I'm a caregiver who looks after my elderly mother. You've stressed that love evolves and becomes a new form of love: compassionate understanding. I am wondering what understanding can help me be more patient with her? I get so irritated when she exaggerates her discomfort and creates such drama and self-pity. She raised me to be strong and resilient and then she wallows in her discomfort. Please help me cope with this judgement I have about her self-pity, what must I understand?
The present generation and the one before this, do not understand how hard the Great Depression generation had to work just to get by. Everyone, including children, had to do their part — just to keep from starving and losing their house.
Most of the children growing up under these harsh conditions, had very little tenderness or approval. And most had insufficient mothering. This creates a needy inner child, and a harsh inner nurturer that does not fulfill the role of self-nurturing. The care and attention your mother gets from you, is possibly the most she's had from any sources all of her life. This is why she blows any injury out of proportion.
The best coping mechanism is to mentally reset your interaction every day (i.e. start over every day). In addition, make sure your own inner child is properly nurtured.