How to keep the peace

It happens doesn’t it? Big reactions, arguments, misunderstandings, hurt – the unconscious playing out of age-old dynamics between family members. So how can you keep the peace this Christmas and enjoy time with your family?

Your relationship with your mum

Of course, that wave of rage/resentment/despair/frustration/hurt can be triggered by various family members, but let’s focus on mum for now. For many people, their relationship with their mother can be one of the most influential ones throughout their lives, and it can be a sticky and time-consuming one to unravel. Why? Because she’s the one you were once part of, merged with, and if you don’t form clear boundaries and a sense of your own self, this can continue well beyond your early years.

Her issues, your issues

Many of my clients find they either have a resonance with their mother’s issues, or that she’s the main trigger for their own issues. I fell into the category of resonating with my mother. Growing up, I felt like we both suffered from the same fear of loss, it was like we both carried the same flavour of grief in our hearts. It wasn’t until I did a fair bit of ISIS work on myself, that I saw, while there’s a resonance, our issues are very different because we are essentially very different. I then had the enlightening experience of seeing her clearly as completely separate to me, walking her own path, not as my mother but as a light, a being in her own right.

Separating out from your mum

This process of separation is key to preventing the triggering and entanglement that can occur with your mother. From an early age, unwritten rules, unspoken dynamics are set up and unconsciously played out throughout your life. In many cases it’s like an energetic umbilical cord still exists between mother and child, along which all sorts of manipulations, dynamics and off-loading occur. As you can imagine, this doesn’t make for healthy relationships nor a clear sense of self as you become an adult.

Mapping & clearing energetic links

A process I undergo with many clients is to ‘map’ these energetic cords that still exist. It’s a fascinating way to really see objectively the dynamics that play out between yourself and your mother (or father etc). Becoming more conscious of these dynamics is the first essential step to clarifying the relationship and forming clear boundaries. This doesn’t mean a closeness no longer exists, it’s actually quite the opposite – as unconscious and often unhealthy patterns are cleared up, an opportunity opens up for authentic and conscious connection between two individuals. The final part of this process, is a clearing of this energetic cord via a specific ritual designed for this purpose. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in this process.

Breaking patterns

Becoming aware of unhealthy dynamics is the first step, but then you need to DO something different. I have a client who as a 10 year old took on the ‘caretaker’ role in her family. While her parents were fighting and things were falling apart around her, she was the one in control, taking charge and organising the chaos. Even though she has done work on herself around these issues and has changed a lot within, she still falls into this default role when with her family. This Christmas, she is determined to reveal the child-like part of her that wanted to be looked after herself. Even if it feels vulnerable, she has the tools and self-knowledge to do this now.

Airing unsaid resentments

It can also help to be explicit and get things out in the open, not through blaming nor projecting, but authentically communicating. Ask your mum if you can both have time to air some unsaid words or unfinished business. Susan Campbell in her book, Getting Real, suggests a practice of becoming transparent by voicing your resentments and your appreciations of the other person. The practice requires staying really present in your own experience, relating how YOU feel when your mother does something (be specific). Your mother agrees to sit and listen without interrupting until you’re finished, and it’s then her turn. This can be such a cathartic and healing process, clearing the way for real relating beyond damaging unconscious patterns.

Merry Christmas!

I hope these suggestions have been helpful. Unravelling and clarifying this core relationship can be a long path but it’s well worth it. In the meantime, give yourself the time to breathe deeply and stay present with what is going on in your body and emotional world.

I hope you have peaceful and love-filled Christmas and I’ll see you in the New Year!

What about you?

What has worked for you to change old and unhealthy patterns with your mum or another family member? Have you ever had a breakthrough? And how do you prevent getting triggered at Christmas? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. And if you want to receive more heartfelt guidance on various self-development topics plus some great free resources on relationships, sign up here to my e-list.



2 replies
  1. woolrich polar parka
    woolrich polar parka says:

    Hey thеre! Someone in my Faсebook group shared thіs site
    wіth us so I came to lοok it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information.
    I’m book-marking anԁ will be tweeting this to my followers!
    Terrific blog аnd excellent design.

    • Emma Swan
      Emma Swan says:

      Hi there, great to hear you are enjoying it and thanks very much for your feedback. If you join my list you can also submit questions or areas of interest for me to address.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *