A Mother’s Day Retrospective

Marcia SamuelsThis Mother’s Day, as every one preceding, I was overwhelmed by the demand for consumer participation. The pressure in this country to have a great _____ special day is great, and I never seem to win. I wonder who does. 

I admit, I start at a disadvantage. My mother killed herself. Strike One against Mother’s Day.

I was an active drug addict for the first years of my own children’s lives. Strike Two.

My partner’s mother died when he was 12. Strike Three. And we are OUT!

It has taken 10 years of partnership for us to finally succeed in having a decent Mother’s Day. For the first time, there were no hysterics or even tears. No one ended the celebratory meal by swearing and storming out. Cards and kind words were exchanged. The tension was not completely gone, and those who still need to indulge in mind altering chemicals in order to function did so, but all in all it was a success in that we all at least acted mostly like the commercials say we should.

I am struck by how many years and how much personal work this seemingly simple “natural” event took to be achieved. And I am so sad for all of the mothers out there who do not do transformational work and so must suffer even more from the pressure the marketing of this day puts them under.

Even though my children are grown, being a mother continues to be the most challenging experience of my life. The pain and heartache and responsibility are mind-blowing. I have the feeling that in other countries where people are not marketed to as much, the position of “mother” is not so fraught with danger of being a miserable failure. I also have the feeling such places are far and few.

There is not much natural about our society anymore. We all compare ourselves to the other via the media. We all consume large quantities of whatever is being served to us and call it choice. And there is no winning the game of compare and consume.

My prayer is that as I become more and more of who I really am via the work that transformation offers, I will depend less and less on others to tell me if I am successful. I will know in my own heart that every day is a celebration of love and appreciation. I will know that my children love me as best they can and that no card, and no gift, is a substitute for the real thing.

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