May 14, 2017
Aprreciating the Emotinal Complexity of Mother's Day
Mother's Day is that time of year when we honor and express our gratitude to our moms. It is a time to remember all of the sacrifice and love that was shown to us and to show how much we appreciate it. Cards and flowers, family dinners and trips to nice restaurants are just a few of the ways we try to express our love and gratitude.
That said, it is important to remember that Mother's Day isn't the same for everyone. While joyful gratitude comes naturally for those whose mothers who were loving and who are alive, the experience can bequite different for those whose mothers have died or for those whose mothers were absent, neglectful or abusive. Even those with great moms also have felt emotional wounds which complicate things.
Further, the happy-happy-happy emphasis of the media and the flower and greeting card industry make a it difficult to deal with any feelings that are other than joyful. Indeed, the mother-child relationship, no matter its obvious quality, is an emotionally complicated one. Nonetheless, whatever your situation, or experience with your mom, Mother's Day can be an opportunity to seriously reflect about your life and the help you have received along the way.
For those who have lost their moms, Mother's Day a time of grieving but also a time to look at photos and remember wonderful times and moments and the life lessons learned. For those who didn't have the blessing of a loving mom, it is a time to acknowledge and give thanks for those people, whatever their gender or age or relationship who have loved and supported you through the years. Our families may not have looked like or been a Norman Rockwell painting, but we all have persons who have been there for us and made an important difference in our lives.
Mother's Day, in this larger sense, is about appreciating those who have nurtured us and helped us in growing up and along the way after. May this day be a time for remembering all of the help we have had in our life and for appreciating the importance of nurturing one another throughout life's journey.
Rev. Michael Heath , LMHC, Fellow A.A.P.C. 5 14 2017