In their loving zest to sacrifice everything and do the best by their children, mothers often make mistakes that require both parties to seek healing on different levels. Children do not come with a manual but sometimes, life does scream to allow the ebb and flow of the waves to have its way. It is nice to have a vision, hopes, dreams, aspirations, and all of those other wonderful words that come to mind when the future is pictured for a parent. However, the child may have a different view for herself as to what will happen in his or her life. An agreement may not be reached but love and respect must endure and envelope the relationship.
The generation that gave birth to the free spirits, liberated souls, and modern thinkers, did not have the luxury of doing what they wanted or so they thought. They did what was expected: get married, have kids, please your husband. There wasn’t an understanding of living life on your own terms or making yourself a priority. Many of us our now approaching our prime and rock our own grooves; however, there is tension between us and the ones that gave us life. The major tool of conditioning has been the damaging negative comments that ring so very loudly in our ears. Let us start with the touchy subject of our body image and how it affects our mothers.
Bellydance used to be my way of life. There wasn’t a single event on the planet that had a bellydancer in it that I did not know about. I often wore a midrift and long extended pants to class. It was not that long ago when I had an uncomfortable ear full from my mother about the size of my plump stomach.
“You know, your belly was exposed. And it was big…”. The tone that was used to describe my belly made me feel bad. The artform embraces women of all shapes and sizes and I was happy to be what I was. My size was not an issue; however, it was an issue for my mother. I was told that I should not dance in front of people and that bellydance was not helping me lose weight. I found all of this to be quite strange because I started dancing to find out more about other cultures and beliefs. Weight loss was far from my mind. Pilates changed that.
My body changed dramatically. I dropped water, pounds, and energy vampires. People were stopping me in the streets over how amazing my body looked. My mother said, “You have come a long way but you still have a lot of work to do…”. Thank goddess that I learned a long time ago, the hard way, that you have to do things to please yourself. If other people like it, WONDERFUL! If not, then that is not your problem. I was not changing my body for my mother’s approval which meant that her comments did not hold much weight except for the fact that she is my mother. How does one deal with the constant barrage of, you should do this because that is what I did?