Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt
In this Mother’s Day episode, Jodi talks about how to be (or how to support someone to be) a healthy, aware woman in all of our relationships and roles, including mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and so forth. Jodi talks about the process of growing up and responding in our relationships with our mothers, and in turn become a “mother” archetype for others. If we are unaware, we will grow up and react to what was modeled for us—including the levels of shame we experienced from our mothers.
What do you do on Mother’s Day if your mother wasn’t perfect? Or if she was loaded with shame and not available to raise you in a healthy way? Whatever your experience with your mother, this episode will empower you in your present-day relationships, especially your relationships with the children (and mothers) in your life.
PDF Version: Episode 54: Mother’s Day Special—Mommy Drama
Episode 54: Mother’s Day Special—Mommy Drama
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Welcome this morning to the weekend of May 9th. It’s Saturday morning and it is the weekend of a day called Mother’s Day. For many of us in the world, we celebrate our mothers tomorrow actually, on Sunday the 10th of May. For other people who are in other areas of the world, you may not have this celebratory day, but here for us in the United States, it is a day set aside to honor and revere our mothers.
With that being said, let me say on the front end that I’m very aware that for many of us, we’ve had mothers that were not nurturing, or were abusive in some way, or were physically sick, or psychologically sick, and therefore were not present for us. And so, I don’t want to suggest that this is a celebratory day for everyone.
However, I would like to dedicate this podcast to all of us as human beings, not just the women but to the men as well, and how we can become more aware of how to be healthy women in our lives, whether we are physiologically mothers of children or if we are women who have children in our lives, whether it be through nieces and nephews, or neighborhood kids—just to raise our consciousness as men and women of how to be nurturing, loving role models and to recognize the archetype of mother and what that means. And that all of us, as men and women, can embody those characteristics of that archetype of being nurturing, and validating, being open, and being vulnerable, being compassionate.
So, that’s my hope is that as you listen to this podcast that that will be the spirit of this podcast, and as always, in order to understand how to become those healthy characteristics you must first understand what blocks or what hinders us from becoming those ways. And so, I want to talk about those potential blocks for us and though I’m talking to men as well, I want to focus on the females, the women in your life, whether they are teenagers or little girls, they all will become grown women one day, and we’d like to talk to them and discuss what it means to be a part of this mother archetype, and how to become these particular characteristics that are incredibly loving.
So, let’s start off and talk about from the beginning of your existence here on the planet, the way that you were raised. How we are raised affects who we become, obviously. And so, dependent on how much shame you received, will affect how you see and how you respond or react to life. It’s not a good or a bad thing, it’s just what is. And so, shame has a lot of power over us as human beings, and specifically us as women and how we become mothers or that mothering archetype.
So, what we are told or how we’re taught, or what’s been modeled for us oftentimes will be our reality. It doesn’t have to be our reality but oftentimes, if we’re not either conscientious or if we don’t have other role models teaching us different things, we will become exactly what was shown to us or what was modeled to us.
Again, that’s not a good or bad thing, it’s just what is. So, you as a grown woman get to now look at your life, whether you are a mother or a woman in the world, you get to look at your life and say, “Do I have the characteristics that are satisfactory to me? Am I the kind of women that I want to be? And if I am a mother, or if I were to be a mother, or I aspire to be a mother, do I embody the characteristics of a loving, mothering, nurturing being?” So, that’s the question.
- Children—and we were once a child—children need from their mother (also from a father but we’re talking about mothers) children need to have their mother nurture them.
- They need emotional nurturing, and physical nurturing, and spiritual nurturing. They need physical touch.
- They also need validation. They need to know what they think, and what they feel, and what they see, and how they perceive is heard, is appreciated, is delighted in.
- They need to be able to risk and be vulnerable. They need to be able to emote, they need to be able to be weak, and sick, and insecure. And then, they need their mothers to see that, and to witness that, and to be present for that, and to support them in those moments of vulnerability.
