I have a good friend who can’t stand her mom. When she was growing up, her mom was abusive and hyper-critical. For my friend, life meant constantly walking on eggshells, watching everything she said and did because she didn’t know when her mom was going to snap next.
My friend still judges herself for the way she feels towards her mom. On the rare occasions she confronts her and tell her how awful she was—and still is—my friend is tortured by guilt. She really wants to love her mom. You’re supposed to love your mom, right?
But moms are supposed to be loving and kind and supportive, and my friend’s mom is none of those things. Since my friend can’t love her mom she tries to fake it. She suppresses her true feelings and tries to act loving and caring towards her even while she’s boiling on the inside. She has been doing this for decades.
It takes a toll. She’s often unhappy and depressed. She feels stuck and resentful, and a long lasting resentment can turn into a real health crisis.
I’ve told my friend that maybe, just maybe, she is reaching too far. She’s trying to get to LOVE from hatred. Perhaps she should try to reach neutrality instead?
Neutrality Is Underrated
Spiritual people love the concept of love, especially unconditional love. “We are all one,” they say. We should all love each other. It’s easy to say, harder to do, and even harder to feel. Many of them, like my friend, don’t really feel it so they try to fake it till they make it. They suppress and repress, and then one day they blow up, fall into depression or become ill.
I argue that neutrality is underrated and encourage everyone to give it a serious consideration. It’s a much more realistic goal than a love.
What Is Neutrality?
Neutrality is a feeling of detachment. It’s not that you don’t care, but you’ve untangled your energy from the other person’s energy. They can keep being who they are—and they will, because let’s face it, most people don’t want to change and won’t change just because we really, really want them to. But who they are and how they behave will have no longer have an effect on you.
“But wait,” you might think. “She’s my mom! I should love her!” To that I say: Fuck love. Try neutrality.
Try to get to a place of neutrality with the people you’re mad at, people who annoy you, or people who judge you and you’ll see just how good neutrality can feel. Maybe love will show up later, but who cares? Once you’re neutral, you can enjoy it, benefit from the lack of stress and you may not feel the need to keep working towards love.
How To Reach Neutrality
The most powerful process that I’ve found to reach neutrality about another person is Forgiveness Prayers. If you do them right, the entire process might take ninety minutes total. (Five minutes probably won’t be enough to move the energy!) You will know you did it right because you feel a huge sense of relief. You’ll think about that person and feel…nothing, and that’s one of the best feelings in the world!
My mom was like your friend’s Mom. One of the hardest things in life, for me, was the pervasive message that we are to honor our mother and father. To speak ill of one’s mother is taboo! The truth is, though they may be few in number, some mothers are sociopaths, destructive narcissists, psychopaths, violent, abusive, pick an onerous mental condition and it will apply to some women called mothers. This is a reality! The sooner society stops pushing the otherwise big lie, the better for those of us who suffered at the hands of overwhelmed, selfish, beleaguered or just plain evil women. The sooner some of these women will be able to get help- they won’t have to hide their secret.
Society at large suffers because these neglected, unloved, and abused children grow up and go forth into it. Some are able to take those lemons and make lemonade. Some are more like your friend who suffer and stumble.
People cringe when I say the best day of my life was the day my mother died. I did not feel joy but I no longer had to suffer the embarrassment of having a mother who could neither know me or love me. Love from her was never to be. For whatever reason she did not have it in her heart. For me, it has been the fodder of my life. Not a bad thing, but like the grimy, stinking, fermented manure essential to every good soil, it has nourished growth and introspection. God created her to create a deep and abiding beauty in my own life. I feel sorrow for her own sadness and suffering and a life wasted on hatred. It was not even her choice. It was a space she never learned how to move beyond. She has passed on and I believe her to be immersed in the beauty of this mysterious thing called life. If there is reincarnation I pray she will experience less pain the next time around and abundant love.
I hope your friend experiences freedom from the burden of what she is ‘supposed’ to have for a person she would not otherwise tolerate in her life ( except for the fact of the title ‘mother’). When she learns she no longer has to abide terrible behavior from anyone, she will be free.
Thank you for this . This had helped me immensely
Well said Michele!
What’s worse is if my mom isn’t bad. she’s actually perfect, but happened to breastfeed my brother one year younger. so I get to feel rejected and isolated and resisted all the time from 2 years old to 6.
Neutrality is super awesome! I want to stop supersizing my mom, and just disconnect from the energy. But I can love her, from safety.