Each daughter carries her mother within herself. It is a bond we can never break. We will always have something of our mother inside, whether we like it or not. For better or for worse, we are part of her.
And the time comes in life when we need to be aware of how much we owe to our mothers. We need to know how our mothers influenced the person we are today and how they continue to do so. It is an act of love, but also of courage and personal growth, since we won’t always like what we find.
A unique bond formed from the first moment
Christiane Northrup, gynecologist and obstetrician, couldn’t express better the deep bond uniting us to our mothers from the beginning: “Our cells divided and developed at the rhythm of her heartbeat. Our skin, hair, heart, lungs and bones were fed by her blood, blood that was full of neurochemicals formed in response to her thoughts, beliefs and emotions. If she felt fear or anxiety, or if she felt very unhappy about pregnancy, our body could sense it, as we noticed even if she felt safe, happy and satisfied”.
Later, when we were born, our mother attempted to offer us the first experiences of love and support. Her power is so strong to influence not only our state of mind, but also helps to grow our brain.
A study realized at the University of Washington found that children who grew up with mothers who transmitted them their security and confidence showed more developed areas of the brain such as the hippocampus. In contrast, children with emotionally distant mothers showed a more atrophied development.
No doubt, the bond of a mother with her daughter is one of the deepest. Through the relationship with her we learn to love or hate, trust or distrust, surrender or fight... The problem is that, in some cases we deny that bond, and so deny ourselves. If we do not recognize what has been built by our mother, we can not grow, we will remain stuck in denial.
The heritage of our mothers
From time to time I find myself talking like my mother, using some of the phrases she repeated a thousand times during my childhood or by the gesture that betrays I spent many years at her side, while learning to be myself. And even if you become an adult, independent and autonomous, you can’t get rid of the influence exercised by our mothers.
Any woman brings with herself the consequences of such a relationship. If our mothers passed on us positive messages and we were taught love and respect, their teachings will become a valuable emotional guide accompanying us wherever we go.
But if we had toxic mothers, maybe we became suspicious, controllers or blackmailers, attitudes we after reproduce in our relationships with others. If our mothers were fearful and insecure, it is likely that we will have low self-esteem and do not dare to assume risks. In these cases we have to heal. And to do that we must be able to understand how these behaviors and beliefs that limit us come from the relationship we had with our mothers.
Grow as a person despite maternal inheritance?
1. Find out how much of you belongs to your mother. The best way to discover the beliefs, stereotypes or values that your mother taught you is to lower the guard and stop thinking about it, although it seems a contradiction. At some point you’ll discover yourself saying things not yours, but belonging to your childhood or adolescence. Analyze deeply the basic message, because it is likely that many of these ideas have been transmitted to you by your mother and now you are repeating them, leaving them determine your decisions.
2. Consider whether these ideas help you. It is likely that some of these ideas will strengthen you as a person in the most difficult moments. For example, facing a problem, you may unconsciously repeat a phrase that your mother told you a thousand times when you were a child, such as: “Do not worry, after the storm always comes the sun”. In these cases, these phrases will help you face difficulties. But if these ideas are causing you to despise, limit or discourage yourself, it's time to assume that does not belong to you: are opinions implanted in your mind by someone else.
3. Take care of emotional wounds. A maladaptive thinking that limits you almost always feeds on a conflict that you have not solved. Therefore, it is important to detect those parts of the relationship with your mother that you do not accept, and that require a healing process. Carrying with us these problems, pretending they don’t exist, we’ll prevent us from growing. Face conflicts, forgive and turn the page. Sometimes, all we need is to make peace with the quirks and difficulties that we have experienced. It is likely that it was difficult and we still carry the consequences, but these problems also turned you into the person you’re today, then you better try to understand how they allowed you to grow.
4. Choose the positive things. It is likely that in the relationship with your mother you overlooked many positive aspects. In fact, growing mature we tend to appropriately value the sacrifices our mother made for us and the care she gave to us. All relationships go through difficult times, there are always discussions and disagreements. After all, you two are different people. However, do not let these problems break such a unique bond. Concentrate on all the positive things of the bond with your mother. Remember that we all have our lights and shadows, but we can decide whether we want to focus on the mistakes or appreciate the successes.
Remember that the best tribute you can give to your mother is to recognize how she helped you grow and become the person you are today.
Luby, J. L. et. Al. (2012) Maternal support in early childhood predicts larger hippocampal volumes at school age. Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences; 109(8): 2854–2859.
Mother and daughter: The bond that unites can also destroy
4/ 5Oleh Jennifer Delgado