- They need to be taught that being open and transparent is appropriate and good, and that it’s safe to be open and transparent.
- They also need to be taught to be responsible for their choices, for their feelings. They need to understand their feelings. They need to have feelings modeled for them by their mothers.
- They also need to be taught how to be honest, and not just verbally taught, but they need it modeled for them; they need their mothers to be honest, to be responsible.
- They need to know that their choices have outcomes—that with every choice that they make, what follows is an outcome or a consequence.
- They need to be taught how to work hard, and that hard work is not a bad thing, or a scary thing, or something that is not desirable; it’s something that builds an ethic in them that will create part of their character.
- They need be taught how to empathize. This is such an important piece. And again, when I say “taught how,” it’s not just verbally taught but it’s modeled for them. “Do as I say not as I do” does not work. Children must experience a modeling effect from their mothers in order to be raised into healthy, complete, whole, centered, connected human beings.
So, as they’re taught empathy, they learn that their behaviors and their words affect other people, that they are not separate individuals in that they don’t touch others—they do. No matter who they are or where they’re at on the planet, they affect other beings, because all of us are connected in one big human family, if you will. And that is a very, very important characteristic for children to understand, and they need to learn that at the knee of their mother.
So, going back to the responsibility of women—and again, women who are mothers, who aspire to be mothers, who have been mothers—we are responsible to understand what precludes us from being able to teach our children and model these characteristics for our children. And what I’d say is one of the greatest blocks to enveloping or developing these characteristics is this component of shame.
So, because we were all children at some point, we were taught by our mothers—or not taught by our mothers—these particular characteristics. And if we were not able to have these characteristics taught to us, then we get to look back and say, “Okay, so why didn’t I learn these characteristics? What made it so that my mother did not how to teach this?” And this is where I want to focus the main part of this podcast—is on “Mommy drama.” Because we’re human, we all go into drama, and on behalf of Mother’s Day, I’d like to talk about mommy drama. And because drama is such a prevalent place that we go, it shows up in our mothering.
So, I want to talk about two different things that are being driven by shame and support us to go into mommy drama, support us to disconnect, support us to not be present for ourselves, and then consequently not present for those in our families or those in our environments that we want to connect to—specifically our children.
Shame drives two different presentations. One, selfishness. And it also drives selflessness. So, there’s selfishness which has this kind of pride presentation, it says things like, “I’m perfect, I’m right, don’t question me, what I say goes, do what I say, I deserve, I’m unique, I’m special, I’m different, I know what’s best for you”—that kind of presentation.
Selfishness is a focus on oneself to the exclusion of others, including your children. When we focus on what we want, or what we think, or desire, or feel, or believe we’re entitled to, we believe that whatever we want should be ours, and we don’t think about others or have empathy, or compassion for anyone else—it’s just about me and what it is that I feel I’m deserving of.
We’re being driven by incredibly selfish motives, and unfortunately, there can never be any kind of real love towards anyone else, not even self. So, when I’m in this position, it feels like, or it may sound like, I really love myself. And the Truth is, is that love cannot be controlled by being selfish. Love is something that comes as an outcome of living these other characteristics of compassion, and kindness, and long-suffering, and gentleness, and meekness. Those are the characteristics that must be present in order for love to be birthed.
So, because you can’t love self, you’re not able to love others when you’re in this prideful position of selfishness. So, it may appear that the things you’re doing are loving, but underneath the surface lies the true motives of your heart, and these motives reveal your true character.
Now, when I say true character, it doesn’t mean it’s the Truth about your character; it means that as long as you make choices to behave in these kinds of manners, this will be your character, because your character follows your choice. So there’s no way to hide from yourself or another person when you are conscientious or you see what these motives are. Living in this prideful position will corrupt and taint anything, or anyone, or any intention that you desire to be pure, connecting, or loving. It’s really sad.
