“Celebrating Our Mothers”
“Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you.” Luke 11:27
by Patricia Pitta Ph.D., ABPP
Over the centuries there have been many songs and poems written about Mothers. Mothers are usually portrayed in a gentle, loving manner attending to the needs of their children. But, as we all know, to be a mother is to be human. We further know that to be human is to be imperfect. So when a holiday like Mother’s Day comes some have ambivalent feelings towards their mothers, whether living or deceased. We share and remember the soft gentle mothers and attempt to want to forget any negativity.
Did you know the role of the mother is to teach the child? What a silly question I am presenting! Of course you know that!
We learn not only through our mother’s softness, gentleness, guidance and foresight but also through her other features, which might be not as pleasant to remember. We never outgrow our need for Mom’s wisdom no matter what our age. The point is that with a healthy and resolved relationship with Mom, we can become the best Mom (even if you are a man) not only to our children, but to ourselves.
One always needs parental guidance no matter what the age. At some point we need to look within to find this guidance. Many of my friends (female or male), whether their mothers are deceased or alive, quote their Moms when trying to understand life or solve a situation.
As you embrace this Mother’s Day cherish the positive aspects of your mom and recognize how she lives in you. Cherish these features and thank God for these gifts and thank Mom.
What about the not so pleasant aspects of Mom? For example, how maybe she became angry when tired, or sad when things did go the way she wanted them. Was she too busy for you sometimes? Did she just not understand you? You know what I mean. How do these feelings work in you now? Remember, our mothers are here to teach us! We learn not only from the positive, but also the negative.
A Mother’s Day gift to you (whether male or female) would be to look inside yourself and ask what negative parts of Mom are in me. Write them down and allow yourself to look at them. You have the power to change these features within you. What a tribute to Mom! She would want you to be the best you could be! Take a chance. Look inside yourself. Pray or meditate in your way and with your traditions for guidance for the ability to love as Mom did positively. Also, ask for the strength to change the negative forces within you.
Would you believe the gift of every mother is right inside each of us? As we grow, you have heard the saying, we become more and more like “Dear Old Mom or Dad.” The goal of growth is to separate the good from the negative and extricate the less desirable traits and further develop the positive within us (the ability to listen, share, show our feelings, respond without excessive anger, and always let those we love know we love them in a way they can understand by meeting their needs).
So as you visit your Mom or just think about her, express your gratitude and thank her for all the endless years of love, sacrifice and caring and send positive good intentions to yourself and her. At the same time, make a commitment.
If you harbor unresolved feelings towards Mom do something to work them through. If you can talk to your Mom, do that. If not, write a journal to express your feelings. As you do this, you will become “more you” rather than carrying old sentiments that would be better released than bottled up inside. The true gift of love enables one to be able to love yourself as God loves you and love others as God loves you.
Dr. Patricia Pitta is a clinical psychologist
practicing in Manhasset, New York, for more than 20 years. She is a Diplomat
in Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association and an Approved
Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Pitta
is also the President of the Long Island Association of Marriage and Family
She has created a treatment modality that enables the partners to accept
responsibility for their parts in relationship problems leading to resolution
of issues without getting stuck in blame. She encourages self growth which
enhances couple growth and family development.