Thursday, December 16, 2004
ďInteracting with a Difficult MotherĒ
Participants: Mary (Michael) and Terri.
(Eliasí arrival time is 15 seconds.)
ELIAS: Good morning!
TERRI: Good morning.
ELIAS: (Chuckles) And what shall we discuss?
TERRI: Well, I have many things to discuss.
ELIAS: Very well.
TERRI: Iíve been studying Seth for a long time, so Iíve had questions that, of course, I could never ask him. One of the main things today that Iíd like to talk about Ė well, four main things Ė my father, my mother, my kids and my career. I think that they are all tied in together, especially with my parents and why I chose them, and whatís going on with them, especially with my mother. I donít understand why she is the way she is, why I chose her specifically, and what Iím supposed to learn from her.
ELIAS: Offer explanation. What is your concern in association with your mother or your confusion?
TERRI: I guess my confusion is that I donít really feel like she has been much of a mother. I donít understand why everything she does seems to be something purposely to hurt my feelings, almost like sheís jealous of me. Iíve always thought that maybe when I came along, my father showed me more attention, or she never wanted kids, or that she is just jealous of who I am and what Iíve become. Every time she gets a chance to kind of cut me down, she takes it. I donít know if sheís conscious of it or not, but I donít feel like I even want to have any connection with her for the rest of the time sheís here. Iím wondering how thatís effecting everything else.
ELIAS: And what do you see?
TERRI: As far as...?
ELIAS: How that is affecting of other situations.
TERRI: I think that one of the reasons I chose them and my situation was to focus on learning to love unconditionally while Iím here. I guess I feel that if sheís a big part of that lesson and Iím not able to do that, then somehow Iím not learning what Iíve come here to learn.
TERRI: But I donít want to. I donít want to learn to love her unconditionally. (Laughs)
ELIAS: And it is not necessary.
Let me express to you, as you are aware, you enter physical focus and you do choose the individuals that shall be your family members, and that choice is purposeful Ė not necessarily in the black and white manner that you are perceiving it, that you should be learning to love unconditionally. But in choices such as this with the relationship of yourself and your mother, it is not necessarily expressed to offer you that information, but to generate experiences that allow you to become much more familiar with yourself and what triggers certain automatic responses within you.
Also, there is a strong presentment of difference, which is purposeful. For especially within this time framework, it is significant that you are aware of differences and allow yourself to move into an acceptance of those differences, but also being aware of your own preferences and allowing yourself the freedom to hold to your preferences and to express them. All of this is quite purposeful in generating experiences which emphasize all of these actions and move you into a position of becoming much more intimately familiar with you and with your beliefs, with your truths and with your preferences.
Acceptance may be expressed without agreement. It may also be expressed and you may not necessarily like what is being accepted. That may appear strange initially, but in this, you may recognize differences in other individuals in how they express themselves and the behaviors that they incorporate. You may be accepting of that, recognizing the differences and not necessarily liking them. Liking or disliking is not an association with acceptance. Acceptance is not synonymous with liking.
Now; in this, as you view and interact with the behaviors and expressions of this individual, it offers you the opportunity to become much more aware intimately with yourself and what your preferences actually are, and that offers you more choices and more clarity. You may accept that this individual incorporates differences from yourself, and perhaps those differences are such that you do not prefer them. That does not mean that you cannot be accepting of the other individualís expressions and choices, but that you prefer not to be incorporating them or interacting with them. That is not wrong.
But I may also express to you, you are correct that there is an element of what you are presenting to yourself that you have not clearly evaluated yet, which is the reason that you have chosen to be engaging conversation with myself to offer yourself more information and more clarity, which is your choice. That does influence other expressions in your focus. For in not recognizing what your truths and your preferences are and in not understanding what is being triggered within you in association with your beliefs with regard to how another individual may express themselves, in a manner of speaking you place yourself at a disadvantage. That disadvantage is expressing merely automatic responses rather than allowing yourself the freedom to incorporate more choices. For in the expression of automatic responses, you do not view that you incorporate any other choices, and you do, but that moves you into a position of viewing much of your reality as black and white, and it is not. Recognize also that your truths, as you may be aware, are merely beliefs that you have generated into absolutes.
Now; this is not necessarily bad, either. It is limiting, if you are unaware of what your truths are. But remember, your truths are your guidelines. Your truths are what you incorporate as your individual guidelines of how you steer yourself through your focus, how you behave, how you choose not to behave, how you express yourself, how you choose not to express yourself and what you value. Therefore, they are significant. But in shifting and in the attempt to be avoiding conflict and trauma, it is important to be recognizing and evaluating your truths, and understanding that they are relevant to you, but they are not actually true or absolute. Therefore, they may not necessarily be relevant to other individuals.
