Most of us have a little more home time on our hands with the Corona madness so using this time to reflect could be a cool thing to do. Try this one to start with.
I’ve been reflecting a lot last week about my dear ol’ Ma. She died 18 years ago last Friday. I tend to mull over the last few days of her life when it’s the anniversary of her death. Can’t help it. I also reflect on all the beautiful lessons she taught me. Some of them she left me with were; ‘There are always others worse off than you. Count your blessings’; ‘Always make someone feel welcome. No matter who they are’ and ‘No one likes a drama queen’. Was she talking about me? Pffft. She was full of kindness, warmth and raw honesty.
I am clear about the good stuff she taught me and what I’ve taken into my adult life.
I also reflect over how terrified I was when I was in trouble as a lil’ tacker. Sometimes I would be in my bedroom, up the hallway, and I’d hear all the way from the kitchen, in a loud, bellowing voice;
“GEORGIA! Where are you? Get… here… now!”
Inevitably I’d get caught for something I did or something I was supposed to do. Geez Louise. She was scary when I was in trouble. It wasn’t just me, all my mates were scared of ‘Scary Suzie’ too. My mate Airlie even slept in the cupboard coz she was too scared to ask her if she could have a sleepover. So she slept there until Mum got up and went to work.
Susie, like all humans, had a yin and yang. A good and bad. Light and dark. We all do. The shades can change over time.
What I was not clear about was who she was and what she went through. I learned about her years after she died. I learned that my Mum had a traumatic childhood. Her Mum (my Gran) was a troubled soul. Her mental health led her in and out of mental institutions. Which meant that Mum and her brother Richard were looked after by many. Neighbours, friends and their dear Dad Thomas – who was a butcher and left the house by 5am every morning.
Gran had psychotic episodes that impacted Mum and Richard in a very traumatic way. I won’t share the details but I will say that knowing what my Mum went through I think she’s an amazing woman.
My good friend, author and expert in the DNA of who we are, Alessandra Edwards has taught me how wired we are to our nature. Like it or not we are the DNA of our parents. How we respond to stress and fear can often be handed down. Our nurture experiences (and for some that term would be used loosely) dictate who we are as well. Many of us can see the impact of our parents in positive or negative ways. We can understand the impact of our learned behaviours. The ones we copied or tried to fight against in our childhood.
The Murches did conflict. I was comfortable with conflict. That didn’t always pan out well because my unhealthy version was about winning. That was my nurture. My nature was half my Mum and Dad too. Didn’t go down well when I was in relationships where they were conflict avoiders. I had to relearn how to do it.
The thing is, you can understand the impact parents have on you. But do you go the next step and understand why they were the way they were. Generational patterns are strong. These are the beliefs, fears, habits and patterns that we adopt from our families. They are passed down from their family. Until we create an interrupt.
My Mum had a temper. She would blow her lid. But she never harmed us. She choose to break that pattern. She choose to love us in a way she was not loved. She broke that habit. She choose to apologise when it was necessary. She broke that habit.
I wish I knew her heritage before she left. I would have understood her mood swings and appreciated how courageous she was to change her experiences and choose to step out of victim and into victor.
Understanding where people come from matters. It allows us to sit in their shoes and develop a greater level of compassion and understanding. It also allowed me to forgive. It reminded me of this quote I often see in social media;
Walk a mile in my shoes.
See what I see.
Hear what I hear.
Feel what I feel.
Then maybe you’ll understand.
Why I do what I do.
‘Til then don’t judge me.
If you don’t know your parents or this triggers something then I apologise. This is not my intention. It is merely to reflect on the fact that even those that we look up to – will let us down. Because of their life experiences. So it’s worth thinking about right?!