How do you really feel about your Mom? Are you experiencing a deep love and compassion for her? Or do you just feel loyalty and obligation? Are you one of those people who always want to please your Mom? Or are you filled with so much anger and resentment that you avoid them, or rebel by doing the opposite of what they taught you?
During many years as a practicing psychotherapist, I have discovered that most people have to resolve issues with their parents in order to love them unconditionally, and truly enjoy giving to them on Mother’s Day as well as the rest of the year.
It was wonderful to see the clients soften and smile, as they resolved their unfinished business with their parents. For the first time they were able to accept that their parents did the best they could with the information and tools that they had, and forgive them.
The men and women also realized that if they wanted to blame, they would have to go way back through the many generations because they basically learned how to parent by what their folks did with them. Unfortunately, we have been passing down these dysfunctional, unloving methods of child rearing throughout our history.
The irony of it is that being a parent is much more difficult than being a psychotherapist. I, like most people, had no training in parenting. However, to become a counselor I had to study for a degree, intern for years and pass a test in order to receive a license. In my opinion, it would be very helpful to have required “Parenting Classes” in high school and college. Then more people can learn the necessary tools they need to help their children be healthy, happy and successful in the world.
I am convinced that parents basically love their children and want the best for them. I believe this because often after a client succeeded in healing their own inner child they were able to see clearly what they had done with their offspring. They sobbed deeply as they visualized their son or daughter, and said, “Please forgive me. I just did to you what was done to me. I’m so sorry. I love you. I never meant to hurt you. If I’d known better I would have treated you differently.”
When the clients realized that they were not able to properly nurture their offspring because they themselves did not experience love as a child, they were able to forgive themselves. Even though the client was sad and wished it could have been different, they accepted that they could not give any one an apple if they had never received one.
Very often, the client was saddened and frustrated because even though they wanted to heal their relationship with their children, they were unsuccessful. Their son or daughter was still harboring anger and hurts and resisted taking their parent’s outreached hand.
Some men and women felt terrible because they had never healed their relationship with their mother or father when they were living. It was wonderful to watch them let go of their guilt as I assisted them in their healing and forgiving process with their deceased parents.
It is never too late, and never too soon to constructively release the negative feelings you have towards your mom. Then you may be able to give your mom the best and most valuable gift for Mother’s Day, and throughout the year-forgiveness, love, and compassion.