The words, Happy Motherís Day, can sting. A commercial day set aside to celebrate mothers can be fraught with stress, grief and pain. I donít mean wracking your brain to buy a generic gift. Rather, consider the daughters whose mothers have passed away, the daughters who never felt unconditional love, the mothers who have lost a baby or a child, the would-be mothers who cannot conceive, or the would-be mothers who want to adopt a child, but do not meet the legal qualifications. For us Motherís Day is more about thorns than roses.
However, human tragedy can make one more receptive to a flash of light, a hopeful illumination which changes everything. On Motherís Day donít dodge your despair. Confront it because everything that has a front has a back Ė your sadness is your other side and will combine to form a whole. This is the time to seek your creative self Ė what a mother represents: Nurturing the seed and promoting growth.
Bring out the gardener in you. In the Northeast planting time coincides with Motherís Day Ė the busiest weekend for nurseries and garden centers. Every Motherís Day I plant seeds, flowers and vegetables in my daughter-in-lawís garden right along with my grandchildren. I answer questions about bulbs, and furrows, and what plants do well in the shade. My daughter-in-love loves lantana and our hands become fragrant with the perfume. We get into the dirt and play. We are painting the earth with colors. On this day I resurrect my mother, whom I miss dearly, because she was a magician in the garden and I her apprentice. Instead of dwelling on her absence, I tell her story and act it out in the garden. My grandchildren who never met my mother know her intimately in the spring. Although she died of Alzheimerís, she is not forgotten.
The ultimate stress relief
If you take notice, Mother Nature helps to heal your soul reminding you that no winter lasts forever. She restores your internal rhythm nudging you to become in rhythm with others. Great changes occur in the garden. Plant life doesnít seem to move in a garden, yet there is constant movement and renewal. If you live in the city and donít have a garden, you can exercise your green thumb at a botanical garden or join community groups to transform overgrown lots into lush gardens. Although I have a sizeable outdoor garden, I garden indoors during the winter on my window sills and bright corners.
You donít need a garden to plant your many special seeds.
So, if you have lost your mother, recall her to life with a good thought or witty expression. Let her see the world through your eyes and mind; she is alive in your DNA. If you never felt your mother loved you, perhaps she wasnít able to tell you; it is time to mother yourself. If you have so much love to give, but no child to give it to, then become a mother to those you encounter and plant seeds as their spiritual legacy.
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Addicted to Stress: A Woman's 7 Step Program to Reclaim Joy and Spontaneity in Life
, Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout
and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul,
a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit: www.turnonyourinnerlight.com