Selfishness is the destroyer of connection, validation, compassion, and love towards self and others. So, it’s appropriate to think of yourself, and give to yourself, and take care of self, and love oneself. But if you hide yourself in ways of manipulation, or you have motives that are self-serving or aggressive towards you or another person, you will be in a prideful position and therefore you cannot accurately or authentically love yourself.
That’s one angle and selfishness is being driven by shame. So, if you don’t know about shame, go back and listen to that podcast about shame. There’s a continuum, shame is on one end of the continuum and pride is on the other end of the continuum. The continuum is called the “shame continuum.” So, you have shame which is, “I’m bad, and I’m unworthy, and I don’t matter,” and then you have pride on the other side, which is the selfishness piece.
Now, let’s talk about the shame side, which is the “selflessness”—it’s like I just give my whole self up, like I don’t matter, I’m not of worth. So, again, you have pride which is the selfish part, and that’s one extreme one of the continuum. And then, on the other end, you have “selflessness,” which is this, “I don’t matter, I’m insignificant” part of the continuum. And the continuum is called shame, it’s the voice of shame.
So, “selflessness” says, “I don’t deserve, I’m unworthy, you are more important than I am, you’re always right, I don’t know what’s good for me but you do, my needs are not important, or I don’t have needs, I’m not good enough, I’m ugly, I’m not smart, I can’t, I get everything wrong.”
And the focus of this “selflessness” is on others to the exclusion of oneself. So, when we focus on others, what others want, think, desire, expect, feel entitled to, or believe is theirs or should be theirs, we’re not able to really focus on ourselves and what we need, what we think, what we feel, what we believe. We are being driven by a distortion called shame.
So, shame tells you that you don’t matter, others are more important. You’re going to look silly, or stupid, or bad. You’re inadequate, always do for the other first. So, shame is spewing these lies, and this manipulation, and deception about anything or anyone. And the Truth is, we are responsible for ourselves and no one else. The Truth is I am enough, I am valuable, I am good, I am capable, and worthy, I can fulfill my own needs, and advocate for myself.
When we’re in shame or listening to that voice of shame, we cannot give to another person purely without wanting something in return. So, when we‘re behaving in a “selflessness” style, there are always, always selfish motives driving those choices that we’re making. It may look like I’m so concerned about the other person, but really, I’m not, I’m concerned about myself and if I do this for them, or I tell them that I’m not good, or bad, and unworthy, then maybe they will give me what I want, which is sympathy, or pity, or tell me that they love me, or tell me that I’m enough, or express that I’m worthy, on and on.
So, when we attempt to give to another before we learn to give and care for ourselves, we will always have a self-serving agenda in the behavior. What appears to be our gift of love and caring is based in self-loathing, fear, not enoughness, sadness, pity, and conscious or unconscious attempts to receive recognition, praise, acknowledgement, gratitude, or other nod of acceptance from the receiver. And this type of “giving” is full of deception, distortion and manipulation, because the “giving” is not coming from an authentic place of love towards the receiver, and it’s always wanting something in return.
So, this type of illusion of love or connection is very difficult to detect, because like the pride-driven side of connection, you must always know your own motives, your own heart, your desires. And the initially, the motives of myself or the giver will not be divulged in their manifestation of what they’re doing. And so, if I’m across the dynamic of someone like this, I won’t know what’s really motivating them, so I’ll just receive whatever it is that they’re “giving” and I won’t know if it’s being driven by something selfish or not.
So, these shame-based behaviors—“selflessness” which is one end of the continuum and the pride-based selfishness on the other side of the continuum—are on opposite ends of the spectrum of shame. So, as you can see, the two sides are highly related because both sides of shame have a relationship with distortion, disconnect, and deception.
So, when you’re in one, whether in the pride side or the shame side, you’re also in the other. Both positions or voices—pride and shame—are full of untruths, and it’s all about manipulating their audience.
Now, the reason I point that out is because that’s connected directly to mommy drama. Those two types of shame are driving mommy drama, so let’s talk about mommy drama for a minute. Again, I’m not talking like mothers are the only ones that go into drama. We all go into drama but again, on behalf of Mother’s Day we’re going to talk about the mothers and how they show up in this kind of drama.
