Posted by Cass - 11 May 2012
This was a relatively hard one for me as I think my relationships with people are good and even past relationships have ended well.
I then read that it did not have to be a current relationship and I chose to think about my relations with my mother towards the end of her life. My mother had dementia and this changed her personality through no fault of her own and she became an utter stranger that I was responsible for.
This made life very difficult and I realised that towards the end I had begun to hate her. It took time to admit this to myself but when I eventually did, I was able to feel better and move on.
The book asked me to write down 10 things I had liked about my mother before the problem arose and this is what I did.
1. She had been a firm but a very fair mother throughout my childhood and adolescence. She allowed me to grow but was there in the background guiding me.
2. I remembered my first day at school and the fact that I wanted to take a little blue geometry set with me and she had tried to dissuade me, saying I would not need it. Eventually she allowed me to put it in my satchel and she was there to comfort me when I got home, quite angry because they had not taught me to use it.
3. I remembered my first bike and the fact that she met me from school with it on my birthday.
4. I recalled how proud I was when she made an enormous bouquet of flowers for my teacher on my last day at primary school. She turned up dressed up to the nines and looked amazing.
5. Even though she was what would today be called dyslexic, she always helped me with my homework and took me to the library to find out information for my assignments. We also had encyclopaedias at home and she encouraged me to use them.
6. She always made fantastic crepe paper costumes for my brother and me to wear at Christmas when we gave out the presents.
7. My mother always allowed me to bring my foreign friends home even though she was very shy and was always worried that they would not like the food or they would not be able to understand her.
8. She was a really wonderful cook. Plain English food, but plenty of it and always freshly cooked with produce from her garden.
9. I was always allowed to have Birthday parties and invite my friends and I was always proud of the cakes that she made and particularly remember a little cottage with tiled roof and a garden with flowers in it. This was all handmade and my friends were very jealous. She also made orange skins filled with red jelly and my friends just loved them.
10. We always went away to the seaside for holidays and I fondly remember walking along the shoreline gathering shells or wandering in the lanes collecting wild flowers.
I realised that I could go on finding amazing things to remember and this certainly made me feel better. I can now look back with fondness and forget the sad four final years of her life.
This exercise can be done for any relationships that might have gone awry and certainly makes you grateful for the good things and puts the negative things into perspective. It is us that carry the anger.
150 Good things have now been noted down and this makes you realise that so many of our moans and groans are so trivial when put up against the magic blessings that we have.
My Magic Rock thought: My tai chi class went really well and I managed to remember the whole routine without fault and enjoyed it.
The book that started all this was The Magic by Rhonda Bryne