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Syndicated Columns

Accept mother as she is

Posted Feb 17, 2007


Q. How do I deal with my mom's belief that being "born again" is the only safe passage into the hereafter? My husband and I are practicing Jews and have our own spiritual beliefs. Can you offer some guidance? -- D.Y., Fort Lauderdale

A. Anais Nin said, "We don't see things as they are; we see them as we are." So understand, your mother is seeing through her own belief system.

The truth is that we have all been subject to the indoctrination of separation through religion because each has its own set of tenets. Unfortunately, too many people believe that they have a right to impose their convictions upon others, just as we impose our ideology on our children.

We forget, as Kahlil Gibran said, "Our children are not our children, they are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself."

Your mom wants what any mother wants for her child, to offer guidance and to lead you to safe passage, in life and in the hereafter.

Remind her that the Golden Rule is a fundamental moral principle in virtually all major religions. It simply means, "Treat others as you would like to be treated."

In the end, we cannot force someone to change.

Realize that your mother may not be able to see your point of view. It may be you who has to accept your mother just as she is; fearful, dogmatic, critical, etc.

Practice accepting her point of view. Listen to her concerns without wishing her to change; then smile and say, "I love you, Mom."

It's possible that when you can truly accept her as she is, she will learn from you and return the favor.

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