The Cook Awakening

The Complex of Mother’s Day

May 12, 2019
Posted in: Grief, Life on Life's Terms, Living Into Death, Spiritual Practice

It’s Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who celebrate! I hope you are surrounded by love and appreciation for all you have done as a mother, and/or are celebrating all your mother has done for you.

And, I want to acknowledge that Mother’s Day is not happy for everyone. Your mother may no longer be alive. You may not have a good relationship with your mother. She may even have been overtly abusive. You may be a mother, but you’re estranged from your kid(s). You may be a mother, and your child died. You may be a mother with living and loving kids, but you had one child die, perhaps as a baby, perhaps as a miscarriage or still birth, and you still grieve that loss. You may have always wanted to be a mother, and for some reason are not. You may be a mother, and for your own very good reasons, really never wanted to be. There are so many permutations of why this day might be hard. Relationships with family can be fraught.

Cherry blossoms in the full moon’s light

Any of these situations can leave us with less than joyful feelings when one of these Hallmark holidays comes around. We have these tricky minds that compare our lives to other folks lives. If you’re on social media it can be compounded, there are so many heartfelt wishes and photos of happy connected families. All the shoulds come crashing in, “I should be loved differently” or “I should feel differently” or “my mom should still be alive”, — basically, my life should be different than it is, because other people’s lives look different. At least from the outside.

The hardest part of this, really, is that the comparison actually prevents us from simply feeling what’s true. What’s true gets twisted into an even bigger, more painful story than it already is.

If this day is hard for you, can you touch into the simple basics of the painful feelings? That might be….

I miss my mom.

I miss my kids.

I wish I had a loving relationship with my mom. Or my kids.

I’m sad my baby died. I’m sad my mom died.

I’m sad my life looks differently than I thought it would.

Take a breath. This is the simple truth of being human. Sometimes things don’t go the way Hallmark says it should. Sometimes people don’t understand us. Sometimes we’re angry at people we’re related to, or they’re angry at us. Sometimes people we love die before we’re ready for them to.

I wish life were different than it is. I wish my health were better. I wish my relationship with my mother had been better. But, it is and was what it is and was. And, I find that simply reminding myself that it is what it is, and taking a breath, helps me find a more simple grief that moves through my body in a clean way. It doesn’t solve anything, but it cuts through some of the complication of “what if it were different?”

Often, when we can come into a simplicity of what’s true right now, we can also begin to notice that it’s not all doom. That at this moment, as I’m acknowledging that I’m sad or angry, the sun is shining. My dog loves me. I have at least one friend that cares about me.

If this day is fraught for you, I send you a big hug. I take a breath with you. I hope the expectations of Mother’s Day can dissipate in your heart, and that you can find a little space to just connect with the truth of this moment. There can be healing in just feeling the pain in a simple way. Feeling the pain in a simple way could lead to more insight into what actually needs to be done, anywhere in the range of “I could be happy with my life as it is” to “I need to take action in the world, because the way life is, is unacceptable”.

And, if this is a happy time for you, I hope you enjoy it fully.

Blessings on your life as it unfolds exactly as it does.

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 12th, 2019 at 1:36 pm and is filed under Grief, Life on Life's Terms, Living Into Death, Spiritual Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


2 Responses to “The Complex of Mother’s Day”

  1. Jena Says:

    I love this Durga, you hit it on the head with expectations. Tara Brach says the definition of stress is basically being in a state of wishing your current experience was different than it is in the present moment, in whatever way that manifests. I love your simplicity of acknowledging the reality of what is right in front of you- it really helps to alleviate the stress and as you said, open you up to seeing what else beautiful is around you, even admidst the painful feelings. Sending you love, mama!

  2. Durga Fuller Says:

    Sending love back, Jena! Thanks for reading, and I’m glad you felt some resonance. Expectations are life killers on so many levels. ❤️

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