I’m so excited to launch my new website. In May of 2020 my memoir, Finding Venerable Mother: A Daughter’s Spiritual Quest to Thailand will be published. I hope after visiting my website you will be inspired to read it. In this first blog post I want to talk about why I felt compelled to write my story.
There is nothing more powerful than a daughter’s connection to her mother. Having a mother’s love is essential to our sense of wellbeing. When we think of the ideal mother we imagine a warm, loving woman who nurtured and held us as small children. These mothers were our emotional rock, made us feel safe, and secured our identities from the beginning. Many of us did not grow up with the ideal mother. For those of us who had difficult relationships, we grew up feeling lonely, lost, and unanchored. My Buddhist teacher Venerable Dhammananda Bhikkhuni said, the most important thing for a woman is to heal the mother daughter connection. In my case, it took more than fifty years to come to terms with my relationship to my mother.
I adored my mother, yet for me she remained emotionally distant and out of reach. I yearned for her love and affection as a small child, yet all I experienced was sudden bursts of anger that came at me for no apparent reason. My mother was extremely intelligent and went to law school in 1941 when there were practically no women in the field. She once told me that the male students wouldn’t talk to her because they were jealous that she graduated at the top of her class. She wanted all of her three children to succeed. Anything less than all A’s on a report card wasn’t good enough. I never felt like I could meet her expectations, nor did I feel loved or accepted by her. As a result, I could never wholly come to love myself.
All that changed when I moved to Bangkok, Thailand in August 2005 with my husband and teenage son. My mother had just died seven months earlier. Through a chance encounter with a Thai Buddhist nun, I embarked on a spiritual journey. Eventually, we developed a close bond. She accepted and nurtured me in a way that my mother never did. A whole world opened up to me as I discovered the inner peace I had been struggling to find my whole life.
I felt it was important to tell my story because I discovered that healing my relationship to my mother was possible, even though it took me half a lifetime to do so. If you are someone who still struggles with your mother, or has unresolved issues of any kind, I hope you will be inspired by my story and find hope in my message that when we go forward with a truly open heart, faith, forgiveness, and love are all possible.
I look forward to getting to know you. Please feel free to comment. Tell me about your relationship with your mother. story. How did you come to find peace? Or are you still searching?