Societal control

QUESTION: Masters, as you know, I’ve been struggling to cope with the needs of my mother. I accept that I’m looking for someone to tell me what to do and I know you won’t do that. I’m desperate to find a way to meet her needs and yet still have a life of my own. I’m confused about how selfish I’m being and how much I owe her. And one day, she won’t be here and I don’t want to have regrets then. Please can you administer a verbal kicking to me? Please, please help me. ~Karen, UK

ANSWER: Just as your mother had to accept it was necessary to cut the apron strings when you needed to go out on your own so you might grow and mature, you need to evaluate what your responsibility to her is, in reality. The wishes of your mother are to some degree very selfish. She is keeping you from living your life by her requests for your almost constant assistance.

In this period of her life she has a fear of death, and when you are around she can imagine herself as a young mother with a doting daughter. Nothing you are doing in recognizing the true situation, her age, and her health difficulties, is being selfish. There are a number of times when others are a much better aid for her than you could ever be.

When a woman has a baby, she puts a portion of her life on hold to help mold that child into a responsible adult. She has usually done everything she could to create that baby. Nothing in the equation of daughterhood calls for a reciprocal “hold” when the mother becomes dependent. You do not “owe” her for taking care of the child she wanted.

Assuring that she is adequately being taken care of does not imply that you must be the caregiver. The life you are leading is still yours and not a continuation of hers. One of your life lessons is learning to honor your journey by using self-love as a motivating factor for your actions.

You are assigning duties to yourself that you have every right, but no responsibility, to do. Everybody dies, and every soul returns Home to unconditional love to be mourned by the humans who remain in body.

Your mother is not simply the body seen before you; she is an eternal soul with whom you have made contracts to puzzle over the exact situation you face. There are no right or wrong answers or actions to this dilemma. There will be no regrets if you remember this was a group agreement and you will rehash it when together again.