Monday, May 11, 2009

Unconditional Love and Boundaries

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I needed a day to reflect on what I wanted to say regarding this day of celebration. Today, I found my voice...

Over the years, I have met several Zen Buddhists who were able to live on what I call "the edge." They were able to completely love and trust everyone that they encountered on a day-to-day basis. They appeared to be in a state of bliss. It is unimportant whether or not they used drugs or alcohol to arrive at, or maintain their calm, Zen-like state of being. Where are they now? What are they doing? If they are still Zen-like, where has their life led them? I wonder. Because I am a practical, intuitive, creative person, I find that I cannot be Zen-like for very long. I have moments. They come and go. I cannot trust everyone, but I can love unconditionally—with boundaries.

Within the past week, I experienced several situations that have made me revisit the concept of unconditional love regarding mothers. My mother was wonderful, but she made a lot of choices that were detrimental to my well being. I believe she had good intentions. She was not externally warm and I was a hugging, kissing little girl who always wanting to learn and share what I learned. When I came home from school, I often found her cooking dinner. I sat on the footstool in the kitchen chattering away about what I learned in school, my classmates, and many of the hurts I endured from being different. She listened. Many years later when I asked her about it, she said, "I just let you talk it made you feel better. I guess she never really "heard" what I said or truly understood me, but she did know that I needed to talk—get things off my chest.

She was cut from the mold where you lied to your children to either protect them or get them to behave. I know many people who have raised their children this way. I know she wanted the best for daughters, but I was not like my sister. I have always danced to my own drummer, defied convention and fought for right and wrong--the underdog and in often cases, was the underdog. Because of this, I have always sought the life of service—providing wise guidance to help people heal their wounds. I use my intuitive abilities (often with Tarot cards) and with the guidance of spirits, angels and other helpful entities to make the best choices in my personal life. These guides are always on board to help me provide my clients, and those who I am privileged to read for, with as much information as possible. It is all about making choices. I believe if we approach any conflict or negative situation regarding our mothers with love and understanding, we will at least feel that we have done our best. It is about relating to one another, listening and trying to understand each other’s point of view. Sometime it doesn’t work.

As a daughter, I always wanted to buy a special present for my mother on Mother’s Day. When I asked her what she wanted, she always said, “I want a good girl.” The message that she gave me with that statement made me feel that I was not a good girl and I made Herculean efforts throughout my life to be honest, ethical and more than a good person. It took me a long time to understand her. She used that statement to control me and to get me to do what she wanted me to do. Needless to say, something in side of me fought her tooth and nail. Several years before she died, I asked her what she would like for a Mother’s Day present. She always said, “Save your money.” Once a bookkeeper, always a bookkeeper! When I did buy her presents, I could see how moved she was. Yes, she was raised the same way she raised me.

I learned unconditional love from my cats. No matter how they behave, I love them, forgive them, and treat them beautifully because they are unselfish and know how to give love and comfort. I also love my friends the same way—unconditionally. No matter what choices they may make, or how much we may disagree on various things, we are always there for one another and our differences help us to grow and become better people.

While I would like to love everyone in the world unconditionally, I know I live on the planet earth. It would be very foolish for anyone to love or trust strangers unconditionally. That’s where intuition and common sense come in handy. We really don’t need to love the whole world and all of the creatures on it. We just need to learn to understand and accept our differences. Boundaries help to keep relationships healthy.

Just before my mother died in 1991, I asked her, “When did you finally accept the choices I made for my career?” She replied, “When I knew no matter what I said or did you were going to do what you wanted to do.” I was 38 at the time. Yesterday was Mother's Day. I still love my mother…unconditionally.


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