My story comes after a really terrible period in my life where my wonderful and beautiful daughter stopped talking to me and cut me out of her life. At the time of doing the Landmark Forum, our relationship was just starting to improve. Inspired by the idea of clearing the past and acknowledging my daughter for who she was for me in my life, I took courage, lifted the phone and told her that no matter what she did, I would always love her. Speaking these words truly to my daughter, I was overwhelmed with the stark and simple truth of what I had just said. That I really would always love her no matter what. Speaking and actually seeing this, made me realise that I really could love someone. Immediately, I was struck with a brilliant flash of joy and relief as I realised that I had unconsciously been operating under the rather stupid misconception that I was unable to, or no good at, loving. I have no idea where this idea came from, but this crazy story of mine had been choking the life out of my relationships for some time. As a result of this revelation to self, instead of leaving my partner and casting myself back out into the “cold, cold snow” as I had planned to do, I decided to stay. I decided to stay with my partner, not because I was afraid of being on my own, but because I was no longer felt afraid of being in a relationship, no longer felt afraid of being found lacking in love or not being able to give enough love back. I was also finally able to stop, hear and acknowledge my daughter’s grief with me. When I actually listened, I could see quite clearly that she had been trying to explain herself to me all along. Previously however, my own rather self defensive “yes but” dialogue had effectively drowned out and discounted her words and her distress. My relationship is still, I think, a work in progress, but I am so happy that I do actually have someone in my life to love.
My relationship with my daughter is still fragile on occasions, but now I can see that I do have love to give, the possibility of our relationship is looking a whole lot brighter.
Hollie Hollie (Brisbane, Australia)