much blame on her. You know how therapy is good for stoking that fire. Well, mine was.


Also by Robin Rainbow Gate:

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