Updated: 5 days ago
This Sunday, Mothers Day in the United States, is hopefully a time when you are able to get together with the women in your life who mean something to you, who you enjoy being around and love and respect.
I am very fortunate to have my mom, in her eighties, still here, still lucid, still interested in living, and healthy too. It is a blessing.
I am also very fortunate to connect with my sisters and nieces and share time and laughs with them today.
I hope you have had a similar experience or if your Mom is no longer with you, you have warm memories of past Mothers’ Days you enjoyed together. That is my wish for you, my friend, on this day we celebrate the important women in our lives.
But what if your mom isn’t someone you want to spend time with? Isn’t someone you look up to, admire, respect, honor, or even love? Heck, you don’t even like her.
She didn’t give you what you needed when you were young, she didn’t make you feel good about yourself, and she may have not been capable of loving you (or anyone) at that time. The damage is done and you don’t have any real fond memories or warm feelings towards her.
Today can be a tough day for you, and perhaps it is time for a reset so that you can interact with your mom in a better way going forward. Or not interact at all. If she is gone from this earth, you can resolve your issues with your mother once and for all and feel a sense of release and relief from letting go. That is what I mean by Mothers Day Present.
Easier said than done, I know. But here are some tips anyway that may help during an emotionally fraught holiday:
1. Don’t forget to remember your own worth. You don’t need anyone else to validate you.
2. Surround yourself with women (and men) who support you, and your position on your mom and Mother’s Day.
3. Recognize that your mom had her own problems – and don’t make them yours.
4. Know that it is OK to feel hurt by this rejection of the person who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Just don’t stay stuck in this place.
5. Get the help you need through therapy and supportive people in your life.
6. Your birth mom and the woman (or women) who loves and supports you, no matter what, may not be the same person. Celebrate the great mothers in your life, which may include aunts, friends, godmothers, and grans.
7. You can cut toxic people out of your life (even your own mother). It’s healthy.
8. Do not – I repeat – do not go on social media and start comparing what you see on there with your experience. It’s just painful (and much of it isn’t real anyway).
What I do know is that if we harbor ill-will or hang onto grudges past their prime, they start to cause us problems, emotionally and physically. Yes, we can get sick from our feelings and anger can cause a host of ailments over time, even shortening our life.
Anger, unabated, can increase our risk of heart attack or stroke. It can also increase our risk of depression and makes anxiety worse. Did you know being angry all the time can weaken your immune system? It causes a dip in the antibody immunoglobulin A, the first line of defense in your body against infection. So being mad means you might get sick more often.
This year may be the year to get real about Mother’s Day and figure out the best way for you deal with your relationship with your mom, once and for all, for your own health and wellbeing. With much love,