“The sweetest of all sounds is that of the voice of the woman we love.” ~ Jean de la Bruyere
It’s always amazed me that even after all the years of heartache caused by my mother abandoning me and being told time after time that it was my fault she had gone; all I wanted was for her to love me. And to be able to return that love.
I knew that I hadn’t been loved as a child but it didn’t stop me wanting it. When my mother left it was as if she had taken my heart with her, leaving an emptiness that I couldn’t understand or escape. With each year that passed, the void grew and so did the feeling of loneliness and despair.
My thinking became distorted. With no-one to reassure or guide me, I came to believe that if I could find the woman who had brought me into the world,she could give me the love I had been missing. Then of course my life would be transformed. Because if my mother loved me then other people would love me. Simple.
Except that attachment and loss are not simple at all. Tracing a missing person involves so much more than locating their whereabouts. And going through life searching for love is complicated and painful.
“A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.” ~ Mother Teresa
In lieu of my mother’s love I tried looking for comfort in work, money, alcohol and relationships. Yet the more I failed to find what I was looking for, the deeper I sunk into depression and self-loathing. I thought too little of myself to entertain the idea of looking for a love that was genuine or precious. So I ended up accepting any hint of love that came in my direction. Love in disguise would fill the gap until I found my true love. Until I found my mother.
But the agonising truth was yet to be faced. Sometimes the person we are looking for doesn’t want to be found. For me that concept was unimaginable. I had been prepared for difficulties once we had reunited but I never believed that she would reject me again.
One of the hardest decisions of my life was having to stop the search for my mother. I had invested so much time and so much emotional energy in tracing her, but she had killed me off in her mind and I no longer existed.
My heart told me that it was impossible. That my mother had to love me because I was her daughter. That she would understand that I needed her love to fill the void. I needed her love to make me whole again.
My head though told me something completely different. My head told me she had ruined my life. She was the cause of my depression and addiction. She owed me.
Unfortunately the choice to pursue someone doesn’t entitle you to their attention, respect or affection. You only have control over yourself and you can’t determine or demand how anyone else should react. And it was no different for me. I could plan every move and dream of the perfect love, but I had no authority over my mother. She had her own plans and dreams. They didn’t include me and I had to accept that.
It took many years of recovery to get to a place of forgiveness and peace of mind about my mother. Today I don’t even know if she is alive. It doesn’t matter anymore. That particular journey has ended.
Yet like many things in life it is only when you’ve come to an ending that you find the beginning. As the door to my mother’s love closed forever, the opening to a new life began.
Difficult as it was to acknowledge my mother’s decision, it was an event that served as a catalyst in my life. I had to to be realistic in my expectations of others and allow them to make their decisions without judgement.And I also stop looking to someone else to fulfill my destiny and choose my own path.
Past the excruciating pain of rejection came the cognition of taking responsibility for my own well-being. I had been searching outside of myself to find the love that I needed, the reassurance I craved and the acceptance I desired. I had been looking in wrong place.
“Love is the beauty of the soul.” ~ Saint Augustine
Faith led to me to look inside my own heart,mind and soul. My disbelief and apprehension was overcome by the desire to find the love I had sought for so long. Gently but passionately, the truth emerged. Everything that I had been searching for was already within me. Waiting to be released.
The search was over.