There are days of the year, where (like many people) I feel the loss of someone or something in my life. I long for gratitude on those days, and wait for the difficult moments to pass to be grateful that I have endured them. It is not always the most mindful thing to do, but it is self-compassionate.
Mother’s day is not one of those days for me. I have been blessed with four women, who each parented me like I was their own child, my two grandmothers, my mother, and my Aunt Susan. While my Grandma Jean has been gone for about 16 years, I feel her with me every day. I ask her for council, when I am stuck with difficult decisions, and always pray for her strength. She was an absolute force, while she with us.
Normalizing The Challenges of Living Without Or In Conflict With A Mother
It is because I realize how fortunate I am that I feel deeply for people, who have lost their mothers, never knew their mothers, or who have an embattled relationship with their mothers. It is so hard to feel that the place from which you originated can no longer or has rarely/never welcomed you home. I feel for people, who do not understand this misfortune. The only thing worse than not having a warm, welcoming mother is criticizing or belittling the troubles of someone who does not. So, this self-compassion entry is dedicated to you. I hope it brings you some well-deserved balm for your hearts, and a greater sense of ease.
Your concerns are normal. We all want to feel loved and accepted, and people who do not bare the stamp of blood family can be fickle in their support and availability. So, those that have lost their mothers to illness, complicated life circumstances, or mental health issues feel a sense of vulnerability. And, this vulnerability is very real, but it does not make you fragile. It makes you wise. It is the part of you that has decided before anything that you are deserving of unconditional love, and that your life is worth dedicating to this important venture. Some people are fortunate to have a living place to locate this love, and a person to praise for this teaching once a year. That said, you are no less whole, no less deserving, and no less lovable, if you do not.
Mother’s Day Self-Compassion Practice
So, how can we help you get what you need on this difficult day, and every day after? By simply practicing self-compassion. Notice your feelings. If there is a sense of emptiness or sadness, acknowledge it, and grieve it. You deserve unconditional love and acceptance, and a mother is a hard person to live without. Resist getting seduced by the stories that emerge, when you focus on this loss. Instead, notice how your body feels, and soften around the parts of your body that are tense. Breathe in the feelings of loss, and exhale the wish to be free from the pain of loss. Notice your own capacity to give yourself unconditional love, if called upon, and think of a way in this very moment that you can be really kind to yourself.
Remember that the similarities of your hopes, your dreams, your pain, and your pleasure connect you to all beings. We all wish for unconditional love for ourselves and others. Wish this for yourself and others, and give yourself permission to accept the reverberations of these wishes for you. May you always be open to receiving unconditional love from yourself, and from the wishes of all other living beings. May you be free from suffering. May you live with ease. May you be kind to yourself, and feel empowered by your practice.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 234. In The Books.