Drama is based on a desire to control the other person, to get what they want. So, if I’m sitting with my two-year-old and I’m feeling inadequate—I’m on the shame side of drama—I may want to say something or do something to get my little boy to hug me, or kiss me, or tell me that I’m amazing, or that he loves me, because I’m feeling inadequate. That is dramatic. That is me trying to take from this precious child so that I can pseudo-fill myself. It will never be the Truth, it is not possible for it to happen, but we—we collectively—engage in this kind of behavior with adults and children alike, and it is a false connection.
We use drama as we attempt to connect with other people. However, drama includes emotional dishonesty and so it does not allow me to be clear and direct with the other person. It prevents me from forming deep and enduring bonds with another person. So, drama creates a relationship dynamic that reduces my freedom. And when I say freedom, I’m talking about, when I’m in distortion, or denial, or shame, or any other form of manipulation or lies, I cannot be in Truth, and so therefore, I cannot be free.
[00:24:31] “The Threes of Drama”
So, drama always involves three characteristics. It involves emotional dishonesty, lack or avoidance of personal responsibility, and an unwillingness to be humble. So, there are three positions in drama. There is the victim, and the hallmark of the victim is no responsibility. There is the rescuer, and the hallmark of the rescuer is controlling. And the persecutor, and the hallmark is aggressive and mean. Aggressive and mean can also be very passive—you can be passively aggressive and mean.
So, mommy drama incorporates those three positions, and again, it’s just not mothers, it’s drama.
[00:25:14] Characteristics of Drama
So, characteristics of drama. Here they are. You might want to write these down, they are very important.
- I will always have distorted perceptions, hidden motives or agendas.
- My “love” will be conditional – I will want something basically.
- It will have manipulative, indirect, and not clear messages involved in it.
- It will be full of denial and shame.
- It will be reactionary and compulsive.
- Drama includes no responsibility for myself or my choices, or how I feel.
- It’s unstable.
- It’s typically unconscious. Not all the time, but typically, when we go into drama, we’re pretty unconscious. Now, the reason I’ve been recording all these podcasts is to raise our consciousness because how tragic that we walk around and say, “Well, I didn’t know what I was doing so I just kept doing it.” I’m not a believer of that. I’m a believer of, let’s wake up and make different choices so that we can be accountable for what we’re doing. Instead of inadvertently causing harm, let’s become aware of how we have been causing harm and take accountability for it.
- Drama lacks boundaries.
- It’s disrespectful towards oneself and towards another person.
- It is irrational. It’s emotionally driven.
- It feels deserving and entitled.
- It has feelings of loneliness and isolation.
- It creates disconnection.
- It lacks empathy and validation.
- You’re unable to be vulnerable when you’re in drama
- It always, always has strings attached to it.
- It is a projection. If I’m the one in drama, I am projecting my insecurities, my shame, my pride onto the other person.
- It’s full of fear, insecurity, it creates closed and scared relationships.
- People who go into drama or are living in drama feel super vulnerable. They just feel vulnerable to their environment and inside themselves, they feel vulnerable.
[00:27:24] Characteristics of The Victim
So, let me read a few characteristics of the victim. Here’s what victim sounds like. You ready?
When I’m in mommy drama, when I am in victim, victim is the most powerful position that we can go into. And if you want more information about drama, I have two podcasts on drama. I would encourage you to go to listen to those because they are very, very informative and I go into a lot of detail about what drama is and how people act drama out.
The characteristics of the victim. The fear is I won’t make it. Something along those lines.
- They’re constantly needing reassurance or rescuing.
- They give in.
- They oftentimes will gossip.
- They feel inadequate, overwhelmed, powerless, not responsible.
- They feel worthless.
- They make excuses.
- They can’t or won’t take care of themselves.
- They whine, they cry, they complain, they’re needy, they act helpless or hopeless.
