Spring 2006 SLAM! - Congrats to the winners - see you all next time!
"Journey to Love"
She thought her mother was wonderful, a perfect person
who knew everything, was right about everything
and everything her mother did seemed perfect.
She wanted to make her mother proud, so she could feel loved
but something always got in the way
so that the things she did or said were never good enough
according to her mother’s standards, not good enough
for her to feel like a capable and worthy person.
Often, at night, she wept and raged and wondered if there was a way
that she could change, and become everything
her mother seemed to expect, so that she could finally feel loved.
But she couldn’t figure out how to be as perfect
as she felt her mother needed for her to be, perfect
enough to make her proud, perfect enough
at last to feel worthy of being loved.
At times she hated her mother, this perfect person
who didn’t seem to love her. At those times, anger colored everything
she tried to do, and gradually, in a way,
the anger began to motivate her to try even harder to do well - a way
to prove herself worthy, even if she wasn’t perfect.
She would say to herself, “I’ll just show you, Mother!” and suddenly everything
seemed more possible. Little by little, it began to be enough
for her that she could see herself as a strong and competent person
who was worthy of being loved,
no longer needing to fear that she was only as good as the mother she loved
saw her to be. Years passed, and life changed them both, as it has a way
of doing. And as her mother aged, the strong and confident person
she had seemed to be slowly began to reveal that she was not perfect
after all - indeed, had been grievously wounded by her past, enough
so that its scars had kept her silent - unable to share everything
that she longed to communicate, everything
she had yearned to tell the daughter she had loved
so deeply through all of their life together. And so, it became enough,
as she sorted through the fragments of her mother’s broken heart, for her to find the way
to understand, and to forgive – to let go the need for either of them to be perfect
and to love her mother in a new way – as her equal – a flawed, yet loving person.
In life’s relationships, everything will not be smooth along the way
but if I can love and let myself be loved, without the need for any of us to be perfect,
it will be enough, and I will be on my way to becoming a whole person.