I’m going to tell on myself here. Mother’s Day is not a big deal for me. It never was. As a child, we were too poor to do anything special about it for our mom. Handwritten cards created in school was about it, lots of macaroni and colors swirled on construction paper were never met with much appreciation for our efforts.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I had the parents I was supposed to have. I chose two people who were incapable of showing Love, especially any love given freely and without expectation of something in return. What I had were two people who did not know how to love themselves, much less each other, so it was not shocking they divorced when I was just a kid.
My dad was a simple man, raised on a farm, strict religious upbringing that he rebelled against. He left home in his teens, finding his way into the Air Force when he was old enough. He was ‘just the dad’ but not a loving embrace to rush home to. His hands were used as weapons against us when we misbehaved. It took me a very long time to forgive him and understand that he did the best he could and that was ok. As an adult, we grew close. Time and maturity put a lot of awareness into that relationship. I am the one who taught my father it was safe to say “I Love You” and to hug hello and goodbye. I’d even manage a peck on the check once in a while. When he died, I grieved.
Was My Mom An Alien?
My mother, well, she was a different story. She was never one to express positive emotion. She was cruel, spiteful and jealous of my accomplishments. I did not have the warm, loving mom to run home to after school or when I needed advice. In fact, she was the last person I would seek counsel from, ever. I learned that from being a 5 year old having my inter-dimensional experiences with my dead grandmother.
I had these amazing conversations that were filled with so much love and support only to have my mother tell me never to speak of that again. I was chastised for being stupid and making her look bad to the neighbors. It was difficult as a child and young woman to reconcile having a mother that was cold and jealous. The relationship turned to hate and I separated myself from her grasp when my parents divorced.
I chose to live with my father who gave me freedom to make my own choices. I made some stupid ones, and I made a lot of smart ones. Through it all, my deep inner knowing there was a real God that loved me no matter what, always buoyed my spirit and kept me moving forward. It just was what it was and I never really dwelled that much on what I didn’t have in the way of a Donna Reed or Leave It To Beaver parents.
Now you understand why Mother’s Day was never a big deal, not even when I became a step mother to two wonderful boys, it was just a day where I had to catch up on housework, laundry and other chores before Monday came and I had to go back to work at a job I got paid at. It never carried the sentimentality Hallmark would love for me to dwell in. I’m ok with that. To this day, I would much rather have a phone call or a hand written note with heart felt emotions over a $5 card designed for the masses no matter what the occasion.
Linking Past to Future
I am in the decluttering phase of my life right now. I am getting rid of papers and files and knick knacks and pillows stuffed in closets for ‘some day’. I long ago gave the kids the family heirlooms and cleaned out their paternal grandparents collectables that did not bring me any joy. Still, I find more and more to go through and release.
So it was today, as I sat down to sort through files again that I came across this gem from my past. In 2002 I submitted a poem for publication that was accepted in a now defunct magazine. As I read through it, I was at once surprised at my wisdom and my poor rhyming skills! A poet I was never intended to become. Still, the message was powerful. I want to share that with you today, because I know a lot of us are not blessed with perfect parents.
We have to find our own way through how we were raised and how we trust and see the world. It is one of the reasons we chose the parents we did, to learn and grow from those experiences, to elevate our soul to heal our karma and learn our lessons so we can move into just being Love energy. Choose to be Neutral, Loving, Aware. We are to learn how to love ourselves first. Too many fail that lesson. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is how important we are to ourselves. Sadly, too many are failing to understand how much our heart cries out to be heard, and how much our soul urges us to remember.
Talk To Your Heart
We all matter. We are never alone. Learn to give yourself the Love you missed. Learn it is ok for things to not be ok in the moment. There is a simple way to connect to your heart. Sit or lay down, with your hands on your heart. Slow your breathing to match your heart beats. Just listen to your heart as it works for you, thump, thump, thump. Breathe in through your nose with each thump to a count of 6. Hold for 3 counts (thumps).
Blow out through your mouth 6 thumps. Hold for 3, repeat. As your heart feels you listening to it and growing in sync with it, you will feel it soften under your hands. You will feel your breathing coordinate in a dance of peacefulness as your heart showers you with gratitude that you are listening to it working for you. Sit with it as long as you like, listening, breathing, and loving yourself.
Death Brings Forgiveness
My mother died in 2005. We had gone full circle by then. I did everything I could to help her, to support her financially and emotionally. I tried to help her see how much better life would be if she would just let go of the hate and jealousy. It was not to be.
Still, in her last months, I drove 1500 miles to find her when she stopped writing and her phone was disconnected. I tracked her down, like a bloodhound on the trail of the bad guy, and she was not happy to see me. I invited her to come live with us, even though it was the last thing I wanted, I still wanted to help her. She refused. So I went hunting for what she did want: To reconnect with my older brother, who twenty years before had had enough of her behavior that he cut her and us out of his life.
I brought him to her, and she clung to him like he was her savior. She did not need me anymore, she didn’t even care to say goodbye as I hugged what felt like a dead fish and turned to leave her for the last time. I was ok. I knew, without question, that I had done everything I possibly could to help her and she was responsible for her own choices. She was 82 years old. She wanted nothing to do with me now that she had her precious first born back in her life. Two months later my sister in law called to tell me she had died. She was already dead to me, so I can’t say I was distraught. It was just ‘final’ and I had no guilt. I was sad that she could not find her way, but I was ok with all I did to help her.
Later that day, after getting the call she had passed, I was walking down the cereal aisle in the grocery store when I stopped suddenly. I could feel her there. I heard her whisper “I’m sorry.” I whispered back “I’m sorry too.”
It’s Ok Not To Be Ok
This is for all of you that did not have loving mom’s or wish to celebrate Mother’s Day the Hallmark way. It is ok to see the experience for what it is. For me, I realized in High School, how very grateful I was to my mother. Because of her, I learned how not to be. I learned how to be better. I learned that Love was more important than anything else. Mostly, I learned that my self worth did not have anything to do with either of my parents, but it had everything to do with my connection to spirit, source, God, all that is, however and whatever you want to call it. All I know is I connected to this incredible blissful knowing from a higher power.
When you have a loving mom who listens to you, attends your school events, bakes cookies, and enjoys getting to know you as a person, you are blessed with a very special bond. Not all of us chose to have that experience. Be conscious of those who struggle on this day, not because of grief necessarily but because of a sense of loss that could never be filled, even when their mom is still alive and present. Sometimes we choose parents to teach us something important and sometimes we are born to them to teach them something important. Self reflection, meditation and prayer can help you find your way through that if it is important for you to understand the dynamics there.
As I’ve always said, you have a choice. You will always have a choice. What you decide can be undecided if it is not lifting you up. The beliefs that may be holding you back can be dropped, and forgiveness both for those who did not know better and those who try to hold you back will start the shift to your own awareness. Like I wrote in this poem, Missing Love is a choice. I didn’t realize how wise I was in 2002. Choose Love. Choose You. Thank you for reading with me.