Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Beyond Mommy Dearest

By Paula Renaye 

On a recent VH1's Tough Love Miami, Steve Ward and his mother Joann helped his dating boot camp girls face their "mommy issues." I found this episode particularly interesting since I am both a daughter and a mother of daughters and have had to face my own issues on both sides of that coin--and neither is pretty.
Watching this episode was tough for me for a variety of reasons. The assignment for the girls was this: Write a letter to your mom telling her how she has affected your love life. Ouch! 

The Hardline Self Help Handbook has many paths down this trail so I had done similar exercises with the same end goal of getting to the bottom line of reality--mine and hers--and making peace with it. But tonight as I listened, not as the daughter who had been damaged but as the mother who had passed it on, it made me wish my daughters would write their own unpleasant letters to me because I don't want them going through their lives with "mother" baggage hanging over their heads as long as I did.

As horrible as this is to admit, there was a time--a very long time--that I believed I couldn't really live my life until my mother was no longer living hers. It's an awful thing to have to own, but it's also very true. Well, let's clarify exactly what part is "true." 

It was true that I felt what I felt and believed what I did. However, it wasn't even remotely true that her death was going to magically make the problems that I blamed her for go away. And believe me, it didn't--neither will writing a letter. But what writing a letter will do is help you face your own truths--the ones you know about and the ones you've been pretending you don't. 

The great thing is, while getting your truth out in the open may not be pleasant--and it may even be really ugly as mine was--there's a huge relief once it's done. It's kind of like digging at that splinter in your finger--it hurts while you're doing it, but once you're free of it, that constant jab no longer has power over you, you can see it for what it is and you can start to heal. 

Now, be aware that writing a letter or otherwise confronting a parent is not a magic bullet that will instantly fix anything--it won't. In fact, if your mom is still in denial about her own pain, she might automatically react to defend herself, explaining why you shouldn't feel what you feel, and crush your new-found courage in the process. At least that's what happened to me every time I tried it--and when I repeated the pattern with my own children.

Remember, you didn't come up with your own wounds by accident, and your mom could still be protecting herself from a version of the same pain. You can't expect to get understanding and validation of your pain from the very person you blame for creating it. Unless your mom has done her own work, odds are that her own fragile self-concept will demand that she convince you that you have no reason to feel as you do, so just be careful if you choose to go there.

The good news is your parents may have helped create your baggage, but you are the only one who controls whether you keep dragging it around with you. The even better news is that you don't need their permission, approval, validation or even awareness to make the decision. 

If you're still holding on to old wounds, don't pass along those old patterns and pain to your children. Make a vow right now to stop that family tradition and start a new one--giving yourself what you've spent your whole life waiting to get from others.

* * * *
Paula Renaye is tough love motivational speaker, certified professional coach and author of the multi-award-winning self-empowerment guide, The Hardline Self Help Handbook. Hardline is available in paperback and just about every ebook format out there (Kindle, Nook, Apple, Mobi, etc.). Also, for a limited time, the Tweet-able Tough Love Quotes ebook is still available for FREE from smashwords.com  and iTunes so get it now!



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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



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Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

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Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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