I'd had the kind of divorce they put in books and movies, and and ex who was worse. The suffering I went through was the source of my transformation into happiness. I gave up everything to get away my ex-husband, my children, my farm, my pets. My 3 children 12, 17 & 22 came to spend Christmas day with me at my yoga studio. We had fun, playing games and eating food.
My parents didn’t bother to ring to say Merry Christmas, nor had they invited me to the Boxing Day lunch with friends and family. They really mustn’t care about me, I asked them for lunch on Christmas Day but they didn't want to come. I sent them an email of my yoga poses Christmas Album. I was really upset.
A lovely young girl rang and asked if she could come and do some yoga while she was in town. I needed something to do, so we both had an emotion clearing, she was going through childhood memories stored at her parents’ house.
My parents, sister, and Aunt from New Zealand came a few days later. I like my Aunt from New Zealand. When they arrived my mother couldn't wait to tell me that my ex-husband had brought my three children over and what a lovely Boxing Day lunch they had all had together.
“You mean you invited my ex-husband to your Boxing Day lunch and you didn't even ring me on Christmas Day?” I couldn’t believe it.
“Yes, he enjoyed the Christmas pudding” she answered and raved on about what a jolly time they’d had.
I said “Would you like to stop talking about that now?” and went into the kitchen with my sister and tried to stay cool & calm. I had to go out to lunch with them. I had to open their presents. And give them theirs. I gave my dad spotted handkerchiefs with his initials embroidered on them. I gave my mother measuring spoons to help with her cooking skills
We went to a café, where I had to endure the waitress taking a family photo. I was sitting there with so much negative energy I thought everybody in the café would leave, so I turned it off and focused on talking to my Aunt from New Zealand, I showed her photos of my karate classes and amazing yoga students. My sister is nice. I ignored my mother as much as possible.
They left. I didn't really know how to deal with the thought that my mother would do something like this to me and that my father would let her. It’s like they saw how happy I am now and wanted to do something to really hurt me so I would have to stop being happy. It seems a clear message to me saying “we liked you ex-husband better than you anyway.” It seems to say “we condone what your ex-husband did to you through your divorce”; actually they never asked me how I was during that and used to secretly invite him over then too.
On Sunday I went slightly insane. On Monday I decided not to go insane. I called my best friend instead and went to her place for a ham sandwich. We talked and I cried a bit.
Later in the afternoon I was having a rest on my big red cushions. I was sort of asleep, and I had a dream I turned into blue sparkles. I remembered when I was a little girl I used to run away. My mother must have been doing something to me back then to make me want to run away. Then it happened! All of a sudden everything became crystal clear, my mind became totally still, not a movement of thought ruffled my mind. I knew the answer. My whole mind started to churn, I could feel the synapses rearranging so many mistaken thoughts.
All her life my mother felt guilty and wanted other people to experience feeling like her so she makes them feel guilty. I don’t know why she feels guilty, but it’s her guilt, not mine and I’m not going to be made to feel guilty anymore. All my life I had been living with her perception that I had done wrong because I wouldn’t let her control me. I became ill with bipolar when I was 18 and she has made me pay for that for 20 years. I don’t think she can understand why I would leave an unhappy marriage because she chose to stay in one, making everyone’s life miserable.
My Buddhist training has taught me to take blame onto myself, but I realize that is different to accepting being blamed by someone else. She feels guilty about inviting my ex-husband to share Christmas with them and she will blame me for making her feel guilty. She will never apologise because she can never admit to doing something wrong. So she will try and make me feel guilty. And my poor old father is an accessory. My mother blames my Father for being old. She makes her sister feel small for being kind to people. But she is my mother and I have to love her because of that. I don’t recall her ever telling me she loves me.
Part II How I got Over It
I met a girl from Scotland when we were walking back to central, who then rang asking if she could come join in a yoga class on Friday; which she did; and she shouted me lunch in exchange for a tour of the vineyards. What a lovely day. And you’ll never guess, she was so inspired that day that she has since gone to India to become a yoga teacher!
A week had gone by and I felt sad. I decided that I needed to let myself feel sad. After all, it is quite a sad thing when you realize your mother doesn't love you. BUT I didn't let feeling sad upset my equanimity, I felt sad, but not upset about being sad.
I thought that a bit of retail therapy would help; I would go looking for happiness from an object. I bought a new yoga mat. I went to my Chinese friend’s beautiful shop and told them I needed to buy something to make me feel happy, my friend laughed, we know that material objects don’t make you happy, but sometimes you just need something special, just for the sake of it. After, looking at all the beautiful things, I chose a humming ball, a necklace with a meditation ball inside a heart locket, my friend had it put away in a draw. It reminds me that I have wonderful friends. My friends understand.
I am not ungrateful to my mother, in fact I am grateful to her for making me become a good person. I have been trying all my life to be good so she would stop making me feel bad. It is never going to work because her guilt is her problem, not mine, it is not my fault she doesn't have a good heart. I have tried all I can to open her mind. I took her to Uluru. She yelled at me and tried to embarrass me because I chose to climb the rock. The lady I was talking to and I just looked at each other as she stormed off and said to each other “love your mother”. I was on MY Spiritual journey. When I was doing yoga she laughed at me. I asked her why she was laughing at me, why would she be laughing at my beliefs? She replied that she was laughing because she can’t do it. So I taught her how to do tree posture. I realized that all my life when I thought she had been laughing at me, it was because of her own insecurities. We had a great time on this holiday. I have compassion for my mother. Actually she is responsible for me becoming the best I can be, I always thought it was to try and impress her, if I did great things, she would value me, she says she thinks I have done very well. Now I see I just didn't want her to make me feel guilty anymore. I will no longer accept her treatment of me.
Then last night an amazing thing happened. I meditated, not to contemplate, just to let my mind have a rest. I cleared my mind and let it rest. Wow I felt so good afterwards. Then I shared my little story on facebook, about how I had dealt with a sad thing that had happened to me. And that little story travelled all around the world inspiring people and helping to overcome sadness. People didn't pity me, they were kind and happy for me that I had given my sadness room to dissolve and I had become happy again. Now I can’t even feel sad about what my mother did because it has served a positive purpose. I feel blessed and humbled.