I became familiar with the Work of Byron Katie. I think her Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet is awesome and very helpful so I filled it in when I was angry with my mother:
1. In this situation, time, and location, who angers, confuses, or disappoints you, and why?
I am angry with my mother because she underestimates me and she only sees the worst in me. She tells me that I’m not good enough to pursue my dreams. She tells me that I’m wasting my life. She tells me that I’m not smart enough to pass the entrance exams. She tells me that I’m a waste of space and no one loves me. She tells me that I will never be independent. She tells me that I’m not that kind of person anyone would ever fall in love with. She tells me that I will end up poor and alone and depressed. She tells me that I have failed my life. She tells me that I shouldn’t have been born because my existence only bothers people around me. She tells me that I’m mentally retarded and I should visit a psychiatrist. She tells me that I’m naive a stupid. She tells me that I’m crazy and not normal because I don’t have any friends except the internet. She tells me that no one would ever like or love a person like me. She tells me that with my attitude I will never be successful in my life. She tells me that I will go through lot of pain and suffering in life. She constantly compares me to herself at her age, to my younger sister, to other people in my age who in her opinion have achieved much more in their lifes. She tells me that I was born flawed and I’m predestined to have a life full of suffering.
2. In this situation, how do you want them to change? What do you want them to do?
I want my mother to acknowledge me. I want her to see my true self, the true beauty of my being. I want her to see that I’m a worthy being full of love and infinite potential. I want her to get to know the true me. I want her to stop thinking I’m insane. I want her to support me in pursuing my dreams. I want her to love me for who I am and not hate me for who I’m not. I want her to see my attempts to heal our relationship. I want her to acknowledge my uniqueness.
3. In this situation, what advice would you offer to them?
My mother should realize how much she is hurting me with her behavior. She should try to be more emphatic and she should see that I am a human being and I have feelings too. She should see how much her words and actions influenced my life when I was a child. She should see how much pain she has created with her stupid words. She should realize that it’s impossible to be unworthy. She should forgive herself and she should love herself. Then she will no longer hate me and she will see the beauty in me. She should try to get to know me better. She should focus on the good side of me. She should look at my talents and abilities.
4. In order for you to be happy in this situation, what do you need them to think, say, feel, or do?
I need my mother to look at me from another perspective. I need her to see my true talents and abilities. I need her to stop criticizing me and looking for all the things that are wrong with me. I need her to admit that I am worthy and I deserve to exist.
5. What do you think of them in this situation? Make a list.
My mother is unfair, arrogant, selfish, awful, pessimistic, rude, way out of line and unconscious. She is self hating, self sabotaging, self destructing and depressed.
6. What is it in or about this situation that you don’t ever want to experience again?
I don’t ever want my mother to treat me like this. I don’t ever want her to underestimate me so much. I don’t ever want her to tell me that I shouldn’t have been born. I don’t ever want her to make me feel guilty for existing. I don’t ever want her to make me feel like I am a worthless piece of shit that doesn’t deserve any love. I don’t ever want her to make me feel like I’m rejected and abandoned by everyone. I don’t ever want her to make me feel like I’m incapable of doing any real job. I don’t ever want her to tell me that I can’t achieve my dreams. I don’t ever want her to treat me like I’m not good enough and not a worthy human being.
Now I have to investigate each of the above statements using the four questions.
The four questions
My mother thinks that I am a worthless
1. Is it true? She thinks it is but fundamentally it is not.
2. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? I feel horrible and hopeless when I think this thought.
3. Who would you be without the thought? I would be confident and self loving.
Turn the thought around
a) to the self. I think that I am worthless.
b) to the other. I think that my mother is worthless
c) to the opposite. My mother thinks I am worthy.
As I began to turn around these statements, I noticed that I was everything I called my mother. She was merely my projection. Now, instead of trying to change the world around me, I can put the thoughts on paper, investigate them, turn them around, and find that I am the very thing I thought she was. In the moment I see her as selfish, I am selfish (deciding how she should be). In the moment I see her as unkind, I am unkind. If I believe she should stop waging war, I am waging war on her in my mind. When I think she is arrogant, I am being arrogant. When I see her as pessimistic, I am pessimistic.
She is nothing else but a reflection. And it also works the other way around. When my mother tells me I am worthless, it’s because she believes she’s worthless. If she calls me impractical and useless, it’s because she feels impractical and useless. Everything she judges about me in a negative way is what she judges about herself.
Now with this knowledge, I’m no longer so angry at my mother. Now I understand that she has been behaving to me this way because she’s suffering inside. All these things she has called me have absolutely nothing to do with me. Not even a little bit!
I don’t need my mother to tell me I am worthy in order to feel worthy. I don’t need anyone to tell me this. If I don’t give love to myself, all the people of the world can tell me they love me and still I wouldn’t believe them.
The next time me and my mother are having a fight, I’m going to remember than none of the things she’s calling me is actually true. I won’t take it personally.