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“If I had a mother like me, think what I could have become!”

That’s what I say to my children, now that they’re adults. It’s usually precipitated by me trying to impart loving, wise advice that would change their lives for the better, yet ungrateful beasts that they are, they usually just roll their eyes at me.

But that doesn’t make my words not true.

I often wonder how my life would be different if I’d had more than just my basic needs met as a child. If someone had whispered the nightmares away. Was thrilled by my essence. Had encouraged me to be bold. To shine.

My children had all that.

Me? I had to create a mother-figure for myself. Learn how to make my neurons fire differently. So when those old negative mothering tapes start playing, they automatically get rerouted to my built-in mother’s positive style of parenting, leaving no room for unnecessary anxiety to exist.

I didn’t know that was possible, but after years of therapy, I can tell you it is. And how great is that! We get a do-over. Have the mother of our dreams living inside us, loving us, guiding us, shooing the anxious thoughts away, saying we are BEYOND lovable. It’s sort of like having a Superhero on standby, waiting to slay any dragons we may encounter. The best part is—we ARE that Superhero, and only for the building of it.

I would’ve preferred to grow up with a mother like me instead of having to poof one out of thin air. But what’s done is done. And while it was a tough going for a while, it’s empowering to rely on my own strength now. My life was getting smaller and smaller as I tried controlling all the things that gave me anxiety. Yet having put in the time, I can tell you that it’s not only possible—IT’S PROBABLE—for an anxious person to live a bigger, more carefree life.

And so can you.

The photo: My beautiful daughter Tara (in a moment of un-beastliness) accompanied me on a recent visit to visit my mom. Tara captured this scene as we were both TRYING to show her grandma a good time. Notice the Mother-Moon in the photo? Mothers are everywhere! If you don’t have a biological one, either create one for yourself, or steal one from the Universe. That’s what I do.

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