If you had a wonderful mother, I’m so glad for you!
This post, however, is mostly for those of us who had less than wonderful mothers. Mothers who even if they wanted to be good and loving mothers didn’t know how. Mothers who may have been outright abusive. Mothers who may have blamed us for what was wrong with their lives.
This is, in short, for all of us who gag at saccharine Mother’s Day cards and platitudes.
I had a mother who used to tell me I was crazy and should kill myself before anyone found out—and then she would tell me in detail how I should do it. I had a mother who blamed me for every problem she had with my father. I had a mother who...
I had a mother who was hurting inside. Who hated herself so badly she had to hate me as well—because I reminded her of herself. Who never learned what love was herself. Who tried to do better than had been done to her. Who hurt me deeply anyway.
I tell you this so you will know where I’m coming from. I tell you this so you will know that I KNOW how toxic some mothers can be.
It’s important that you know because I want to talk about finding a way to forgive and love our mothers anyway—and ourselves.
LET ME BE VERY CLEAR—FORGIVING SOMEONE DOES NOT MEAN WE MUST CONTINUE TO PUT OURSELVES IN HARMS WAY! For the last 15 years of my mother’s life I did not see her or allow her near my children. I did not feel safe making any other choice. At the same time, I consciously chose to forgive her—knowing that what she did came out of her own pain and her own self-hate. I forgave her knowing that it was something I had to do for myself. I could not hold the hate and anger inside and still be loving toward my own children.
We need to acknowledge the anger—and the magnitude of any harm that was done to us—and at some point we need to let it go. We need to forgive so that WE can heal inside and turn that energy to making our own lives better and happier. We need to forgive our mothers for mistakes they made so that we can forgive ourselves for the mistakes we make—and learn to do better.
I wish that all of us had had loving mothers. Many of you reading this did and I am so glad for you! Many of you did not and if you did not I know that it may have caused you to believe you were worthless because mothers are always supposed to love their children, right?
If you were not loved by your mother or if your mother was abusive, I want to say—as emphatically as I can—IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT! If your mother could not love you or hurt you it was because of pain and hurt and self-hate within HER. YOU deserved to be loved and cherished and valued!
If you had a wonderful mother then I hope that on every day, not just Mother’s Day, you tell her so. If you did not, I hope that you are able to imagine cherishing and loving the child you once were. I hope that you are able to bring people into your life who DO value and cherish you. I hope that you are able to imagine, sometimes, what it would have been like to have had a mother who could love and cherish and protect you. Because when we can imagine what that would have been like--and believe that it IS something we deserve--then we know that we truly are finding ways to heal.
Blessings and sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))))),