Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day may be the most emotionally charged holiday on the calendar. In the days and weeks leading up to Mother’s Day we are surrounded by advertisements designed to elicit emotional spending on gifts and cards for Mom. The ads describe this perfect person that is sweet and kind; a woman who has sacrificed for her children and loved them unconditionally. A mother that is a person that deserves to be honored.

Mother’s who are, alcoholic/addicts or codependent with the alcoholic/addict may not fit that picture of motherhood. They often have a very limited ability to provide the love and nurturing children need. Mother’s Day can be a painful reminder of broken promises and disappointments for their children. It is probably true that Mom did the best she could. She allowed us to use her body as the vehicle to enter the living world. That is an act that deserves to be honored.

The twelve step programs teach us that no one can be all things to all people, even mothers. People don’t let us down; it is our expectations that let us down. It is important to learn self acceptance, self trust and self love. We need to make sure not to break promises or to disappoint our selves. The fact that we managed to survive our childhood is evidence that we have the capacity to take care of and love our selves; that we have the courage and tenacity to overcome our distorted perception of love and the inability to trust.

It is my belief that human beings do not so much need to be loved as to loving. We need to learn to love our selves as we can not give what we don’t have. The wisdom of the twelve steps of the addiction recovery programs provides a roadmap to achieve trust and self love; by participating in the recovery process and reaching out to those individuals that have the ability to meet our needs it is possible to develop realistic expectations of others and of our selves.

On this Mother’s Day honor you mother for the role she played in giving you life; honor all the people in your life that may have served as a surrogate mother and helped you mother you; honor you as the true source of your ability to love and make it a Happy Mother’s Day.

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