Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Mother’s Day, a holiday proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, is a day of celebration in which we honor mothers, motherhood, and maternal bonds. The power and influence of mothers and maternal figures in our personal lives and in our society is beyond measure. Mothers and grandmothers are the core strength of the home, the creators of life, the nurturers of children, our first teachers, our female role models, and our indispensable companions. Most importantly, when we think of a mother’s love, we frequently think of the unconditional boundless love that is the closest human expression of divine love.
Mother’s Day, like all holidays, elicits different feelings for each one of us. Whether we think our mothers did a “good” job or a “bad” job of raising us, the truth is that our mothers played an enormous role in helping us to form our system of values, sense of self, foundation of security, and, in general, the initial foundation for all of our perceptions in life.
Some of us were fortunate to be raised by mothers or mother figures who were confident, strong, and a model of unconditional love. If this is the case, the mere mention of the word “mother” conjures up feelings of warmth, nurturing and safety. If you are one of these people, Mother’s Day is a joyful day where you are inspired to cherish and appreciate your mother and buying a card, giving a hug, and saying “I love you” feels completely natural.
If your mother has passed on, this may be an especially sad time of year as you recognize that losing a mom creates a void that no one else can fill in your life. Who could ever understand you, unconditionally accept you, and always love you the way your mother did?
And then there are others who have had a vastly different experience. There are many people who attribute the root cause of most of their pain and problems to their mothers. In working with clients over many years in my spiritual healing practice, I discovered that blaming our mothers for our shortcomings is the deepest underlying issue for almost every major healing issue: mental, emotional, and physical. In fact, I observed that our mothers have so much influence in our lives that when a mother would heal a painful issue, the child (whether young, middle age, or old) was automatically positively affected; and, conversely, when the child (of any age) would heal, the mother would also be positively affected.
From a spiritual perspective, the soul of a child chooses his or her mother, and the mother chooses the child. Because our life journey is all about becoming whole, we choose parents from whom we learn what we most need to know – we fulfill these lessons in both positive and negative ways. If, for example, our mothers did not praise us very much, it could be that our souls needed to remember that we get our genuine validation from within ourselves – not from external sources. On the other side of the coin, mothers learn just as much from their children. For example, a child with learning differences may be teaching a mother all about patience and acceptance.
The single most important factor that affects our relationships with our mothers is our own attitude. As children, we typically had great expectations of all the qualities we wanted our mothers to have — we wanted her to be our Rock of Gibraltar, the model of an ideal woman, have the patience of Job, and express the love of an angel. As we mature, we need to accept that our mothers are human and that they have had to deal with issues that were passed on to them by their parents. I truly believe that most mothers love to the best of their capacity and want the very best for their children. I also think most mothers would agree that motherhood is simultaneously the both most difficult and rewarding job in all the world.
Unconditionally accepting our mothers for who they are (or were) is our greatest lesson in compassion and forgiveness. Since we are inextricably connected with our mothers, forgiving them for their shortcomings and for falling short of our expectations is the same thing as forgiving ourselves for carrying forward any unhealthy patterns which need to be healed. And when you think about it, who better than our mothers to teach us this magnificent lesson.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Love and Light,