THE BLOG
10/08/2010 03:02 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Are You Like Your Mother?

Our mothers influence us more than anyone else in our lives. Even in adulthood, as the years go by, their legacy lives on within.

Some of us adore our mothers, others fight or compete with them. Some are attached, others cannot bear to even speak to them. But no matter what we feel, our mothers have instilled their best aspects within us.

Often they represent everything we love and everything we hate; we love the security and comfort they give us and hate the control and fear they provoke.

When our mothers embraced and accepted us, we felt like we could touch heaven with our bare hands; the intense emotion of maternal love, nurturing us, protecting and caring for us in the first days of our lives, is never erased completely. Yet her rejections, disapproval and punishments have also left their mark.

These moments are recorded so profoundly in our memories, in the hard disk that stores the information of who we think we are, that as adults we continue to project those same feelings in our personal relationships, seeking that same protection, that feeling of being nurtured and loved, and maybe even recreating the same feelings of rejection.

Normally we want to be as much as -- or more than -- our mothers, but no matter how we look at it, our mothers are, without a doubt, our greatest mirrors.

Some have a harmonious relationship with their mothers, without any tension or discord; the loving relationship with the mother is a constant source of support and nourishment, inspiring great celebration of life.

If you can honestly say that you love your mother with all your heart, without judgment or regret, you will know clearly that you are loving yourself, that you are loving the feminine aspect within. But until you reach that point, you can transform what you feel towards your mother into a wonderful opportunity for self realization.

THE MOTHER WITHIN

By healing the accumulated resentment and tension of past experiences, you can unravel the misunderstandings and reproachful memories that may have left you bitter, confused or desolate. These emotional scars are usually left by circumstances that seemed unjust, that made us feel like victims: undeserving, unsupported or unloved, unnoticed or undervalued.

If you feel any of these things, they are clear indications of places where you can can heal more within yourself, where you can move closer towards unconditional love and find greater internal completion. Generally, when we don't know what to do with all these feelings, we learn to repress and ignore them. But what happens then? When we suppress our feelings and judgments, we become them: If we are really honest, we will find ourselves emulating the things we most hate about our mothers!

This is because our mothers do not only live in our homes, at different times of our lives; they also live in our heads, pushing us, criticizing us, chastising us. In one form or another, you will find your mother is always present in those aspects of yourself that you have yet to embrace: maybe you even gave birth to your mother, or married her; as long as you continue denying the feelings within yourself, the same patterns will repeat in other relationships.

If your child's behavior makes you feel insecure, or those around you make you mistrust yourself, stop: Don't torture yourself any longer. There is a direct path to transform those feelings, by going inwards and finding the root of that self doubt. For example, if the behavior of your adolescent child make you feel that maybe you didn't instill enough values in them, or didn't set enough limits, that self punishment is something you don't deserve. I am sure that at the time you did the best you could with the elements that were available to you. If you didn't love yourself, if you were insecure, if you yourself were needy for love, you probably couldn't give them anything else. But today is a new day, now you can make new choices.

There is one thing our children always learn from automatically, and that is our own example. They imitate us from an early age and learn to emulate our behavior, but they also register our feelings, even if we don't show them. It is not enough to tell them how they should behave, we must give the example; your words must be reflected in your actions. Then they will be received, and understood on a much deeper level. If you have not cultivated self-esteem and self-love, telling your kids to take care of themselves will not be enough. One cares for oneself when one loves oneself; if you feel you are worthless, you become careless, and will often look for experiences and situations that reaffirm that feeling.

If you feel you don't give them enough, my question would be, are you giving enough to yourself? Are you listening to your internal needs? What do you think of yourself when you look in the mirror? Do you hear a voice of criticism or appreciation? You can be sure that is the same voice that raises your children; it is probably the voice your parents used to raise you. Let's heal the root of that rejection within, by starting to consciously revert those behaviors, in small things at first: Start to love yourself in those places of insecurity and fear and start to say yes to yourself. You will find that these subtle, internal changes start to reflect naturally in the way you treat others.

HOMEWORK

Start saying yes to that which you have negated, love that which you have feared, embrace that which you have rejected. Then the renewed love towards your mother, whether she be physically present or not in your life, will allow you to see her afresh, vibrating in the highest level of unconditional love you have ever felt.

It is special for me to share this with you at this time, the first year I have spent without my mother, who lives on within me, in the presence of the highest and most powerful love. It is this love that I share with my students and my readers; a most wonderful experience that it is available to all of us through the expansion of consciousness.

My greatest desire is that each of you, when you look in the mirror, will feel that profound love towards yourselves.

That is how I love you.

Isha Judd is an internationally renowned spiritual teacher and author; her latest book and movie, Why Walk When You Can Fly? explain her system for self-love and the expansion of consciousness. Learn more at www.whywalkwhenyoucanfly.com.