Another factor in this scenario with this other individual that is quite significant is that of which I have expressed of triggers that are expressed within you, in association with how the other individual is expressing or behaving. For this occurs in association with your own beliefs and with your own discounting of self and doubt of self.
The other individual cannot be affecting of you if you are not allowing that. Generally speaking, individuals allow affectingnesses, for that offers you an opportunity to become more familiar with what you are expressing within yourself. Every individual that you interact with reflects some element of you in their expressions. If they are not reflecting some element of you, you shall not be drawing them into your reality. This physical reality that you incorporate is quite precise and not accidental. All that you do within your reality is purposeful and immaculately precise. Every individual that you interact with you specifically draw to yourself to reflect some element of yourself.
Now; understand that reflecting is not mirroring. Reflecting may occur in many, many different manners. As an example, you may draw an individual to yourself and may generate a conflicting interaction with the individual. The reflection that is occurring may not necessarily be an expression of some discounting of yourself in some manner. It may be that you draw in a certain scenario that expression to yourself to allow yourself to view your own automatic responses and what other choices you may incorporate. Therefore, reflection is not necessarily always as clear, so to speak, as a mirroring action. But every interaction that you incorporate is some type of a reflection, and you also reflect to other individuals continuously, for they draw you to their reality also.
Now; what is your assessment in association with this information of your interaction, or your lack of interaction, with this individual, and how that may also be associated with other interactions that you incorporate?
TERRI: I think thatís quite accurate, and I think Iíve been aware of that and tried to keep it in mind. But I canít quite get to the point where it doesnít affect me. I feel like Iím always stuck and going around in circles, because even though I look at my beliefs dealing with her and how I react and try to keep in mind that... I do use the term ďmirror,Ē so the difference between mirror and reflection is very helpful, because I always go back to why is that bothering me so much, why canít I just accept her for who she is, and not let it get to me?
The things she does seem so purposeful an attack. The fact that sheís my mother on top of it comes into play, because then it generates all the other emotions Ė that sheís never really been a mother to me, and I donít feel that she gives back to me as a mother should Ė so that comes on top of it, and I feel like I just canít get out from underneath it.
ELIAS: I am understanding. Beliefs concerning roles in family relationships are very strong. But that is wherein your freedom lies, in the examination of those beliefs and recognizing that they are beliefs and that they are influencing. But every belief incorporates many influences, not merely one. Therefore, you may choose what influences you more prefer.
In this, there are strong beliefs concerning the role of a mother, how they should behave, what they should do and what they should not do. As I have expressed, those become generated into absolutes, and they become your truths. But they are not true, and they are not necessarily applicable to every individual, for they are not absolutes, and individuals do not always behave in the manner that is expected in association with your truths. Recognizing that they are YOUR truths, that they are YOUR guidelines for how you prefer to behave but that they are not actually true, and therefore are not necessarily applicable to other individuals, allows you much more freedom.
Now; let us engage an examination. Offer an example of a scenario in which you engage your mother, and she may express in a manner which is conflicting to you.
TERRI: I can think of the most recent one, that was kind of the straw that broke the camelís back and that makes me just not want to deal with her ever again, which had to do with a letter she received from a real estate agent concerning a small piece of land that my grandmother owned and evidently still owned. As a real estate agent, she wanted me to look up how much it would be worth. So I did the background work for her and told her that if she gave me the agentís name and number on the letter, I would call the agent and see what they had in mind. She said no, she was going to have her brother do that, who is a law enforcement person and has nothing to do with real estate. I said, ďYou realize I do this for a living,Ē and she said, ďI think it would be better coming from a man.Ē So, to me, she has no respect for my ability as a real estate agent and that I do this every day, and she knows this because she works in real estate, too. She has no trust or faith in me that I can do my own job. So I donít feel a need to ever talk to her again.
ELIAS: Which would be your choice.
Now; in this, what actually occurred within you? What do you...
TERRI: I became very angry. It replayed a bunch of other incidents from before, and basically I came to the conclusion that she is not going to change. Sheís just going to keep attacking me, and I donít want to have to put up with that every time I think of dealing with her, that itís going to be like another stab in my back. I donít want to go through that for the rest of the time that she is alive. I want to detach from that and not have to put myself in a position to feel those feelings of anger every time I have to deal with her.
ELIAS: But what is actually occurring within you? I am not...
TERRI: Well, anger.
ELIAS: Yes, that is one. What is anger? Anger is a signal. Every signal is associated with a message. Emotions are communications. They are not reactions. The signal is anger. The message that you are expressing to yourself in that association with the anger is that you incorporate no choices in that moment. You also are expressing defense, which is an automatic response that you incorporate Ė not that defense in itself is an automatic response, but it is an automatic response with you.
Now; what necessitates defense?
TERRI: Past experience. Itís like every time I talk to her, I give her another chance. And every time she...
