Mirror, Mirror

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I’m just a collection of mirrors reflecting what everyone expects of me. ~ Unknown

Do you feel this way too?  I would love to know if this is how you’re feeling because I think that we all reflect what is expected of us by each person we encounter.  Quite honestly, speaking for myself, I know that my Mom expects me to be her caretaker, to take care of everything that has to do with her life now that my Dad is gone.  I am the Mom for her, but also the daughter, the clown, the one who makes her laugh, who will push and prod and cajole to get her to take some baby steps forward in her life so that she doesn’t waste away.  I am the one who is supposed to always be happy and healthy, the one who calls with a giggle in her voice every morning, asking cheerily, “How’s it going Mom?” and is patient and kind when she repeats the same news from yesterday.  That is her expectation and that is what she gets from me.

When I was down, feeling awful and having a bunch of tests, my patience level was a bit low and I was a bit cranky and boy oh boy, was that met with shock!  How could it be that I wasn’t happy and cheerful when I called every morning?  Why was it that I wasn’t smiling and laughing and cajoling anymore?  I was told in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable.  Why couldn’t I be the daughter she knew and relied on?

Hell, at that point, I was just surviving.  I was sick, depressed, feeling awful, worried and I’d had enough ~ and yet she wanted more.  She wanted her happy, carefree daughter that did everything for her without complaint.  And I was resentful.  I was angry that she dared to not like the real me.  I was hurt.  I was upset.  I felt alone and without support.

So I did what I knew would make things better.  What I’d done for a lifetime ~ I pretended.  The next day, I switched gears.  I used up my precious energy to be that person she expected for the few minutes every morning that we spoke.  I never told her what was going on in my life.  I was unable to tell her anyway because I knew she couldn’t handle it.

I did what was expected.

I’ve done it my whole life and I’m tired.  I want to live my life in a richer form.  I yearn to break free of the expectations put upon me by others.  I am tired of pretending that I can measure up when, “quite frankly my dear people, I don’t give a damn.” ~ Gosh how I love Rhett Butler’s line!  But it’s true.  I have no problem accepting and fulfilling my responsibilities.  However, as for these mirrors and expectations, look out my dears, they may be coming down!  This balloon wants to soar!

Do you dare to join me?

Shine On!

xo

I heard this line this morning and immediately wrote this quote, but I couldn’t find who said it.  But thank you to my dear friend ML, who wrote in a comment:

According to http://www.krishna.com/world-names, the source of this quote is:  Psychologist Rollo May quotes one of his patients as saying, “I’m just a collection of mirrors, reflecting what everyone else expects of me.”

 

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33 thoughts on “Mirror, Mirror

  1. You have every right to be your authentic self and experience your real feelings. You aren’t being unkind – just genuine. The reactions from everyone else is about their own needs, and that isn’t your responsibility. I’m so proud of you to let go of their expectations!!! Congratulations!!!

    • My intention is there which I believe is baby step one. Now to execute which is more difficult considering that many dislike change and that in-between chaotic period isn’t usually heralded with ‘yay’ and support! It’s a habit that I have tried hard to meet everyone else’s needs instead of my own. Baby steps….thank you for your support. It means the world to me. ♥

  2. This rang so true for me. At a yoga class a while back, the instructor did a guided imagery meditation at the end and she said “Imagine yourself doing something that makes you feel totally free. Imagine you are being your true self and you are shining for everyone to see. Notice how you feel. Notice how you are acting and how you are interacting with other around you.”

    I didn’t realize I WASN’T doing that until the meditation and it actually made me cry (really…it was quite embarrassing) to feel that level of freedom that we never let ourselves feel.

    Then when we were all “back to earth” she said to us “What is keeping you from feeling that way and acting that way every day?”

    Really…it was all fear…fear of being rejected…fear of not preforming my earthly tasks…fear that things would fall apart if I didn’t hold them together….fear of what others would think of me.

    It was then that I realized that it feels so good to just be yourself and not worry because it really makes things better not worse!

  3. In this very same situation someone very wise once told me that if I changed my dance steps, all my dancing partners would have to change theirs too. My mom adapted to the “new” me…the authentic me, and all I had to worry about was following my own rhythm. You are amazing, in all your iterations!!

