For a long time, it was very difficult for me to honor my mother. I’m sure I am not the only person who has had a strained or estranged relationship with his or her mother. There are many reasons this can happen.
My reason was one of the more difficult ones to overcome. I was a victim of incest by my mother. Then, shortly after my 16th birthday, she passed away. It took over 20 years for me to begin to heal myself, and thus begin to heal my relationship with my mother, even though she was no longer here physically.
There was lots of forgiving to be done: forgiving myself (not uncommon for survivors); forgiving my mother; and this is where it all came together for me…forgiving God for letting it happen. This took several years to accomplish, including many therapy sessions, a lot of group work, and learning how to relive the pain without self-medicating it. Despite the fact that it was suggested that I take medication during the period I was uncovering my memories and confronting my feelings about them, I decided not to, for whatever reason, which maybe wasn’t the best way to handle my recovery, but that’s the way I did it.
When I began to emerge to the other side of it all, my life did change. I did lots of work on myself, studied why those who sexually victimized others do what they do, and understood deep within my heart that in order for me to heal, I needed to begin to Trust again, Forgive where I needed to forgive and, to some extent, Accept that this happened and not stay in a victim mode, which was for me like a dog chasing its tail; I would be exerting a lot of energy but going nowhere fast, and at the end of it, I’d be more dazed and confused than I was before.
Next week, I will share with you a wonderful experience I had around Mother’s Day eight years ago, while I was in Woodstock, NY, meditating on the porch of one of my oldest friends.
In general, I know that some of us have wonderful relationships with our mohers, some not so good, and some others not at all. But we can all honor them.
Of course, if you have a relationship and they are still present in your life, your choice of ways to honor them is more abundant than those of us who have a strained relationship or no relationship at all. So there are ways we can honor them without having to be present with them. This can be done in prayer, sending love and light, remembrance of happier times or of something you have from them or because of them that you cherish.
We can light a candle, plant a flower or make a donation that they might have made if they were still around. The ways of honoring our mothers are endless. Find a way that feels right to you and let your spirit move you.