I have chosen my mother as the recipient of "the blessing." My mother and I have not always enjoyed the best of relationships, and I feel the various elements of "the blessing" are relevant to our relationship. I want to enhance our relationship and gain new awareness of my mother and myself in the process. I used the various steps and saw results, and I will explain the results step-by-step. I did see a difference in our relationship after I used the steps to bless my mother, and I saw a difference in my mother, too, which showed me the true power of the blessing in everyday life.
The Meaningful Touch. This step was difficult for me because my family has never been very "touchy feely," and so hugging is not something we do very often. I wanted to hug my mother to show her that I care about her, but hugging made us both uncomfortable. So, I told her that I was working on a "school project" and that I needed to hug her every time I saw her to record our feelings. Mom was very uncomfortable at first, but as the weeks progressed, she got used to our hugging when we first saw each other, and she even began to initiate it after a while. After we became used to hugging, I also noticed that she was more open to physical touching with other people in the family, too. In fact, she even told my aunt that I "taught her to hug," and then she hugged my aunt! It was gratifying, and also a little humbling, because I realized if I had reached out to her sooner then we both would have learned about meaningful touch much sooner.
A Spoken Message. This step was difficult, too because it took me quite a while to decide just what I wanted to say to my mother, and how I wanted to say it. While using the "school project" excuse worked for the meaningful touch, I thought that using the same excuse might be a little suspicious of my motives or whatever. If we haven't been touchers in my family, we haven't really been talkers either. We communicate, but usually on a very easy, non-challenging level. I know my mother approves of many of my choices, but she does not always say so. So, it was difficult to find the right words and the right time to give the spoken message to my mother. It worked out that we ended up alone in the kitchen one evening, fixing dinner together, and the spoken message just came naturally. As I chopped vegetables and mom cooked, I told her that I loved her and that I valued her. I also told her that I wanted her to know that, and that I knew we'd had our differences but that didn't mean I loved her any less. She was surprised, but touched. I saw her wipe a tear away when she thought I wasn't looking. She didn't say much to me, other than she loved me too, but it felt like there was a wall between us before and it had been broken by our words.
Attaching High Value. I guess the touching and talking did have more value than I originally thought, because my mom just got "softer" somehow after we talked. I think we talked more after that, and we both were interested in what the other had to say. I also told her that I wanted to know more about her life when she was my age. A couple of times we went to lunch together, and she began to share stories of her childhood and young adulthood, and I had never heard many of them. We became closer, and there was a bond between us that had not been there before. I began thinking about the high value that had come from our sharing experiences with each other, and I began to really look and see how I truly valued the people in my life -- especially my family. I seemed to have taken them for granted before, and now, it was as if I was seeing them in a new light.
Sure, they still did things that bugged me, and I did things that bugged them, but I found the atmosphere was somehow better all around, and that we were ALL talking about things a little more openly. I really noticed it in my mom and in how she interacted with the rest of the family. I didn't want to think that just changing how I related to my mom might have created a more open relationship with everyone, but it sure began to seem as if that was what was happening in our family. I really saw that my mother had things to say that were valuable, and that I gave them a higher value than I had before. When I began to share this value with my mother, she seemed to value what I said more too, and so it was like a circle that just kept getting wider and larger.
Picturing a Special Future. I worked on this very hard, too, and the picture that finally emerged was a bit surprising to me. I pictured my mother as a grandmother, and a doting one at that. She has never said much about wanting grandchildren or about any of us getting married and having kids, so it really never crossed my mind that it might be important to her. However, during one of our talks she mentioned that she had always wanted a houseful of grandchildren. I actually found that I could picture her happiness in my mind. I saw her playing with her grandkids, and teaching them how to cook, work in the garden, and do the arts and crafts she really loves. I also saw that she really wasn't sure that this would happen to her, and that she wasn't sure any of us would actually get married and give her grandkids.
I have always wanted to put my career first and my education, and I don't see myself getting married for quite a while, and my brothers are pretty flighty, so she doesn't expect them to settle down any time soon. I told her that I had this image in my mind, and I surprised myself because it seemed as if the children she was enjoying were MINE! It was an image that didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, which took some getting used to. However, I told her that I saw a happy and healthy future for her, and that I thought she would have plenty of grandkids to love and enjoy. She seemed surprised by my thoughts, but thanked me, and told me that would be one of the happiest moments in her life, to play and love her grandchildren. I can see it means a lot to her, and that my hope for her future matched many of her own thoughts that she had never told me.
I also told her that I simply wanted her to have a happy future, whatever that held, and that I wanted her to have a good life, and I wanted to live my life the way that my parents had taught me to. My mom and dad always tried to raise us to be responsible and good citizens, and even if we always didn't see eye-to-eye, these are values that are important to me. I tried to tell my mom that my future was involved in those beliefs and values, and that I thought we had a long and happy future to share together. My mom just seemed to listen to a lot of that, but later, I caught her looking out the window and daydreaming with a smile and a look of contentment on her face. I hoped she was seeing a happy future, too.
The Responsibility. This was maybe the easiest part of the blessing for me, because I had worked my way up to it, and that was really the hard part!!! I felt as if I had a stronger, higher power with me as I moved through the steps and began to see the results in my family, and in myself. If my mother seemed more content, so did I. So, they responsibility of the blessing did not feel like a burden, it actually felt like a gift and that a great weight had lifted off me. I spend more time with my mother now, and what's more, I enjoy it more than I did before. I have many commitments, but I work especially hard to make time for my mother and her needs. I see that she does not always ask for help or for my company, but that she is grateful for it when it happens. I see that she really doesn't ask for much for herself, and has been that…