- They feel defective, weak.
- They respond in a very dependent way.
- They’re incapable.
- They feel damaged, not enough, broken.
- They blame, they feel shame, and they are very manipulative.
- They show up as wounded, picked on.
- They can be passive or passive-aggressive.
- They feel like they’re failing, like they’re unlucky.
- They feel incompetent.
- That their needs don’t matter.
- That they’re unfixable.
- They throw fits.
- They’re fearful, they’re resentful.
- They can’t do this because of (fill in the blank).
- They show up in an impulsive way.
- They’re demanding.
- They say, “I’m bad.”
- They obsess.
- They believe it’s not their fault.
- They have an endless cycle of self-defeating behaviors.
- And a lot of them show up in a very angry way.
That’s the victim. Now, a lot of these characteristics overlap with each other and so it’s kind of like characteristics of drama. It’s not that the victim only has particular characteristics and they’re separate from the rescuer. When you’re in rescuer or persecutor, you’re also sharing the stage with victim. Victim is the position that when we go into drama, we will always go into. So, we have a dual-relationship between rescuer and persecutor, and victim.
[00:29:53] Characteristics of The Rescuer
So, the rescuer, the fear is they’re not going to be in control or they’re not needed.
Characteristics of rescuer are:
- They deny their own needs.
- They desire to fix others.
- They’re people pleasers.
- They have no boundaries.
- They fear abandonment or rejection.
- They believe that someone else has to complete them and their needs need to be needed, like they have a needed to be needed.
- Others come to them with problems.
- They don’t take responsibility for themselves.
- Their needs are unimportant or not relevant. They are very much into caretaking behavior.
- Their motive is to get validated.
- Rescuers foster dependency on themselves—they want others to depend on them.
- They have feelings of things are not fair.
- They will come across as supportive, encouraging, like a hero or they’re the savior.
- They will show up as protective.
- They seek for appreciation.
- The desire to control the way I feel by manipulating myself, or others, or situations to obtain the desired feelings or outcomes.
Those are the characteristics of the rescuers.
[00:31:07] Characteristics of The Persecutor
Now, here’s the persecutor. The persecutor talks like this:
- They have a fear of exposing their true self. Now, this isn’t The Truth about who they are, but it’s what they fear they are.
- They’re going to get even through aggressive attacks.
- They feel superior or better than.
- They’re going to get you before you get them. That’s how they view it, like I’m going to get you before you can ever hurt me.
- They’re really angry typically, and again, their anger can be camouflaged or covered.
- They’re very judgmental (which is different than judging). Very judgmental either overtly or covertly.
- They’re, hostile, loud, aggressive, intense.
- They’ll give you the silent treatment.
- They’re manipulative as anything.
- They’re condemning.
- They can be violent and abusive.
- They must stay in control.
- They can be mean, critical, sarcastic, rude, self-righteous, selfish.
- They feel like they’re right, they’re the judge and jury.
- They’re cynical, demanding, name-calling, justified, and entitled.
- They present as powerful and dominant. I get to because I’m whatever—I’m right, I’m important, I’m me.
- They say things like, “You made me feel ____, you made me do ____, because of you I had to ____.”
- They are rebellious, they won’t follow the rules. It’s their way or the highway.
- They’re better than.
- They live in a vengeful world.
- They can’t trust others.
- They get even.
- Things are based on survival.
- They’re authoritarian, punishing.
- They’re forceful, overpowering, preaching, threatening, lecturing, interrogating.
- They look at life and themselves as grandiose.
- And obviously, they project that stuff onto other people.
Let’s look at how those characteristics, which is the drama. People show up in those ways. You probably can hear how those three positions can embody selfishness and “selflessness.” So, selflessness probably shows up more in the rescuer/victim category, and selfishness shows up in the persecutor/victim category.
When I’m in drama, I will have those particular types of characteristics. Let me give some examples, it will probably be helpful.
