Accepting my training

QUESTION: Masters, I have never been good enough for my mother. She keeps criticizing me; I have the wrong man, we may not have a new car, etc. She is not happy when my kids get along. She doesn’t remember our birthdays. She never gives gifts to us. She tries to diminish me and make me feel guilty. But my brother, he is excellent. She has never denied anything for him. Their deals are top secret though other people’s confidential businesses doesn´t stop her gossiping. I am used to making myself responsible for everything that goes wrong. This may result from what happened in my childhood. My father didn´t get angry in spite of my mother constantly provoking him. Until she had an idea – she began to yell at me! And she got what she wanted. My mother considered this quite amusing. How much can she affect our life? ~Saga, Finland

ANSWER: Basic and simple answer: your mother can affect your life only to the extent and degree you allow her to do so. You have been programmed by her to react to everything she does to get a response from you. This she sees as entertaining. Just as she had to find her husband’s soft spot, she has trained you to react to everything she says and does because you have not discovered that you do not have to let her dictate your behavior.

So what if she doesn’t like the way you live your life? Are you content with your life? Who is in a better position to see what is going on in your family, you or her? You, of course—it is your life. Why are you letting her tell you how you should feel about your own existence? That is saying she knows better than you what is right in what you do. Does that make any sense to you? Take back control of your life.

It is going to be hard to cut the value of her ideas out of your thoughts because they have reigned there all your life. You have no spiritual obligation to her to let her keep you from exercising your freedom to choose your own opinions.

Stop competing with your brother for her attention and approval—you are never going to get it. This is another of her little games. Choose not to give her power over you and your family. She loves fear and negativity. Choose love and positive thoughts and actions.

Distance yourself from her for a while to see that you can live life without her. Observe how other families determine their own rules, separate from the way they were programmed by their parents. You are not responsible for everything that goes wrong; you have just accepted the role of fall guy because that is what your mother wants. Start defining a new you.