Happy Mother’s Day for the 99.9%
So who are the 99.9%?
The children who were’nt born to Mary, mother of Jesus (for my religious folk); June Cleaver (for my secular and throw-back folk who know the proper role of women *wink wink); and Michelle Obama (for my peeps…black folk because I have to represent; and the entire nation if you get her).
My mom and I have never had a traditional relationship.
We’re not alone.
Recently, I was talking to a friend about how to make peace with her mom. I said that it begins with accepting that her mom is a human being and allowed to be who she is and make the choices she makes without regard to how they may impact my friend.
It’s especially difficult for a child to accept because we’re bombarded by unrealistic and often unattainable messages about what it means to be a good mother.
The good mother is often believed to be beyond human, sublimating her natural human instincts of having desires of her own in exchange for complete focus on the perfecting of her children.
I’ve met a few mothers like this and they scared the crap out of me—too involved, too domineering, too fake, too toxic.
If you’ve read my blog before, you know that I’ve written about why my mom is the perfect mom for me in spite of the fact that she’d never win a Mother-of-the-Year award. You can read about it here, here, and here.
But I took it a step further when talking to my friend and I think Mother’s Day is as good a time as any for the 99.9% to embrace our moms for who they are and love them…and not like we’ve come up short.
Here’s what I shared with her:
I didn’t personalize her maltreatment of me even though it hurt me because I was slowly but surely able to see how much greater she hurt herself by succumbing to her mental disease and resulting addictions.
When I realized, about my mother and father, that they simply could not love me in a way that any child would want, I was free.
They are the parents (believe it or not) who are best for me. They have been my greatest teachers in that I have learned to love them without expectation of anything in return; and I have been lucky enough to see past my own human and selfish needs to recognize their pain. I believe that their guilt (about me & other stuff) has morphed into a deep self-hatred and no one who hates herself can love someone else.
Bonus: Obviously I believe in reincarnation so I know that this human life isn’t the only chance my mom gets. And I believe that we choose (before birth) the lessons we want to learn and assemble the players for our life.
So I imagine me telling a group of spirits how I want to grow to love God, be fiercely independent, know that all the love, abundance, and success I desire already exists within me. Then my mother volunteers for the role that she’s undertaken so that I might grow. For me, her life has been the greatest sacrifice so that I might become who I was meant to be. That’s why she matters and I know her choices in life are necessary.
Happy Mother’s Day!