[00:33:37] Characteristics of Drama
If I am in a selfishness drama dynamic, I will do something along the lines of this. So, let’s say I live more in the persecutor/victim position, so I have some needs that need to be met. Let’s say that I have a house that needs to be moved out of and I live in another part of the country, and I’m not able to move my things. And so, I call my children and I have raised my children in this kind of drama of me being persecutor/victim, so this selfishness presentation. So, I have harmed my children, I have shown up entitled, and angry, and vengeful, and persecutory. So, my children have not been able to get their needs met of being validated, and nurtured, and open, and things like that.
So, here they are, they’re grown children and I have modeled this kind of drama for them. So, I call them up and I say, “I need to move my things in my house, I need you to help me.” And my children, because they have learned how to be rescuers of my persecutor, so they’re not healthy either, they’re showing up still in drama, they say to me, “Sure. Sure, Mom, what do you need?” “Well, I need you to go to the house on this particular date and I’m going to need you to move all of my things.” And the child says—a grown child by the way—they say, “Okay, well are you going to get a mover?” And I’m like, “No, I want you to move all of my stuff and so you can go ask the neighbors to help, and you can call up your uncles and aunts and see if they’ll come over and help, but I need you guys to move all my stuff by this date down to this location.”
And so, the child may feel fearful about asking any more questions because they can sense—as they did when they were children—that if they ask any more questions, then Mother is going to get “angry.” So, the child hangs up the phone—again, this is a grown child—and they think, “how am I going to do this? I need to be honoring of my parent and so I must—listen to my language—I need to be honoring and so I must help her.”
So, the child figures out a way and pays for the expenses to move all of their mother’s things down to this location on this particular date, and their needs go by, their family is unattended for, and the focus is on doing what their mother wants in order to control—this is the rescuer—the rage, or the defiance, or the out of control behavior that Mom might go into, as she has so many times in the past, if the child does not do what she wants.
So, everything gets sacrificed in this child’s life because they’re trying to control their mother’s narcissistic rage. Or maybe the mother won’t fly into a rage, maybe she’ll be silently rageful. Maybe she will be punishing silently. So, silent rage would look like withholding, gossiping, being vindictive and very passive in passive-aggressive ways. And so, because the child has experienced this for decades of their life, they’re trying to control that reaction. That would be an example of persecutor/victim and then the child because since birth, they’ve learned how to rescue that parent.
So, obviously, the child needs to get into some help and figure out how to get out of drama with Mom, and show up in ways that are honest and make different choices to not rescue this kind of presentation, or this will go on their entire lives, this kind of dynamic.
Let’s talk about an example of a parent and let’s do a mom because we’re talking about Mother’s Day—let’s do a mom who is in “selflessness.” Same situation, Mom needs things moved across the country. She’s the victim/rescuer, she has taught her children from a victim/rescuer position and so the child has learned how to be very irresponsible, not be emotionally honest, they don’t know how to empathize with other people because Mom has always “done everything for them,” so they oftentimes will grow up very entitled. They usually will grow up very persecutory, actually. Not all the time, but oftentimes they will. Or they’ll grow up being rescuers, so they’ll pick up Mom’s presentation, or they’ll pick up the other side of drama.
And the same thing with the mother that is selfish, the child will either become selfish themselves or they typically will show up in a very “selflessness” presentation. And either one of these presentations needs help because it means we’re still in drama with each other.
So, Mom shows up in a very “selflessness” presentation which she has her whole entire life, and the child has been taught to be very arrogant, rude, self-righteous, demanding, and she says, “Honey, it’s so good to talk to you, I’ve just missed you so much. I just have a need and I’m wondering if you can help me with it?” And the adult child says, “Sorry, Mom, I can’t help you. I’ve got things going on.” And she’s like, “Is there any way you could maybe call Uncle Jack and he can come help you? You’re the only one that I’m depending on and I’ve got to get these things moved. I will pay you and I will pay anyone who comes to help you in order to get my things over to this certain part of the country.” And the child says, “You know, Mom, you just are asking for too much. I’m not available to do that. I really wish I could but you’re on your own.”
