A New Way to Look at Things

A surreal scene, of a beautiful lake from Moscow

Article by Wendy McCance

Last night I was talking with my daughter about someone close to her that had been really disappointing her.  She is well aware of the fact that you can’t change people and was having a difficult time accepting what was in front of her.  She has been looking to get closer and connect better to this close family member, but everything she has tried has left her in the same spot.

I began to discuss what it was like as a kid myself.  I had always wanted a close relationship with my mom, but it was always out of my reach.  My mom talked at me instead of talking to me.  She was very aware of her role as the authoritative figure.  She spent a lot of time barking orders and shutting me out.  You know the old saying, “children should be seen not heard?”  Well, that was her ideal situation for me and my sister to be in.  My mom never took the time to get to know me, but did walk around acting like she did.  She would tell me what I was thinking, doing, and why.  It was about 95% incorrect.  I was accused of doing things that had never occurred.  I was also accused of lying.  She was always, “fishing” for a shred of truth to create a scenario around and so she could feel vindicated and punish me.

Back to my daughter, she is in a mirror like situation and she is often crushed by the actions of the one person she wants to feel a close bond to.

This is the advice I gave her:

There are people out there who reached a certain level of maturity and then somehow stopped growing.  Maybe it was a traumatic experience in their own life, maybe that extra piece was never there inside of them to grow.  We don’t know what happened.  The important thing is how we look at it and work with it so that we can move on and feel some sense of acceptance while letting go of any bitterness towards that person.

This is extreme I admit, and PLEASE, PLEASE don’t be offended by the way I put this next part.  It was a way to explain delicately to a twelve-year-old how to cope.

I said that we needed to look at this person like I looked at my mom.  Someone who has a piece missing.  In other words, they have a sort of disability.  If my mom had not been able to walk and was in a wheelchair, I might feel mad that she couldn’t run around and play with me.  I might have wished that I had that “ideal mom” we all envision stored deep in our mind.  The bottom line is that I would get over it, accept it, move on  and love her just as much as I would if she could walk.  It wasn’t something she chose, it happened and she can’t fix it.

I told my daughter that it’s always easier to forgive and move on when there is something physical that you can see.  It reminds you each time you look at that person that it is a limitation of theirs.  Somehow my daughter needed to envision something when she was in contact with this close relative so that she would remember that they had a limitation.  They were doing the best that they knew how to do.  Somehow, something was missing, they stopped growing and what they are putting out is the best that they have to offer.  We need to accept this if we want any sort of relationship with them.

At the end of the conversation, I tucked my daughter into bed and saw a look of peace come over her.  She thanked me for showing her a different way of looking at the situation and was able to go to sleep with a peaceful mind.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

8 thoughts on “A New Way to Look at Things

  1. Hi Wendy, wonderful advice, nothing like the love to try to understand people. Love supersedes all evil and to love another person just because she has all the good qualities is easy. Difficult it is to love we someone, very different from what We idealize. Congratulations. Daughter of luck. Kisses.

  2. I loved the way you explained it to your daughter and I know exactly what you mean my nephew’s mother has something missing in her that makes her able to connect with her son the way a mother should, she just doesn’t seem to have that something that makes mothers special……..

    • Thanks for the kind words. I wish all the best for your nephew and that he finds enough love and support to find his way. It sounds like you are good for him.

  3. What compassion, and so beautifully expressed!
    It took years for me to forgive my parents, but I finally had to accept that someone or something made them that way. Only with that realization was I able to move beyond, and now I enjoy a warm relationship with them.

  4. I hear the melancholy in your writting voice. It’s so hard for a child who greatly desires a loving, supportive and appreciative relationship. The child gives it all only to have it ignored or to be turned away for some unknown reason. It breaks my heart when I witness it. For me I truly don’t understand that sort of behavior. It’s as if the adult needs to feel more powerful so they take it out on a child who can’t doesn’t know how to fight back. Your advise is well place for your child. My hope is that they can use it always and not be affective by the “menatlly disabled” adult.

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