Do I have to forgive my mother?

An answer specifically for caring and empathic daughters with complicated mother-daughter dynamics

For those of us that were conditioned to be otherish, it may be more healing to place our caring focus on our inner community (between our own two ears). Cue the internalized voice that wonders: “wouldn’t that be selfish“. Maybe, but maybe not, and here’s why:

A perspective on forgiveness specifically for caring and empathic daughters with a complicated mother-daughter dynamic

Do I have to forgive my mother?

When we ask that question, “do I have to forgive my mother” we are centering “mother” instead of checking in with what we may want or need. So, here’s a question for you: is revolving around your mother a pattern in your relationship? For so many of us, the answer is yes.

When we are healing-forward from a complicated mother-daughter dynamic that includes a life-time of revolving around others, part of the healing is learning that it’s ok to include ourselves in the equation in a more balanced way. Of course we don’t want to hold onto the bitter pill of resentment, but perhaps we can give ourselves permission to point our healing focus towards our younger parts rather than to our mothers. In my experience, as folks practice including themselves in the equation, typically there’s an experience of expansion and release. It is the release that sets us free and disentangles us… and in the process, forgiveness becomes a possible side-effect (rather than an otherish focal point).

Journal Prompts

  • Are you orbiting “other” when you think about forgiveness? 
  • Are the words self and selfish linked in your mind?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Additional Articles

Here are some older articles I wrote on forgiveness, but since it’s a sticky topic for so many of us, I thought it may be helpful to re-share these.

Simona Vivi H, remothering coach and founder of

my heart to yours.
Your guide, coach, and fellow traveler on the remothering journey,

Simona Vivi H.

Additional Resources for the Remothering Journey

Posted by Simona Vivi H

Simona Vivi H, globally recognized remothering expert and transformational life coach, guides adult daughters to healthier boundaries, self-kindness, and the transformative remothering journey. Trade the 'don’t be selfish' conditioning for ease, clarity, and self-alignment. Connect at,, and on Instagram

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