Sunday, May 11, 2014

Healing on Mother's Day

Mother’s Day 2014

There is so much of each person’s story that comes up on Mother’s Day. As I scrolled through my Facebook feed today, I was really struck by the glimpses of my friends’ stories about their mothers and mother figures in their lives. From the charming pictures of my friends with their own children to the heartbreak of my friend whose mother is under hospice care and hasn’t woken up today (but has been very peacefully sleeping with loved ones nearby), it is clear that mothers and mothering strikes a deep chord for nearly everyone I know.

Me and my boys last summer
Some highlighted their own mothers, living or no longer with them, with loving tributes along with touching pictures. Others focused on their own journey as a mother, sharing pictures with their own children now or when their children were small.  Some shared multigenerational pictures with their own mother and their children together. (Those were so fun for me to see the familial resemblance and so many mothers who look like their mothers!)

This day means something different for everyone and we can really touch upon our own story of being a mother (if we are one), having a mother (which we all have, some of us having many mothers and mother figures in our lives), or our mothering losses (including needs unmet, the loss of children, being unable to conceive, the loss of our mother, disconnections in our relationship with our mother past or present). The events and circumstances in our lives that we are not complete with around our mother and mothering are bound to show up on this day for us.

Regardless of what story may be showing up for us today, what is most important for us is to nurture ourselves. I believe more than anything that this is a perfect opportunity for us to ask ourselves what we need and then ask others for support in meeting those needs. If you are sad and grieving losses today, ask for space or for connection. If it feels true to you, spend time writing your story, to share or not share, but write it for yourself. Maybe you find yourself feeling angry for your mothering losses. Create space for that and write or share with a friend or loved one. Perhaps you feel overjoyed and grateful for the love you’ve been given and the connection you share with your children. Share that, too. Write it down. Remember and cherish these moments.

Whatever you’re feeling is more than OK. It is necessary and will point you toward the direction of your own wholeness.

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work with a family with a child who had been adopted shortly after birth. This particular year, instead of being happy on Mother’s Day, Sarah was sad. Sarah’s parents, who were quite aware of their daughter, didn’t take it offensively, but were curious about why she was feeling sad on this particular day. At 8 years old, Sarah was able to articulate that she was thinking about her birth mother and wondered if her birth mother was alone on this day. Sarah had a family and a mother, but there was someone else who was on her heart. Her mother realized this was an opening to help her daughter to heal a bit more of her own story. She listened to her daughter share what was on her heart then together they decided to light a candle to remember her birth mother on this special day. A lightness came back into her daughter as they lit the candle together. Mother and daughter were able to celebrate the day with a renewed appreciation for each other.

Tips for Mother’s Day Healing

-Whatever you are feeling today is right and perfect.

-Those feelings will point you in the direction of healing parts of your story that need a little love balm. This is true of you, your partner, and your kiddos.

-Make space for those feelings by writing or sharing with someone else who can just listen to what you need to say.

-Find a way to let it go. Here are some ideas to help you:

Release it by writing words on a balloon or a sky lantern (I like these best because they are      100% biodegradable) and watch them sail away into the sky.

Write words on paper and tear them up or burn them (safely, of course).

Sky lantern
Light a candle to remember someone.

Say a prayer.


Go for a walk and allow the energy to move through your body.

Take a nap.


Create something.

Tell stories with your loved ones.

Do what calls to you to help you move through the energy around this day. Listen to your own internal guidance. You know what you need to do.

Wishing you many blessings today and always.


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