Episode 100

Laura Davis - The Burning Light of Two Stars


November 10th, 2021

50 mins 40 secs

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About this Episode

"The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story" was such a beautiful book, and its author Laura Davis was a total delight to interview. Having had my own childhood trauma and troubled parental relationships, this book was incredibly helpful in helping to illuminate the deeper truths that lie under the surface of my personal struggle. I found peace and compassion in ways that surprised me.

Can you caretake a parent who betrayed you in the past? Is it possible to become open-hearted when life has taught you it's safer to stay protected and closed? How do we reconcile with someone we are estranged from when we disagree about some basic facts/realities in life? What does the healing process from trauma look like over the course of a lifetime? What does it mean to write about people in your life -- what are the ethical issues and concerns?

This riveting memoir by Laura Davis, also the author of The Courage to Heal, examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking.

When she published The Courage to Heal in 1988, Laura Davis helped more than a million women work through the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. But her decision to go public with her grandfather’s incest deepened an already painful estrangement with her mother, Temme.
Over the next twenty years, from a safe distance of 3,000 miles, Laura and Temme reconciled their volatile relationship and believed that their difficult past was behind them. But when Temme moved across the country to entrust her daughter with the rest of her life, she brought a faltering mind, a fierce need for independence, and the seeds of a second war between them. As the stresses of caregiving rekindled Laura’s rage over past betrayals, they threatened her intention to finally love her mother “without reservation.” Did she learn what it means to be truly open-hearted before it was too late?

  • What essential elements make reconciliation possible? Impossible?
  • What are the secrets of reconciling with someone you’re estranged from – someone you were deeply hurt or injured by or someone who’s simply different from you?
  • How can family members stay in a relationship when they can’t agree on critical elements of their collective past? What does it mean to “agree to disagree?”
  • Once you’ve said, “I’ll never forgive you,” what does it take to forgive?
  • Is it really possible to come to peace with the things about our family members that we can’t understand, change or even tolerate?
  • What are the three most important things to remember when attempting to make peace with an estranged family member?
  • After you say, “me too,” after you stand up and break the silence, then what happens? Is it possible to ever truly transcend the long-term effects of abuse?
  • How does the healing process evolve and change over the course of a lifetime?
  • What does it mean to keep growing decades after the initial healing from trauma took place?
  • Can a heart that is walled off for good reason, find ways to open again?
  • When, if ever, is it possible to reconcile with those who have betrayed us in the past?

Laura Davis is the author of seven books, including The Courage to Heal, Becoming the Parent You Want to Be, and I Thought We‘d Never Speak Again. Her groundbreaking books have been translated into 11 languages and sold two million copies. In addition to writing books that inspire and change people’s lives, the work of Laura’s heart is to teach. For more than twenty years, she’s helped people find their voices, tell their stories, and hone their craft. Laura loves creating supportive, intimate writing communities online, in person, and internationally. Today we’ll be talking about her brand new memoir, The Burning Light of Two Stars: A Mother-Daughter Story, the story of her embattled yet loving relationship with her mother.

This episode sponsored by Nina Manolson Body-Peace Seekers

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