Reiki for Mother Daughter Relationships
Reiki for Mother-Daughter Relationships
By Karen K. Harrison, LCPC, LCMFT, AASECT
First published in Reiki News Magazine Fall 2021
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Why are mother-daughter relationships so difficult? If you Google it, you will get lots of responses. If you are the mother to a daughter or are a woman, you may have experienced the challenges of mother-daughter relationships. Things are often calm and close until the daughter becomes a teenager, blossoming into an individual with her own mind. At times, this situation has been a challenging opportunity for me when I see my daughter making choices with which I have a concern. In this article, I will share how I have used Reiki for the many opportunities I have had over the years to grow as a mother.
In an article at www.doingwell.com, therapist Holli Rubin discusses one reason why mothers and daughters have complex relationships.
In healthy mother-daughter relationships, both parties need to take the other for who they are and not engage with trying to change them. The most common form of this is when the mother would like her daughter to be more like her. This may be in personality, values, choices, opinions. The mother may try to make the daughter feel guilty for being different and may consistently try to change her. This can lead the daughter to feel she is often disappointing her mother and often trying to please without success. This can lead to arguments, resentment, and overall an unhealthy relationship.1
Mothers are well-meaning in trying to guide their daughters into a successful life; however, the daughter increasingly needs the freedom to make her own choices as she matures from the teen years into adulthood.
My daughter, who I adopted from China at age three months, is now 27 years old. I have been blessed to have had Reiki for her entire life. With Reiki, she was such an easy baby. I would give her Reiki for ten minutes while holding her, and she would fall asleep anytime, anywhere. I went out to eat, to movies, to drumming circles, and took her everywhere with me. By the time the teen years hit, I had become that weird mom who wasn’t like all the other moms. I had crystals and essential oils all over the house, along with goddess statues and paintings. I saw a T-shirt I loved that said, “Weird Moms build character.”
My daughter had her own mind, and it showed up as a teen with anger and withdrawal. Since then, we have had many flares. As a marriage and family therapist and professional counselor, I know what to do and what not to do. And overcoming my programming from my mother has been a challenge. As a therapist, I tell people that if they can use good parenting skills about 80% of the time and not be abusive during the other 20%, they are doing well. Also, my goal has been to be a better mother to my daughter than my mother was to me.
Reiki has been a lifesaver to help and guide me through my daughter’s teen and adult years. Here are ways I have used Reiki to help me with the conflicts.
In the moment of rising tensions, I activate Reiki, especially the Mental/Emotional symbol and the Karuna symbol Shanti, and start giving myself Reiki to soothe myself. Writing about the Mental/Emotional symbol, William Lee Rand in Reiki, The Healing Touch First and Second-Degree Manual says, “Psychically, the energy of this symbol sometimes takes the form of a bubble coming out of the heart chakra of the practitioner for emotional healing or out of the solar plexus chakra for mental healing. Sometimes these two energies work together and mix in front of the practitioner before surrounding and entering the client.”2 How beautiful it is to visualize loving Reiki energy coming out of the heart and solar plexus to heal a relationship! After centering myself with Reiki, I send Reiki into the relationship with my daughter, adding the Distant symbol. During this moment, I take a time-out, meaning I say to her, “Let’s take a break and discuss this later after both of us have calmed down.”
When my daughter was 19, 20, and 21, she and I took trips to Europe for about two weeks each. One of those trips I affectionally remember as the “Pain in Spain.” That was after the “Fights in France.” One of my primary goals as a mother is not to say something hurtful that I regret later. So, in France, I gave myself Reiki and sent Reiki into our relationship while I recited a mantra that dropped into my mind while doing Reiki. The mantra was, “Jesus loves me, Jesus loves Elena.” I said it repeatedly for several hours. We were touring France, and there was no way to have time apart from each other that day. She asked why I was so quiet, and I responded I was meditating.
When things become tense between us, one of my favorite things is to use Reiki to clear the connections between us and bring in more love. To do so, I activate the Holy Fire® symbol and the distance symbol. I envision a hollow cylinder between the two of us and first send the Holy Fire® symbol to clear the discordant energy and then the Holy Love that comes with Holy Fire® to fill our connection with love. I also use the Karuna Reiki® symbol Harth to add more love. If one doesn’t have the Holy Fire® or Karuna symbols, use the Distant symbol and the Mental/Emotional symbol, along with any other symbols you are guided to use with the same intentions of clearing and filling with love.
My colleague, Colleen Benelli, shared the idea of moving from a parenting role into a mentoring role and not having opinions about everything. But, of course, that is easier said than done, especially when I thought my daughter was making bad choices with huge consequences.
Last Fall, things got so tense between my daughter and me we finally went to therapy. I let my daughter choose the therapist, and she chose a young woman. As a marriage and family therapist, it can be especially hard to be in family therapy. After all, I taught marriage and family therapy classes at a local university and supervised other beginning marriage and family therapists. As a result, I was evaluating her style and techniques in a not-so-positive way.
