A Mother’s Love
By Susan Jolley
I’ve always felt the relationship with my Mother was strained. Between daily “constructive criticism” and often bearing the brunt of her anger, regardless of whether it was deserved, I was torn between hating her and being willing to do anything to get her to love me. After years of these interactions I finally gave up; there was absolutely nothing I could ever do to make her accept me, much less love me. Mother’s Day became meaningless to me because every card I picked up was a lie.
Fast forward 35 years later and I was seeing so much of my Mother in me - the anger, the depression, the insecurities, wanting my life to just end - that I realized I had to do something. I was determined not to be like her. This started my journey of self-healing. I began making jewelry simply because I could never find anything that I really liked and somehow was always drawn to crystals. Then I started investigating the healing properties of the crystals that I was drawn to over and over again. Every single time their meanings were “right on” and shed some light on my past.
Fast forward again another 12 years or so and my feelings and attitude towards my Mother have changed drastically. What I have learned, and unequivocally believe, is that you can only teach someone else what you know. I saw my Mother with new eyes. Just as I had seen her in me, I saw me in her. Her mother was no peach, I had known that for years, but what I realized was that my Mother was the same injured and abused child that I was. With that realization, I realized that in turn, so was my Grandmother. That was the very moment that I was able to release the anger, bitterness, blame and hatred I felt towards both my Mother, Grandmother and all previous generations of women in my family.
This healing process has not been an easy one. The anger did not simply go away overnight, and I couldn’t understand why my Mother didn’t try to change the circumstances that made her feel so horrible. I came to realize my Mother’s lack of self-confidence and her fear of making a mistake stopped her from changing this cycle passed down through each generation in my family. If I was going to change this history, I had to let the anger change to acceptance. Not acceptance of the issues we had, but of the fact that she did the very best she could, that this was the only way she knew to show me love. I did not have to agree or like it, I just needed to understand it so I could move on.
Today, my anger has been replaced with acceptance, my frustration with patience, my lack of understanding with compassion and forgiveness, and my hatred with love and gratitude. My Mother did the job she was spiritually contracted to do by providing me with the lessons necessary to move me to the point that I am at in my life - knowing that my calling is to help others move through similar experiences and heal. This is not to say that she cannot push any buttons because she can. What has changed is what I see, how I interpret, and how I react in those moments.
Throughout my journey several crystals helped me reach the place that I am at today: Rhodochrosite (love); Chrysoprase (compassion); Pink Calcite (forgiveness); Chrysocolla (understanding, gratitude and anger); Howlite (patience, anger and grounding); Narmada River Shiva Lingam (letting go), and Apache Tears (grief and loss). I created and carry my own Mother’s pouch with these crystals to help me remember my lessons. I hope that through my Mother’s love for me and my journey, you will be able to find new ways of expressing your love for your mothers. However unconventional, she has been and is truly a blessing in my life. For my Mother, I love you and am so grateful to you for the sacrifices you made to get me where I am today. I have been blessed.