… Only a Mother Can Love

| May 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

There is something very unique about Mother´s Day because we all come from a mother, no exceptions. Some of us are also a mother. In addition to human children, we may consider our pets our children or feel motherly towards members of marginalized groups. Men can also nurture and care for their families in a “motherly” way by being the stay at home dad. I hope you all celebrate and get celebrated on Mother´s Day. But don´t wait for others to do it for you, make it special for yourself.

Celebrating does not only mean getting some flowers, having a program for the day and exhibiting our best behaviors together, it means contemplating the original idea and energy behind its intention, to celebrate motherhood.

What is a mother? Why is this image so special to all of us that we have a worldwide day of recognition and celebration?

Mothering is a very unique process. It requires taking care of something that can´t (yet) fend for itself. It is also comes with the realization that a mother does not get to choose who to love. Her child is her child. There will be challenges, and ambivalent feelings at times, but this will not keep a mother from protecting that innocent being with her own life, if necessary.

We all have an image of the mother archetype deep in our psyches. She is self-sacrificing, ever present and giving, soothing, loving, nurturing, rocks us to sleep, watches over us tirelessly, without needs of her own. This idealized image of a mother may not exist in real life, yet, we compare our own mothers to this “perfect example.” This persona or imposed image may leave us dissatisfied or critical, judging our own mother about her decisions and actions.

Fact is, a common problem occurs when a mother is so truly self-sacrificing that she does not teach her offspring how to treat her well, with respect, without judgement. Unfortunately, it does not bode well for the adolescent or young adults who go out into the world and try to “see” a mother in many of their superior females. They learn the hard way that their mother has not used worthwhile, long tested parenting skills.

Fortunate are the ones who have been able to witness mothers who practiced good boundaries: moms who knew to put the oxygen mask on first during an emergency and were able to save the whole clan. The self-sacrificing mom would have held her breath rather than administering the oxygen mask. The result: one child might be saved, yet, the remaining clan, as well as mom, perished.

It is true that one day a year can never make up for the many things a mother does and has done. But it is a nice occasion to once again remind ourselves to honor the endless wisdom and strength of mothers: open arms, loving and accepting, endless patience and a strong commitment to parenting. It also means being the bad guy at times, risking being hated for the moment. The outcome is a balanced and compassionate adult who will truly appreciate his/her mother.

Author Sabine Starr is a psychologist licensed in Vienna, Austria, currently living and working in Mission Hills. She has written numerous articles for professional psychology journals. For further information, visit www.starrcoaching.com and follow her blog at www.HealthwithTaste.blogspot.com; and a new social media offering is www.facebook.com/StarrCoaching.

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