ELIAS: Stop! Stop! Your expression ďevery time I talk with her, I give her another chance.Ē What are you doing? You are generating, first of all, expectations, and in those expectations, you are generating the expression that the other individual shall change their behavior or their expression, and that they shall change that to fit YOUR beliefs. This is an example of truths. Although truths, in recognizing them, may be liberating, in not recognizing them they may be quite limiting and even conflicting.
Now; your truth concerning behavior is that it should be expressed in a particular manner, one that you view to be encouraging, reinforcing and nice. But that is YOUR definition of encouraging and nice. Another individual may incorporate a very different definition.
In offering the other individual ďanother chance,Ē what you are actually doing is discounting the other individual, expressing the judgment that they are wrong in what they are doing. You discount yourself also, for you are creating the scenario. Therefore, what you are setting into motion is another expression of discounting yourself, that you cannot create what you want, and discounting yourself in generating the reflection that you are not good enough yet. In not recognizing your truth, what you do is express automatic responses: defense, irritation, blame and an automatic push.
This is the reason that it is significant to evaluate what the triggers are and what your truths are. For you may choose to not engage any interaction with this individual for the remainder of your focus, and you may incorporate no interaction and no expression of engaging this individual, in your terms, ever again. But the beliefs continue to be expressed. Therefore, it matters not whether it be that individual or any other individual. As you draw those types of expressions to yourself, your irritation shall continue, merely in a different manner. You are not eliminating beliefs.
The point of this shift is to be accepting beliefs, and as I have stated, accepting is not synonymous with liking or with agreement. It is not necessary to agree to be accepting. You may recognize differences, and you may be accepting of those differences and not necessarily like them. That is the reason that you incorporate your own differences, for they are preferred.
In this scenario, what are you discounting within yourself?
TERRI: I donít really understand discounting. You mean what am I saying, that Iím not good enough?
ELIAS: Yes. What truth are you expressing within yourself that continues to be triggered?
The truth that continues to be triggered is not an over-all blanket discounting of yourself that you are not good enough in any expression or area, but your truth that continues to be expressed is that you, as an individual, are not good enough in association with this one individual, for if you were, the individual would be expressing differently.
TERRI: Well, I think itís that Iím not good enough to love. It goes through everything in my life. (Emotionally) I donít feel, with my father killing himself, that he felt that I was good enough to love, and with him doing that, I donít feel that Iím good enough to love by any other man out there.
ELIAS: (Very gently) Now; let me express to you, my friend, in genuineness, this is not true. You are not responsible for the choices and the actions and the behaviors of other individuals. You are responsible for you. You do not generate the choices or the reality for any other individual. They create their reality, just as you create your reality.
In this, no individual is responsible for another individualís choice to disengage. That is their own choice and is expressed in association with their own reasons and their own value fulfillment. But this is a significant example that you are offering to yourself of how strong an expressed truth may be and how affecting it may be.
But let me express to you that you are engaging merely one influence of this belief. In this, you are measuring yourself by the belief in its absoluteness Ė the belief that in particular roles, individuals should be expressing in specific manners. If you incorporate the role of a mother, you should be expressing in specific manners with regard to your children. If you are expressing the role of a father, you should also be expressing in specific manners.
In this, one of the manners that parents should be expressing is being responsible for their children, and in that responsibility to their children, their role should be to be encouraging, nurturing and supportive, and quite definitely loving. Their responsibility to their children should be to care for them. In this, if these individuals do not measure to those particular standards, they are failing, and that is unacceptable. The association of the role of parents is so very strong, and as the child of the parent, you also incorporate a role. One of your most definite ďshouldsĒ is that you should love your parents regardless of what they do.
Now; these are very strongly expressed beliefs, but they are not true. Every individual incorporates their own beliefs and their own value fulfillment, and value fulfillment is not synonymous with comfort. What may be one individualís value fulfillment being expressed in one manner may be abhorrent to another individual, for their value fulfillment may be expressed in a very different manner. What you view to be good and kind and loving and supportive may be viewed by another individual as weak and disgusting. What you view as wrong and critical and obnoxious may be viewed by another individual as strength or matter-of-factness. What you may offer to yourself in freedom or restriction, another individual may view quite differently.
What is significant in all of this is that you allow yourself to pay attention to you and not to associate your value with other individualís choices and with other individualís directions. You are not devalued by the choices and expressions of other individuals. Your value stands on its own. What is also significant is to allow yourself to move into a position and a direction of directing yourself and not being a victim of other individualís choices Ė expressing your own preferences, being gentle with yourself, and appreciating and valuing yourself, and knowing that that is not dependent upon the other individuals.
Your father did not incorporate the choice to disengage because of a lack of value of you. Your mother values you but in a manner that you cannot see, for it is not expressed in the manner associated with your truths. Therefore, it is not expressed in association with your expectations.
