Mothers and Daughters: How to Improve Your Relationship and Find Yourself

Step 2: Talk to Your Mother about Self-Image and Beauty

At what point do a mother and daughter decide that they can come together as one friend to another? For some women it's after they have married. For others, it's the birth of their first child. And for still others, it's during a physical or emotional crisis. For me, it was the diagnosis of my mother's ovarian cancer. From the moment I heard she had cancer until her death, I felt as if I was in graduate school, cramming the night before finals for a course called Everything You've Always Wanted to Know about Your Mother and Forgot to Ask. But following her death, there were still so many unanswered questions.

How does this workshop work?

The purpose of this workshop is to help you address important issues with your mother while you still have the chance. Each of the steps in the workshop covers a new topic, starting with those that will be easier to approach, and ending with those that will probably be more difficult. At the end of each step, you'll find suggested questions to ask your mother. You are encouraged to keep track of your progress in a journal.

Getting started

Being willing to know your mother at a deeper level is an act of courage. She will no longer be just your mother, the woman who is there to meet your every need -- to hug you, fix your dinner, wash your clothes, etc. She will become a woman in her own right, with hopes and dreams and needs and desires just like you.

If you're close to your mother, use this workshop as a way to focus on areas of your relationship that you may not have explored yet. If you are distanced from your mother, or close but not friends, start by simply thinking of your mother as a new friend. At first, it may feel uncomfortable. But carry that thought around in your head for a while and your energy will shift. You'll begin to think of your mother differently. Your expectations will change. It will become easier to give her the love, respect and caring you afford your dearest women friends, even when she's behaving badly or you're having a rough day.

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