  4. The mirror thing caught my attention. I was just thinking that the peace you feel visiting my blog is a mirror to the peace in you.. We do mirror each other.. People we are drawn to or people we are frustrated with do mirror a part of us.
    I think it is about looking for the truth not pretending anymore to be something we are not. I have no desire to do that either. Even if people don’t approve. When I started my own deep healing, I remember saying “People may not approve.” And then I have found some real connections.. people really seeing me for my true gifts.
    My own relationship with my mom has been difficult. Now that I have done so much healing, she is seeing me as I am and she is sad she didn’t see it before. It is pretty amazing. Some aren’t able to see me, but that’s okay too.
    Much love and peace to you –
    Laurie

  5. You asked in your opening line “Do you feel this way too?” – I’ll tell you, I could’ve written this post myself. I live with my mother who is 86 and I’m her primary caretaker. There are things she just doesn’t understand and never will. Her life is/was much different than mine and in a different time. She fears change and like most people, especially the elderly, rejects it… for better or worse. I “pretend” a little too if it will help situations but I make it a point to take time to do something every day that I want to do, otherwise I think resentment would be an issue. – I like your comment about “soaring”. I finally, recently made the choice that I was going to take the steps I’ve been putting off in order to move forward with my life (and upward – and soaring LOL) and she’d just have to hang on! 🙂

    • I am grateful for your sharing. Thank you. My mom is much like yours and sometimes it’s just easier to pretend than it is to be real. I kowtow to her comfort level instead of my own, but I do need a release now and again. I am so happy you are going to SOAR with me! Hang on ~ here we go ~ up, up and away! ♥

  6. I was so happy to read this blog. It is so important that you are seeing the truth of what your behaviours have been. When we give and give and give and give and give because we need to feel needed, and are afraid of rejection, the resentment rises in us, and when it is not expressed (because we need to feel needed and are afraid of rejection) it manifests as cancer. It becomes breast cancer because that part of the body nurtures. How do I know? Because I am a healer. The problem with this kind of nurturing is that it is an attack on the self. We don’t allow ourselves to be who we are. We don’t say no and we don’t speak the truth of who we are. Yes, of course you love your mommy, and naturally she has come to rely on you to be this or that, because you lie to her. You make her feel needy because you are always there to do everything for her. In truth, she can do most things for herself, mentally, spiritually and sometimes physically. She deserves the truth, and yes, she CAN cope with the truth of your illness. She’s your mother, and she will find the strength to be there for her daughter. You owe it to your own children to cut the crap and stop being a walkover for other people. All they do is take and you don’t allow them to give. If this doesn’t stop then your cancer will return and you will definitely die. This is how life teaches us to change. Its harsh, but it is all part of God’s gift to us. Have you ever wondered why you had to rely on others to look after you? Have you ever wondered why it was so hard to accept love and care from others when it was your ‘job’ to do it? Your children need you. Start by telling your mother the truth, and stop smiling when you don’t want to. Stop blaming other people for their neediness, when it is you who is needy. YOU need everyone to love you and YOU want to be everyone’s shining light. Then you feel resentful when you can’t stretch yourself. You need to own the truth. It is all down to you. I know who you are, because I was there once. You’re children need you to be strong and to face the hard stuff. You will be loved by your children, your real friends, no matter what you do. God loves you no matter what you do. Why don’t YOU love you by stopping now and taking care of yourself?
    I’m so glad to read this. I love you and I don’t even know the human you. I only know your suffering spirit. No-one else will tell you this. Only one who loves you to the soul will. I hope you use it to heal. Your children need you.

  7. When you are being true to yourself it inspires others around you to do the same. When you hide behind a mask it deprives others of being able to experience the true you. You’ll never know who loves the true you until you take off the mask and let your spirit shine. Those who revel in its warmth and light were meant to be in your life, and those who don’t were never attracted to the real you anyway.

    As for your mom, there will be days when she is just going to need your strength. She may be like a drowning person who will cling tightly to any possible hope. Be careful not to let her drown you both. The first rule of lifesaving is to save yourself first. You may be able to save yourself and help her by connecting with others who encourage you to be the true you with them. If you have such emotional outlets, it may be easier to give to your mother what she needs, and perhaps with less resentment and a greater sense of inner peace. When you are calm, it may help to calm her. She sounds very afraid right now.

    I wish you much more lasting joy and inner peace!

    Russ

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