I Am My Mother

I Am My Mother

I recently got a peek into a deeper level of awareness about my fragile identity. As it turns out, I am not me; I am my mother.

Here's what I mean. For years, I thought I didn't know what I liked or wanted. I remember back in high school realizing that I had no opinions of my own, and promptly getting some! But I still balk when people ask me what I want. As super-coach Eva and I have been teaching for years, what you like and want form the inner compass that guides your life. Clearly, my compass was broken.

At least that's what I thought until I remembered something I wanted as a child:

I wanted to be like my mother.

If you knew her, you would understand. She was the living, breathing version of Cinderella. She was beautiful, kind, loving, and even sang like Disney's Cinderella. What daughter wouldn't want to be like her? I just hadn't realized how far that desire went.

Since my identity was based on what I liked and wanted, wanting to be like my mother logically included her wants and likes. I was actually shocked when I realized my house was just another version of the one I grew up in, chosen by her! Plus I remember asking her what she considered to be her proudest achievement in life, and she said, "You kids." Even though as a child, I thought that was odd, and have achieved success in two careers, here I am feeling the same. And not just about my two daughters, but all the children whose lives Language of Listening® has touched.

That was the moment I realized I had achieved my goal:

I am my mother!!!

With the sudden realization that my preferences and everything I thought was good in life were all hers, my familiar identity fell away, and I saw that if I had been raised by someone else or in another culture, everything I like and want would probably be different. In a heartbeat, it brought me closer to everyone in the world and provided the huge relief that my inner compass had been working all along - it was simply guided by a forgotten want!

It also gave me a quick peek at who I am beyond my likes and wants:

Whoever I say I am.

After all, that's what I did the first time by saying what I wanted. So here I am again at the other end of awareness, pondering the odd question, "Without outside influences, what would Sandy like and want?"



  1. seema |

    sandy, i really enjoyed reading that article – i can write a book on my relationship with my mum – it was complex – sometimes very good and sometimes not good at all – i lost her in 2003 – reading your article brought her to mind so much – i wrote a long article of her last few days when she died – will email it to you sometime

  2. Seema, I hope to see that article. Complex is good word for our relationships with our mothers over a lifetime. It would be a privilege to read it.

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