And so, the adult child is very rude, and very aggressive, and doesn’t have any or little empathy for the needs of their mother. So, the mother hangs up the phone and she says to herself, “Oh, little Jimmy, it’s so unfortunate that he’s so busy, or little Jane, she’s so busy that she or he is not able to help me, but I just love them, they’re just wonderful people and I’m just so fortunate to have them in my life.” When really, Jimmy and Jane are very selfish, very entitled, unwilling to support, or be connected, or think, or give to another person, because they have been raised in this dynamic of Mom’s “selflessness” behavior and they’ve picked up the selfishness by showing up in very persecutory ways, not only towards Mom, but towards other relationships in their life.
[00:41:00] Getting Out of Drama
So, that is mom drama and how it affects the mother and how it affects children. How do you get out of mommy drama? How do you do that? Well, you’ve got to learn to love yourself—that is how you exit this kind of chaos. In order to love oneself, you must start caring for oneself.
Caring for yourself is a solo act, believe it or not. Many of us don’t want to subscribe to that Truth that loving self is each person’s own responsibility, because when I’m in drama, I don’t want to have that be my responsibility, I don’t want to be responsible, I just want to control people. So, it’s really not inviting to realize that Oh, in order for me to get out of drama, and get well, and have healthy relationships, that I have to take responsibility for myself. It’s really not encouraging.
It means that I and I alone am accountable for me, and how I feel, and what I do, and what I choose, and why I think, and when I think, and how I respond. I am responsible for everything about me. Unfortunately, there are illusions, and covert and overt teachings in my environment that “make me feel responsible for me.” Those illusions tell me that “they” or “that” should, or must, or is responsible for, and so therefore things are acting out on me. That’s the drama. But that’s not the Truth. Though it is true that people do have the capability of doing physical things for me, that is the illusion—doing physical things for me or on behalf of someone else does not translate into doing emotional and spiritual things for me—I am responsible for that.
Even though someone might be physically kind and comes over and brushes my hair, that is a form of love and caring for myself, but it doesn’t translate into me caring for myself, it just means that someone else was caring for me. So, we’re each responsible in the creation of our feelings and the outcomes of compassion, love, care, and respect for our self. And by the way, it is a directive to love ourselves. Think about that, it’s a directive. Those of who you believe in a god, it is a directive from God to love yourself: love God, and love yourself. And after you love self and love God—which are one and the same actually, as you love self, you will love God—you will naturally love others. So, you don’t need to worry about loving others if you will learn how to love yourself.
We are responsible to learn how to create this type of caring, and love, and connection with ourselves. And when we do, it will allow us to naturally give to another person. So, when we engage in this form of self-love or self-care, we will have a desire to share and teach this type of connection we have, and this kind of feeling that we have towards ourselves.
So, many of us fear that if I learn to and practice self-care and self-loving, that I will only want to focus on myself, and only think of myself, and I will only care about myself, and thus I’ll become full of self, full of greed, full of entitlements, desires, aggression, covetousness and wants. But the Truth is, that is not accurate. The opposite is true. The command for us to love others as we love ourselves is the directive, and if we will learn how to love self, we will love others as we love us.
To love means without conditions, without motives, without guile, or expectation, and without desire for reconciliation or repayment. Love is free. To love is an act of setting free the human spirit. Love—true love—is full of honesty and personal responsibility, and love equates to emotional and spiritual freedom. In order to truly love, you must actively be noticing, caring for, giving, disciplining yourself, holding yourself responsible, being emotionally honest, showing compassion for yourself. These kinds of behaviors will fill you by word and by deed: you will care, and you will caress not only your body, and keep it well and full of health and vigor, but you’ll be sensitive to your senses. You’ll recognize what you’re experiencing and you’ll only allow into your body things that are of a healing and spiritually uplifting nature.