The therapist confronted me about wanting to put the money my mother gave to my daughter in her will into a joint account so that I could guide her on spending it. I responded, “Really? Really??!!” Then the therapist further confronted me about my emotional response. That was it. I hated that therapist! At that moment, I closed my eyes, activated Reiki, threw up my hands, and beamed Reiki to the Zoom screen as we were doing therapy on Zoom. I listened to Reiki. I heard to let her have the money in her account. The therapist and my daughter were staring at me as I opened my eyes, likely thinking I was deranged. I told them I would allow her to have the money in her account.
After the session, I had to do a lot of my own healing. First, I gave myself Reiki to calm my emotions. Then I wrote the therapist a letter that I didn’t send and later rewrote it to something acceptable while channeling Reiki. Next, I had to face my fears that my daughter would spend all her inheritance within two years in New York City, which seemed pretty easy to do. Finally, I received Reiki sessions from others for myself and to work on the relationship. Receiving Reiki is always a great idea when things get tough. During hard times in my life, I have received Reiki from someone else daily for a few weeks.
This scenario shows the idea of moving from parenting to mentoring. As a mentor to my adult daughter, I can keep my opinions to myself unless asked. I tell myself I don’t need to have an opinion unless it involves my money. Now, I can’t always do that because I am not perfect. For example, I wasn’t happy about my daughter’s choice to live in New York City when it was the eye of the storm for the pandemic. After sending her the news clip of the dead bodies piling up in New York, she told me to stop!
When mothers decide to share their opinions with their daughters, daughters can often perceive it as disapproval, distrust, and become defensive. Reiki helps me cut back the number of opinions I give by helping me to pause and reflect before I speak. My daily self-Reiki practice is crucial. When I start my day being centered, I can more easily navigate the daily challenges without behaving in a way that brings me more challenges. It is easier to drop into the Reiki space for a moment and act from that space rather than react with emotions.
Another great tool is connecting with Reiki and asking it to give you a higher perspective on the problem. The Distant symbol connects us to pure consciousness. Activate that symbol and any others you are guided to use. Simply intend to rise to a higher level of consciousness and view the situation from there.
As I rise in consciousness, I move from a problem perspective to see things in a new way that helps me understand the situation in a more helpful light. For example, when I used this technique with my daughter’s inheritance situation, I saw she needed to have her own life experience with the money, free from my oversight and control. I also saw how much stress I had been under with paying for so many things for my daughter and how that increased our relationship’s tension. The money my mother gave her got me out of the role of needing to provide her money since she could now pay for her expenses herself. Our relationship is much better now. And in case you are curious, I worked on my emotions regarding the therapist, and we still see that therapist when needed.
Our daughters want to feel our unconditional love. Respecting their choices and their wisdom contributes to their feeling loved. We can ask for their opinion and just listen. I did just that on the COVID-19 vaccination issue. I asked my daughter her opinion about whether she planned to get vaccinated. She told me she had decided not to receive the vaccine and gave me her reasons. I made no comments about her reasoning and did not argue any of the points. From experience, I already knew it wouldn’t work and would just lead to a fight. I also said that I respected her decision. She knew I had received the vaccine, and I told her I felt liberated from the concern over getting the coronavirus.
During a later conversation about traveling to Mexico, I used my next tool—taking a bottom-line position. A bottom-line position states what one will or won’t do rather than asking anything of the other person. I told her I would only travel internationally with fully vaccinated people because I was concerned about someone contracting COVID-19 in a foreign country and the complications that could arise. However, I also shared that we could travel within the country together. This conversation remained calm. Holding back on my opinions is a challenge, but I tell myself that it is more important to show love than share opinions.
I am grateful to the gift of Reiki for my mother-daughter challenges. Each life stage presents a new opportunity to use Reiki. When my daughter chooses a husband, buys a house, and becomes a parent, I will have many more opportunities to use Reiki. Perhaps the opinions will slow down, but I doubt it! I may need to reread Colleen Benelli’s articles “Reiki Clarifies Opinions” from the Spring 2010 Reiki News Magazine issue and “Reiki Heals Criticism” from the Fall 2006 issue. Reiki assists us with each life challenge and each stage of life. After all, one purpose of the Mental/Emotional symbol is harmony. May your life be blessed with the harmony that Reiki provides.
Karen Harrison is a co-director of the ICRT Licensed Teacher Training Program and practices and teaches Reiki as a Holy Fire® III Licensed Reiki Master Teacher for the ICRT in Leawood, Kansas. She is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. Karen can be contacted by email at Karen@karenharrison.net or through her website at www.karenharrison.net.
1 Why Are Mother-Daughter Relationships So Complex? Welldoing, March 21, 2020. https://welldoing.org/article/why-are-mother-daughter-relationships-so-complex.
2 William Lee Rand, Reiki, The Healing Touch First and Second-Degree Manual (Southfield, MI: Vision Publications, February 2016), 50.