Vanessa called me because she needed a quick shift in perspective after feeling frustrated about her relationship with her adult daughter, Leslie. Their relationship doesn’t contain nearly the same closeness that Leslie has with her father. This is something Vanessa has struggled with for a long time. Often doubting herself as a mother and experiencing great pangs of jealousy.
These feelings create stories in her mind that are big enough to write the next War and Peace novel. So she reached out to see if I could help her squelch the stories and present a new perspective to release her emotional turmoil.
Personalities are what they are
What I know for sure is Vanessa is a great mom to both her son and daughter. And being a great mom doesn’t mean she can transform her daughter’s personality. Leslie’s personality is a much stronger match to her father than her mother. Vanessa and Leslie are, in many ways, oil and water. In contrast, Vanessa is very close to her son.
As I shared with Vanessa, in family relationships it can be hard to accept that different personalities can get in the way of having a close connection. The relationship one person wants isn’t necessarily the one the other person can give.
This made a great deal of sense to her and she was starting to release her emotional turmoil.
Reaching 98.6 degrees
I explained the importance of controlling her emotional energy so she wasn’t running so hot and cold about her daughter. Hot being angry and frustrated, and cold by pretending that it doesn’t bother her at all when in truth it does. She needed to reach that comfortable temperature of 98.6 degrees. A temperature that allows her to feel a sense of peace and stop needing the situation to be different than it is.
There is a way Vanessa can reach her 98.6 degrees and get to that place of peace. By looking at the relationship between her husband and daughter with eyes of gratitude instead of jealousy and anger.
This means being truly grateful that Leslie has at least one parent that she feels comfortable enough sharing her worries, fears and doubts with. And Vanessa knows that her husband has Leslie’s best interests at heart. That he can be counted on and he won’t ever turn his back on her. Seeing the relationship this way, Vanessa can rest easy knowing her daughter is getting the support she needs as she navigates her way through life.
Another shift in perspective
Vanessa then shared with me that when visiting her son he told her he doesn’t view his mother the way his sister does. He expressed his love to her and said he couldn’t ask for a better mom.
There wasn’t much more I needed to say after that – she suddenly got her son’s message and mine loud and clear. Perspective shifted!
Although the roles may be different, the fact still remains that this kind of relationship dynamic is quite common. And it’s up to you to determine what you need to do differently or how you need to see things differently. The goal is to regulate your internal temperature so you stop running between hot and cold and simply be in peace at 98.6 degrees.