I’m a few days past Mother’s Day, that all consuming Hallmark holiday that causes more stress than almost any other in the year. So many conflicted relationships all come down to the reality of being guilted into choosing the words some card writer feels captures the overwhelming, all consuming love that we are supposed to have for the mothers we got (or didn’t get)
I have a lot of empathy for my clients at this time of year. I am among them. I hated being faced with the triple aisle of Mother’s Day cards at the store that said things I could not bring myself to endorse.
When my mother died after a long struggle with bone cancer, I was relieved for her. I didn’t think that anybody should suffer like that. But I don’t miss her, really. What I have realized over the years is that she fundamentally didn’t have the emotional equipment to be a mother and took all of her insecurities and sadnesses and tossed them onto me.
Many people face the same issues and they struggle to reconcile that cultural norm that moms are special, loving and loved with the harsh reality that they just weren’t.
People who don’t have relationships with parents have often spent years being made to feel that it’s their fault that conflict exists. I mean, who doesn’t love their mom? In fact, not everyone is cut out to be a parent and they can make a pretty good mess of it. If you say to someone that you don’t have a good relationship with your parent, one of two things may happen.
- The someone you tell thinks that’s weird and wrong.
- You find out you are not alone.
It’s complicated and it is a journey in and of itself to find your own way through what you didn’t get from a pivotal person in your life to being your own pivotal person. Learn what you need to learn, make the changes you need to make. Get help with it. Forgive yourself. Work on forgiving them, but in a way that prevents further damage.
The journey is to design the reality you really want to embody for yourself and for those who rely on you for the amazing truth that they are loved, honored and precious.
That’s what touches the future.
And, it’s okay not to give a card.