Being a mom is the most challenging and rewarding job I've ever had. Being a grandmother has offered me a fresh perspective on mothering. As a mother I grew in appreciation for my mother, but as a grandmother I grow not only in appreciation, but also in humility.
When my kids were in their late teens my advice to them was to take what we (as parents) did that was great, and to take what we did that wasn't so great, and to be all the better for it.
Yesterday, as I began my Mother's Day reflections, this advice, I had given my children many years ago, came to mind. Also what came to mind were the years I wrestled with purchasing Mother's Day cards for my mother. You see, I did wrestle with our relationship, especially during times when I saw myself as a victim rather than seeing my mother as doing the best she could with the tools she had.
Wounds get exposed in mothering. I have no doubt now that I've been a mother. It's what we do with them that counts. We can use our feelings to heal or to harm. In every moment of our lives we are presented with that choice, actually. This is something I learned from my mom's not-so-great moments, and mine—as a mother and as an adult daughter. This is the wisdom that helped me to genuinely purchase those "grateful for you," Mom's Day cards that touched her heart.
Now that my mom's gone, I'm so glad I chose to be all the better for it and am humbled for the times when I gave my ego control over how I viewed her.
My daughter periodically compliments me on being her mom. It took effort. I am who I am because of it all. You are too.
If you organically have a wonderful relationship with your mom I'm genuinely happy for you. If you wrestle with your relationship with your mom, I feel for you. I get it. I truly do. I also get it, that it's a humbling shift from feeling like a victim to feeling grateful. I needed help with my shift but I can tell you that it is totally worth the effort it takes. (So worth it that I began a career change 25 years ago beause I wanted to help others who were ready to cross their thresholds.) This choice increases your capacity to love, and for love. It opens the pores of your heart back up. It helps you to breathe again. And it makes you a more loving mother, companion, friend. It doesn't guarantee you will never fall but each time you do you'll rise more easily, elegantly, humbly, and whole.
Pride clogs the pores of the heart. Humility opens them. To me, a person with an open heart has open pores. I'm glad I made the choice to move forward in life more openhearted than guarded, to pay it forward rather than to pain it forward. It's a choice. And it requires developing a taste for humble pie.
I've had my share of humble pie today. Love you Mom in Heaven. I'm deeply remorseful for the times I allowed my ego rather than my higher self to run the show and forgive you for the times you did too. Wisdom is born of experience. Thanks for going that long hard way with me.
I emerged from my reflecting more grateful, loving, humbled, healed and feeling closer to my mom. This is my effort to pay a little of my learning forward in honor of her, and all moms, this Mother's Day.
I hope you can love your mom today. And if you can't, that's okay. My wish for you will be to experience the peace in your heart that comes with true forgiveness and humility. It's never too late for healing.
Happy Mom's Day!