Mother’s Day brings me directly in front of my emotional pain. I feel all sorts of emotions; envy, sadness, bitterness, and sadness. There’s also a plethora of “shoulds” that bombard my mind. My regret in life is not having recognized that I wanted to be a mother sooner and not having recognized that my child bearing years were limited. I threw myself into my educational pursuits to earn a doctorate and focused on my career so that when I was ready to be in a committed relationship, I miscarried twice. Adoption proved to be a closed venture. As a result, I feel the grief of not having children and not currently having their children in my life. As I write this, tears are falling down my face.
How do I know this day is an emotional hurdle for me? The obvious answer is that tears come readily. Next, I am testy with my partner. I am testy for no present day, concrete reason. Mother’s Day brings feelings of resentment and shoulds as I struggle with judging and envying others. I have thought about organizing a “whine party” for this day instead for women who’s experience is similar to mine.
I feel that I shouldn’t feel the emotions I feel and on this day because I have the most amazing mother who wanted me in her life and she’s still alive and there for me. This year, it’s the first year without my mother-in-law. She passed away earlier this year. I still need to find my game face to present to my family because I should feel grateful. Aren’t holidays festive, perfect days, with beautiful photos of smiling groups of people ideal for posting on social media? When you don’t think your photos muster because there’s an ideal that your reality doesn’t match then this day poses an emotional hurdle.
What holiday poses a challenge to you?
Because of my own grief, I am aware that this day is a challenge for a number of others and they have their story. Many of my contemporaries are mothers of “fur babies” and have found other ways to channel their nurturing energy. And I am also aware of how grief can color your experience of all holidays. For some, there are holidays that will never be “perfect” because their love one is missing.
Happiness must be my only and primary emotion felt at 100% capacity.
I’m the only sad person today.
I must cover up my true feelings.
My reality is less than the reality of others.
There must be something wrong with me.
I must make up for my true emotions and go overboard with the festivities of today.
Do you have more holiday myths? Send them to me. I want to hear.
What are the realities?
The Chinese symbol of yin and yang describe the reality well to us. In all things, we experience and hold reality of duality. We are sad and happy. We grieve and we enjoy. We are at our best when we can hold space in our hearts for the duality. It is not either or. Let this sink in as you breathe deeply. Let this reality in and integrate it into your spirit, your soul.
We don’t have to expend energy trying to change who we are. We have lived and so we will carry grief. Allow it, recognize it, feel it, and let it go. Cry and if you want, share it with others. I promise you; you are not alone. Allow the duality of happiness and joy too. Sometimes we hold myths about losing someone. We feel we shouldn’t be happy now that they are gone. Embrace all of who you are and the duality that it brings. See how you can integrate the two experiences and share the wholeness of who you are. Know that you are an integrated whole. Express your wholeness of experience. Honor all parts of you. Stand for who you are and know that this will resonate with so many others. If you have trouble moving beyond the grief, a customized yoga nidra is an option. Message me if you’d like to try it.
As for me, I will give myself time to mourn this mother’s day and time to connect to spirit. I integrate the duality of life. I am at peace and am aware. I believe that in death, I will be reunited with the spirits of my husband’s and my children. I am grateful for the opportunities to nurture the next generations and will acknowledge the good that arose from my pain and I will recognize and honor my own mother who I am grateful to still have with me and the women blessed to be mothers. Happy Mother’s Day!