Doing those two things, feeding one’s soul and feeding one’s body. When you feed your soul, you fill it with light, spiritual power, and a desire to do good, and be good, and share good, and uplift anyone who is lacking. The fruit of loving yourself is loving others. Loving oneself is the only way to truly and authentically love another.
So, how do you love/care for self? You have physical needs and you have emotional needs. I have charge and responsibility to care for myself physically. Physical needs include financial, nutritional, medical, career, employment, housing, clothing, and any other needs that my physical body is in need of.
- My nutritional needs have to be met by food intake, a different variety of food, the quality of food to sustain my body in health and fitness, to be able to cope with any physical or health issues.
- Medically, my needs include regular checkups and preventative care, any treatments I need to regain or sustain my health.
- I’m responsible for my career and employment needs, which support me to meet any other core physical needs.
- I get to plan ahead and choose education and employment which will enable me to financially and physically show up for my commitments and care for myself.
- I have housing, and clothing, and food, and money, doctor’s visits, and so forth.
They’re all external things and involve relationships with people outside of myself.
So, my physical needs relate to items that are external to me and therefore, other people can help or assist me to meet those physical needs. Sometimes. I mean, sometimes, I won’t need that, but sometimes they can.
Emotional needs are a little bit different from physical needs. They exist on a different plane than physical needs. Because emotional and spiritual needs are entirely internal, no one can provide them for me. So, unlike the physical needs which can be met sometimes by external objects, my spiritual and emotional needs cannot be met by any external object, or person, or event. Emotional needs include the need for spiritually or connection with God or a Higher Power, and the need for socialization, relationships, validation, being seen, having empathy, having someone have empathy for me, or having empathy for someone else.
So, emotionally, I am responsible to get these needs met. So I am responsible to ask for another person to hear me, see me. To many, it may appear that emotional needs cannot be met by external people or things. And the Truth is, is that in the big picture they can’t. But I am responsible—if I am needing to be heard or if I’m needing to sit with somebody and just spend some time with another being, I get to ask—and that’s where it comes from me—I ask for these needs to be met. And if I don’t ask for them to be met, then it won’t happen, and so, it’s very, very important that my emotional and spiritual needs are being addressed—and I am ultimately responsible to meet those needs.
So, self-care is a balance. Loving oneself first is the thing that you need to focus on.
As we become adults—you can say 18 and on but I would even say as you’re teaching and rearing your children as mothers—you are responsible to teach them about taking care of their bodies—their physical bodies—and also taking care of their souls. Those two entities are what creates a healthy and whole individual. You must be focused on both of them. And children need that kind of direction all throughout their lives, so as they reach adulthood, they’re not ill-equipped to go into the world—they know exactly what they’re responsible for and who’s accountable for themselves, which is them.
It is a balance to take care of the physical needs and the emotional needs, but if we as mothers will learn about how we go into drama, when we go into drama, and get out of drama—the way you change drama is you recognize you’re in it and you make a choice of honesty to get out. Like, “Oh my goodness, I’m persecuting, I need to stop persecuting and be empathic with this person, I need to ask if they’d like to help me, not demand that they help me. I need to assert my needs instead of saying my needs don’t matter.” And then, as I get out of drama as a mother, then I will model for myself and also my children how to love oneself.
So, on behalf of all mothers or all women—because every woman on the planet is capable of being a mother or embodying the archetypal pattern of a mother—I dedicate this podcast to you. From one mother to another, my hope is that you will recognize your drama, recognize how powerful you are as a woman, and the good that you can do as a female by nurturing, by validating, by showing up in a very vulnerable way, teaching people how to risk and be open, taking responsibility for your own choices, learning how to forgive and show compassion. And very, very, important and definitely not in this order—but teaching people how to have empathy by modeling that people are important, that you affect others and others affect you. As you model this, as you challenge yourself to get out of drama—this mommy drama—that you will bless all that are around you, especially the children.
We will talk next week. Enjoy your Mother’s Day weekend. And between now and then, stay connected. Bye bye.
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