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“Dear Sara,

I grew up in Canada in a dysfunctional family with alcoholism, emotional abuse and neglect, then moved with my family to New Zealand when I was a teenager. My mother was unable to show any love or affection and I have tried for many years to seek approval and my mother’s love. My childhood and adolescence had a significant impact on my mental health and happiness. I thought I was a bad person until I completed a social work degree and realised that my mother was not capable of loving and learned about childhood conditioning. My sister was blind to the dysfunction and on expressing my feelings to her about my mother, she has chosen not to have contact with me. I do not now have contact with my mother.

I have issues with trust and getting close to people but have a passion for helping others. How can you put your past behind you so it does not keep invading the present and in believing that I am an okay person with love, care and compassion? 

I find Inspire Me Today so inspirational and very helpful. Thanking you.” ~ Carol-Anne

Dear Carol-Anne,

Thanks so much for writing. Family wounds are probably the most difficult wounds we must deal with in our lifetime. It’s clear from your letter that you have a psychological understanding of your situation. However, I’d like to invite you to also look at your situation from soul perspective.

When we consider the purpose of this life as soul growth, we understand that we are here to learn and grow. You’ve been doing just that! In your relationship to your mom, for example, you have expanded yourself enormously: you’ve learned the lessons of boundaries, trust, compassion for yourself, compassion for your mother, self love, intimacy and empathy, to name a few! That’s a lot of soul growth for one lifetime!

I would not try to put the past behind or block it, or spend a lot of time trying to heal everything; sometimes we spend too much time on healing, when we can really just move forward into what’s next. Let the past be where it is; you see it clearly, you’ve done healing. Now, concentrate on your life in present moment. If you enjoy helping others, do that. If there are things you want to do in your life, do those. Enjoy things. Relax. When the old pain arrive, be with for a bit, and then let it go. It’s like an old shoe that feels comfy, but you don’t need to wear it any more.

I have a lot of resources for you. Release Yourself from Family Karma is a great audio course you’ll find on my website. I also have a new course coming out very soon, How to Love Yourself Completely. Both of these will be ideal as support for you.

Thank you,


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Sara Wiseman is a Nautilus award-winning author and visionary teacher of spiritual intuition. She has reached tens of thousands of students worldwide via her books, courses, podcasts, blog and music. Sara is the founder of Intuition University, hosts the popular podcasts Ask Sara and Spiritual Psychic with over 1.6 million listeners, writes the Daily Divine blog and is top contributor to DailyOM. She has produced four award-winning music albums with her band Martyrs of Sound. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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