How my mum’s mistakes can improve your life

Mothers Day, a letter to mum

I’d give anything for another moment with you Mum. It wouldn’t matter whether it was a moment of laughter, sadness, joy or anger – just a moment of connection, our connection.

I’ll never forget that Sunday morning as I sat on the edge of the bed still half asleep listening to the voicemail that left me lost in this world.

You were gone. The cancer had finally won.

You’ve been gone for almost 3 years now but the pain still remains. Someone recently told me that the grief will never stop but it will change shape. Well, I’m not sure what shape it is, but broken is how it feels.

I regret never truly communicating my gratitude for the selfless life you lived. You were always there for me – perpetually and without restriction – forever.

“Unconditional love” is what it’s called and I never knew it’s meaning until now. The best part is that it’s a love that has transcended your death as I can still feel it in my beating heart today.

But there’s a fine line between love and hate, Mum, and I’ve finally realised that for all the good you did, there are a few things that I didn’t love about you too. And I think it’s about time I told you in my own way.

You focused on the wrong things. 

You were so focused on what you didn’t want in life that you never had the energy for what you deserved. You were so focused on the life’s obligations rather than its opportunities; what could go wrong rather than what could go right, running away from pain rather than towards pleasure.

What’s worse is that you put too much time and effort into me and not enough time into you. You never understood that it wouldn’t have been selfish, it would have been giving in its purest form.

You let your strength become your weakness.

You were so strong-willed, but this was coupled with a stubbornness and inflexibility that just became arrogant. It was also an approach that became your weakness as it caused you to internalise your negative experiences, and as we all know, that end up causing irreparable physical and psychological damage.

Pain was always going to be certainty in life Mum. The suffering, however – that was your choice. You made a decision to suffer in silence because you were too *&%#ing stubborn to either ask for help or even show a moment of weakness and allow someone to be able to support you through it.

You allowed people who did so little for you control so much of your emotional state. 

All the people that hurt, belittled, judged, tormented, bullied and lied to you. Why did you give them so much power?

You let them in. You let them win. You gave a meaning to their senseless words and actions, giving them the key to something that only you should have access to – your emotional state.

Your words, action and decisions became based on their opinions. You allowed them to shape and mould your life.

God, I really hated writing this Mum, but I needed you to know. I just wish that I could have helped. I wish that you would’ve let me help, because I wanted to.

Now that I’ve got all this off my chest, it’s time to let it go. Mumma, thank you for being the “you” that you were to me. You taught me so many wonderful things that I’m only now beginning to learn. You’ll always be my Mum and I will always be your thankful son. Forever.

P.S I know it’s stupid but I still have you in my phone as “Mumma”. I just can’t seem to bring myself to delete it just yet, just in case I could still talk to you again one day.

My message to any of the amazing women reading this is simple…

My Mum was a truly incredible, inspiring and loving person, just like you.

She was human, just like you.

She had flaws, just like you.

But her flaws, which we all have, ended up controlling both her health and happiness. What’s worse is now that I know what to look for and often see it many other women. I find it really sad that people have to go through life feeling this way, so I would like to offer a few pieces of advice from someone who has seen the effect of this stuff.

  1. You’re stronger and more powerful that you could ever believe, but please try to believe it.
  2. Don’t allow your strength to become your weakness. Strength is not the absence of weakness, but rather the ability to ask for help when you’re feeling weak.
  3. Envision a better life and then take action towards it daily, because what you are to be, you’re now becoming.
  4. The only opinion of you that matters is your own. Don’t allow small-minded people take up a big part in your life. Forgive and move on.
  5. We are emotional, but you need to learn how to control your emotional state.
  6. Focus on what you want from your life. As the saying goes, seek and you shall find.
  7. Your perception is your reality. Start changing the way you look at things, as the things you look at will change.
  8. See things as they are, but not worse than they are.
  9. Pain is temporary, however the suffering will go on as long as you allow it to – find a solution and you’ll take back the control.
  10. Love your Mum.


Image credit: iStock
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James Anderson
James Anderson is the Founder & Director of PHAT Solutions, a women's only group training business located in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, which focuses on strength, conditioning and yoga training. With a true passion for education and empowerment, James' aim is to guide women towards stronger, leaner, fitter, healthier and ultimately happier versions of themselves using health, not hype. James has combined his background in personal training and NLP coaching, with a couple of near death experiences to develop a very unique outlook on life. As a result he speaks, presents and writes no B.S content in the hope that he can help others find their long-term personal health and happiness solution.