Photo by Jordan Witt
In an ideal world, Mother’s Day would be an exalted holiday for all. For some of us, it’s a conflicted day.
Maybe we had a discordant relationship with our mother, or we have a strained relationship with our child, or co-parent. Maybe we didn’t get to be mothers and we wanted to be. And the list of ways this day can be painful goes on..
In an ideal world also, people of all kinds who are parents would encompass all the parenting skills and attributes necessary. (Clearly, parents are human and understandably won’t!)
Mothering is traditionally aligned with the feminine parental qualities of nurturance, soothing, and comforting. I ask us today to be our own best mother. A primary lesson under my teacher Katherine Woodward Thomas, and what is confirmed in my mental health counseling studies, is that wholeness and health is achieved when we learn to do for ourselves what our parents couldn’t do for us.
Today I hope you take a moment to give yourself the nurturance, soothing, and comforting that you deserve—and you do deserve it. We all do. We live in a patriarchy– many of us learn the (traditionally) masculine parenting skills of protection and provision thanks to patriarchy.
Learning how to self-nurture and self-soothe can be challenging, especially if we had no one model these. …In the words of Ani DiFranco, we live in a world that is increasingly “not so soft”.
So be soft to yourself today—and every day. Do for yourself what our larger culture likely doesn’t do and maybe your parents couldn’t do for you. That’s where the healing is. And maybe the grace.
Happy Mother’s Day to us all—with noted gratitude to our Mother Earth.