Let me also express to you, expectations are dangerous, for expectations generate an energy of threat and an obvious energy of nonacceptance. Therefore, in expressing that energy outwardly, that is what you reflect. Expectations generate a lack of acceptance and a threatening energy, which is discounting of yourself and of the other individual. It creates a circle in which you express energy outwardly, and that energy is reflected to you. The trap is not objectively knowing what you are engaging.
The wonderment of yourself and your reality is that you are continuously reflecting, and therefore, you are continuously offering yourself communications to be aware of what you are expressing and what type of energy you are projecting. Therein lies your freedom in choices. It is also not as black and white or either/or as viewing the scenario that if you choose not to engage your mother, you have once again failed and you shall not incorporate the ability to successfully engage relationships with other individuals. That is also not true. Engaging your mother or not engaging your mother is a choice. You may choose to or you may choose not to, for your mother is not the point.
TERRI: The expectations are the point.
ELIAS: The expectations and the expectations of YOURSELF, which are incredibly strong. For each time you are expressing ďanother chanceĒ with your mother, you are also attempting to alter yourself and be the individual that you expect yourself to be in association with her. It is not merely what you expect of her but what you expect of yourself. That is what triggers the anger and the tremendous disappointment and the defense in these types of interactions. For if she is not expressing in association with your expectation in your offering of your chance, you have failed.
TERRI: How do I neutralize that? Obviously these expectations go through not just with my mother but with my father and what I expect from a man in a relationship and what I expect of my children.
TERRI: How do I neutralize these? Whatís the next step?
ELIAS: To start to be aware. To notice moments in which you are expressing automatic responses.
I shall express to you the suggestion that you incorporate an exercise in the time framework of one week. In that time framework, each time you notice yourself either hesitating, in any expression, or projecting your attention to the other individual, each time you engage either of those actions Ė and in projecting your attention to the other individual, what I am expressing is that you do that to the exclusion of being aware of yourself, that you are concentrated in your attention upon the other individual and what they are expressing or what they are doing and therefore feeling a reaction within yourself Ė in either of those expressions, note them to yourself, stop, and physically offer yourself a flower. Do not attempt to alter the expression, do not attempt to evaluate it, merely notice. And each time you notice, physically incorporate a flower. I daresay, at the conclusion of your one week exercise, you shall be incorporating quite an assortment of flowers within your dwelling! (Chuckles)
Exercises that I offer to individuals are in actually quite purposeful, and they accomplish many, many, many different actions simultaneously. It may appear initially to you to be somewhat silly. But I assure you, at the completion of your one week, you shall be noticing considerably. You shall have interrupted automatic patterns, and that shall be significantly helpful. You also shall have significantly acknowledged yourself and offered yourself some expression of appreciation by offering yourself a creation of beauty in a flower.
TERRI: I will certainly do that. (Elias chuckles) We only have a couple of minutes left. I wanted to ask a question kind of off the subject.
ELIAS: Very well.
TERRI: Iíve always felt that my dog that I have now has part of my fatherís spirit in it. My father, after he killed himself, would always come visit me on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death, and I found my dog the day before his birthday one year, and heís never come again. My theory is that he finally found a way to be with me in spirit every day instead of only being able to come twice a year. I was wondering if I was correct in that theory.
TERRI: Great. I always felt that, but it was just nice to have confirmation. (Elias chuckles)
Also, I went to a nutritionist recently to ask her why I wasnít able to lose these last twenty pounds no matter what I seem to do. She said that she thought I had an underlying sense of fatness that kept me from losing the weight, and said that my fatherís history of alcoholism and the family history of depression is inherent in me, that I would need to get help with that and get rid of this underlying sense of sadness to be able to lose the weight. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on that.
ELIAS: First of all, I will express to you that it is not inherent. That is incorrect. But the recognition of this not-so-underlying expression of sadness is correct. Also, I may express to you that incorporating this weight is a manner in which you successfully protect yourself, for it allows you a method of concealing yourself and not exposing yourself.
TERRI: How can I get past that?
ELIAS: Do not attempt to overwhelm yourself. Let us, you and I, begin merely with your exercise. Let us move in increments, in steps, so to speak, for overwhelming yourself shall defeat the purpose. As you move in steps, what you do in one direction affects other directions effortlessly, without struggle and without pushing. Therefore, let us begin with a movement into noticing and a beginning of appreciation. That may be enough.
TERRI: This is excellent, Elias. I thank you very much. Weíre at the end of our hour.
ELIAS: Very well. And I express to you, I shall be supportive and encouraging with you, and I shall be with you in my expression of energy. Until our next meeting, I express great affection, friendship and fondness to you.
TERRI: Thank you.
ELIAS: Au revoir.
TERRI: Au revoir.
Elias departs after 1 hour.
© 2004 Mary Ennis, All Rights Reserved.