Heal Relationships with a Fluid Identity

Hello Lovable One!

I wanted to share a recent experience I had with my mom as well as share a bit of my story for those of you who are newer to me and my work.  There is an exercise and special picture at the end.

Relationships with our mothers are tricky. I don’t know of any daughter that does not have some type of issue with their mother, whether you had the best mom in the world or the worst. There are times when everything might seem fine and there are times where it is a miracle that someone doesn’t get thrown off of a bridge out of hurt, anger and frustration.

In 2005, I decided to get a long overdue divorce. I was off to a very rocky start and was caught up in all of the family programming, vows and limiting beliefs that I had inherited growing up. I often felt like a teenager all over again, questioning and rebelling in ways that I hadn’t before. I now realize that I was finding the Divine Inspired Vibrant Alive, DIVA, in me. At that time, a DIVA was the last thing on my mind. All I knew was that I felt like a mess and so did my life. I wanted more for myself and my two amazing daughters.

You might be able to relate. You get older, who you are at your core starts to call out to you that you deserve better, that you are not being who you really are and want to be. You begin to make peace with your life and do your best to live according to new beliefs and find better ways to support who you are in each and every moment.

You fall down a lot. I know I did. Truthfully, in the beginning, I didn’t know what I was doing. What I did know is that I couldn’t keep going the way that I had in the past. So I kept picking myself back up and kept on keeping on.

Since then I learned a lot. In 2007, I married my best friend and most wonderful man on the planet (I am biased and I don’t care – he is adorable and helped me rediscover that I am lovable), lost my mother in law to cancer in 2009 and less than 4 months later got diagnosed with breast cancer myself. I did chemo, got a mastectomy and continued to find my inner DIVA. I not only found her, I gave her a voice and figured out how to let her live out loud.

I have been happily employed at a privately owned international corporation for over 23 years where I am currently their finance director. In 2011, I decided to start my own business, Happy Tappy Girl, where I work with women who want to step into their power. I show them how to find the Divine Inspired Vibrant Alive, DIVA, that is inside of them, give her a voice and let her live out loud.

I have learned so much along my life adventure and my experience with cancer called me to share it with others. It is too powerful and important to keep to myself.

Life is good.

Perfect? No. Rewarding and fun? Yes. I get to connect with all of you :).

My mother has been going through her own set of challenges. She has had a lifetime of health issues and in the past few years her physical condition began and continues to spiral. Emotionally, she had become a disaster. Painful for her and painful to witness.

I have had to set some very strong boundaries for myself as within our two generations we are both playing a vital role in healing some family paradigms that desperately need it.

Communicating and visiting with her was difficult. She felt angry and abandoned. So did I.

No matter what, we have always been able to speak in energy and self discovery language. So when she would tell me she was mad at me and that she felt abandoned, I would tell her that she had every right to feel that way. I never treated her like a victim because I know her strength. Regardless, our relationship was strained.

Several months ago, I was visiting my parents and my mother had pulled out some old pictures for everyone to look at. My daughters were chuckling at a picture of my childhood cat, Ralph, who I loved dearly and considered my closest friend. He had a little sign on his collar that said “Happy Anniversary”.

This brought back a flood of memories for me.

When I was little, whenever my mom would have the flu or a migraine I used to give her one of my stuffed animals to help her feel better. Whenever it was one of my parent’s birthdays or a special occasion I would bring all of my stuffed animals from my room, put signs on them and decorate the house with them. Of course my best buddy, Ralph, would always be involved as well, thus explaining the picture.

I was a pretty sweet and loving kid with a take charge, nurturing attitude.

It was a month or so later that I was standing in a store looking at cards for my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day. It was a struggle, none of the words in the cards seemed to fit, everything just felt flat and insincere.

Then I noticed that next to the cards was a small bin of stuffed animals and it hit me. All I wanted was to love my mother. I was exhausted from being mad and upset about our relationship. In that moment I decided I was going to let my mother be whoever she wanted and needed to be and I was going to stop trying to force her to be who I wanted and needed her to be.

I remembered that little girl inside of me.

She knew just what my mother needed. In that bin of stuffed animals was the cutest little cat. She would be perfect for my mom. I picked out 2 very heart felt cards with a whole new attitude and I couldn’t wait to give them to my mom along with some flowers I knew she would like.

I was practically jumping out of my skin with excitement during the visit when I gave them to her. She loved everything. She even called me on the way home to thank me again and to let me know that she had found the cat’s name on her tag. Her name was Tabitha and she had been holding her and petting her just like a real cat.

It was a few months after the visit and we were talking on the phone. During that conversation, she mentioned that she wasn’t feeling angry at me anymore. As the conversation continued, she said “I stopped being angry when you gave me Tabitha, the anger just went away”. My heart stopped and then I shared with her the story of how I came to buy Tabitha.

We have deemed Tabitha the “healing cat”.

Our relationship is still not perfect, no relationship is.  It doesn’t matter because that strain and underlying tension between us is gone.

She is free to be whoever she wants and needs to be and so am I. It feels awesome and liberating!!!

One of my 5 key principles to letting your inner DIVA live out loud is to allow yourself to have a fluid identity. In the moment that I decided that I just wanted to love my mother, I gave myself permission to do just that. I could have chosen to continue to be hurt, frustrated and angry.

It was when I remembered that sweet, loving little girl I realized what I really wanted and who I wanted to be.

Does it change anything that has happened or happens? No.

What it does do is give me the freedom to go with the flow and to find more ways to support myself. I allow myself to experience more of what I want as well as allow myself to be who I want to be.

By allowing myself to have a fluid identity and be who I want to be, I healed the relationship with myself as well as the relationship with my mother.

Following is an exercise for you….

Think back to yourself as a small child.

What were some of the things you used to do to nurture others, be kind to others or express yourself? Maybe you would color a picture, maybe pick a flower on the way home, maybe you would just offer a smile or a gentle touch……and if it wasn’t safe for you to act in any of those ways, what were some of the things that you wanted to do but couldn’t physically do?

How can that little child you be more present in your life? Ask her to be with you now. Maybe there is someone that you could express that part of yourself to now.   Maybe you just need to honor her and tell her how much you love and appreciate her.

Maybe this part of you can inspire an action that can help you heal the relationship you have with yourself as well as heal a relationship you are in with someone else.

I know it can.

Here is picture of my mom with Tabitha on her shoulder 🙂

They both are pretty cute aren’t they.

I would love to hear how allowing yourself to have a fluid identity has had a healing affect on your life. What part of  you have you been able to reconnect with? Who has that part of you inspired you to be in this moment? How has it inspired you take action?

Please leave your comments below.

I will be with you again soon.

I love you,


  • Kimberly

    Reply Reply September 29, 2016

    What a fantastic story! Thanks for sharing this, Cathy! I am remembering sitting in the grass looking for 4 leaf clovers to give to people I loved because I wanted everyone to have luck.

    Great photo of your Mom and Tabitha as well!
    Sending Love….

    • Happy Tappy Girl

      Reply Reply October 9, 2016

      I love it. Do you need a 4 leaf cover right now? Maybe someone else in your life does :o). Love you right back (and am sending a 4 leaf clover to you)!!!

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