Sometimes it takes a crisis to get to the deeper parts of our emotions. I’m not sure why this is the case, I just know that it is.
My friend often told me she had no real feelings of caring for her mother, however the fact that she mentioned it several times indicated it might not be her complete truth. She has insisted that she’s dealt with the feelings through her yoga class and she truly does not care one way or another. In fact, it might be easier if her mom would just die suddenly. Not that she thought that was feasible, but hey, you never know.
I’d been spending one day a week with my friend’s mother and we’d developed quite a nice friendship. Part of my mission was to keep an eye on her obviously declining memory and report any findings to the family. The past few weeks brought some noticeable progressions. Then, my friend called and told me her mom had taken a fall. Both eyes blackened, the staff at the independent senior housing complex where she resides tried to put the pieces together to determine what had happened. Not that it mattered terribly, because this was indeed that sign we’d been waiting for. THE sign, that told us without a doubt that she was in need of more care than she’d been receiving.
It was then my friend was open to the possibility that perhaps there was some underlying “stuff” that prevented her from loving her mother unconditionally. The fall provided a window to a vulnerability she saw in her mom which in turn bred compassion within her. In an instant, she let bygones be bygones and had a desire to be there for her and form a new connection. It did not need to contain any elements from the past, it was time to forge a relationship based on the women they are at this moment in time.
There’s no reason to wonder if this could have happened sooner; it didn’t. What we can take away for ourselves however, is an assessment of our relationships, especially the ones we think we have an indifference to. In my experience, indifference does not really exist, it’s more of resistance to truth. We’d rather not have to face the possibility of forgiving someone or something, so we call it “I don’t care” and try to move on. But it’s always there, lurking in the seedy underbelly of our most stubborn emotional impediment.
My advise? Well, as a coach, I’m not really that great at giving advise, but I can offer an invitation for you to find your truth. We sometimes fear the truth will hurt too much, but it’s the opposite that is true. Ignoring the truth is what really hurts.