Congratulations. If you’re reading this article you may just have taken an important step in choosing to have an entirely different relationship regarding your emotional reactions to your mother. That’s very exciting—and truly admirable! Especially after all these years of feeling that you were powerless to change them, and that it was her fault. Now let’s see how on this Mother’s Day, and all days to come, you can achieve freedom from your automatic reactions. That would be a remarkable achievement indeed!

Mother’s Day, like Christmas and other family times together can be periods of great stress and apprehension before, during and after the event. But I am going to suggest that you can make the choice-- based on a powerful new perspective, which will give you a profound sense of peace, ease, and even love. How good would that be? How freeing would that be for you? Would there be anything to lose? Are you in?

There is so much history with our mothers which can produce such an ingrained and automatic response, that it’s hard to imagine that we can absolutely choose an entirely different one right now. So what would it take to see what your mother says or does to you, as an opportunity to discover a part of yourself that is completely immune to the old trigger points?

In my first two articles, I’ve described that you can easily learn to “get out of the box,” and from that perspective, you can choose to view life and any situation you are in, from a perspective that immediately sets you free. This works equally well with your mother—truly. From this perspective, being with her could be a very satisfying experience because you could simply choose--if you wanted to--to be more open to a new possibility for your relationship. That could be your new focus, not to avoid pain, but to experience connection, appreciation, and care.

The First Step: Releasing Your History

Often in our relationship with our mothers we are so focused on the past and on what has happened, (or what we expect will happen in the future) that there is little room for anything new. We keep our hearts in a protective mode and somewhat closed, so that we don’t risk getting hurt again. We are just unwilling to give more fully of ourselves.

That voice in our head likes to view life from the past, where it knows what to expect. In the past, there is certainty about who we are and who we have been. But what about being open to creating something brand new? Why not begin to see what happened in the past as something you can choose to be free of right now? Maybe the new context for the two of you can be one of love and acceptance, not of fear, anger or hurt. How would that be? Is there anything to lose from that perspective? How freeing would that be for both of you? What kind of relationship would you then want to create? How would you begin to do that? How much better would that feel?

The Second Step: Choosing Peace Not War

We often live with a sense of being powerless or being victims of others-- including our mothers-- as if we didn’t have a choice about how to feel or respond to what they say, or how they treat us. (Mothers certainly do have a special ability to trigger powerful automatic reactions.)

But from the out-of-the-box perspective which I describe in my book, Out of the Box for Life (HarperCollins), we would not choose to be hurt, frustrated or invalidated by anything she said. We would not give up what we know about ourselves, just because she may see things differently. The thrill and sense of power and freedom that we would feel would be extraordinary! Our well-being would be back in our hands, where it has always been and always should be. We might hear her judgment of us, but see it as a reflection of her, not who we really are. Again, we are free—and at peace—open to something brand new! (See my second article for exactly what that can mean.)

The Third Step: Choosing What’s True

From in the box, letting go of the past may sound like glossing things over, denying your feelings, avoiding your hurt, or being callous to your “real” pain. None of these are the case.

From out of the box, you see the truth of what has happened between you. You know who your mother is, and who you are. You give up trying to change her. It won’t work anyway, and will only frustrate you both.

What will work is to know that deep within you, you are always free of anything that has ever happened to you in the past. Holding on to the old identity of being damaged, keeps you both stuck in the past, and your mother as the cause. No matter what she may have said or done to you, there is a place within that is always free and undamaged. I guarantee that this is the case. If you choose to see life from this perspective, your mother (and even your father) is released, and so are you. That is true freedom!

The Fourth Step: Choosing Freedom

We have to finally recognize that hurt and anger linger because we continue to focus on them, and on what happened in the past, and see ourselves and life itself from that vantage point. We repeatedly tell ourselves what’s wrong with us, and listen very closely as if what we say is useful, or in any way important.

It’s just very old news that does nothing positive for our life, and certainly does not move us forward. We identify with our childhood beliefs as if they are true now. We feel victimized by our relationships with our mothers and what she may or may not have done, and by what we did not receive from her.

We forget that so much has changed since we first assessed life when we were young. Imagine if we never replaced our clothes, our shoes, or our cars. Imagine if we never deleted old messages on our phones or our computers—especially the ones that we didn’t want or need? Would there be any space left for something new, or something useful to show up?

We do have choices, and we can make them based solely on what we want to have happen in our lives. We no longer need to be stuck in the past, especially if we are courageous enough to choose to look at things anew. Don’t we truly deserve that? Don’t our mothers deserve that? Wouldn’t that freedom be the most amazing Mother’s Day gift that she and you could receive? What do you think about giving her that?

Finally, I am still offering my Google E-Book, Out of the Box for Life, where you can quickly learn very powerful tools to resolve most issues in your life. You can download it directly from my website (or from the Google site) for just three dollars. Enjoy!

Author's Bio: 

My passion in life is to help individuals and couples quickly find solutions to even the most challenging issues, so that they can reconnect with a new sense of possibility and joy for what life can truly be.

The short-term, solution-oriented approach focuses on the future rather than the past. In our work together you will quickly learn how to shift your perspective from one in which you may feel frustrated, stuck, scared or angry, to a perspective, in which you will find the intention, the will, the compassion, and the wisdom you need to move forward.

It's a simple, fun, yet powerful approach, based on 35 years of experience, and described in my book, Out of the Box for Life: Being Free is Just a Choice (HarperCollins).
I am also the only therapist in the NYC area, who is certified by John Gray, the author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.

Through our work, you will learn to rapidly resolve most issues in your life, by shifting your perspective to one that will immediately reveal the path to creating the life, and the relationship that you truly want.

I look forward to speaking with you about what we can resolve and create together. That’s a pretty exciting possibility!