(This is the third in a series of three letters. Two to my parents and one to myself. You can find the links to the other two letters at the bottom of this post.)
Remember this: You are not your mother.
The one thing you learned from your mother is how to not be a wife or mother. Are you listening? You are not your mother.
This is not the issue I want to address with you, however. I want to address your friendships and how they have suffered over the years as you’ve tried to make sense of your life. I want to talk about how you have always found someone to be the stand in for your Mom. STOP IT!!
There are friendships now lost to you because you couldn’t let go of the hurt and pain inflicted by her. There is a friendship now, right now in 2013, that has disintegrated because of your distrust and because you were hurt and the walls went up. There will always be someone in your life who reminds you of your Mom. Someone who makes a comment that sounds like her, gives a look like her, or acts like her. You must figure out how to allow these people into your life in some measure and not start a kerfluffle with them. They are not Mom!
Is the relationship worth your time and energy? Probably not, but you can learn to live with that, and them. You can learn to be acquainted, but not close. You can learn to be distant, but not combative. You know those bumper stickers with all the religious symbols telling us to “coexist”? You must learn to do that with those “people” in your life. The ones who are so like Mom they make you bristle all over and want to find a closet to hide in. Remember the times you hid in your closet? You don’t have to anymore. They are them, you are you.
You are flawed but you are fearfully and wonderfully made even when you find it hard to believe most days.
“There’s people been friendly, but they’d never be your friend” – from Elijah. Remember that. Find the ones who will be a friend and treat them as the treasure they are. I can name a few & God whispers their names in the moments you need to hear them. Listen and remember.