Having just launched my heart-given book, Brave Parent, I couldn’t let Mother’s Day weekend pass without reflection. For many this is a beautiful day of celebration and tribute. We are most grateful because in our culture the feminine qualities of our personalities—including our language of emotion—mostly comes from our mamas.
Maybe it’s a birth rite but our moms seem to be more emotionally attuned, and they teach us through actions, how to belong, receive, care for, and deeply love another human being. And as these examples become woven into our hearts, we carry them on to others and eventually our own kids.
I liken these emotion lessons to hand-me-down clothing. They’re given to us bigger than we can wear, but rest assured, we eventually grow into them. Today, Mother’s Day, is a day we get to be grateful for the massive gift of unconditional love.
By the way, I am sensitive to the knowledge that unconditional love might not be your personal experience. In fact, I recently wrote a PR pitch on the subject “uninvolved parenting” (the equivalent to emotionally neglectful parenting) …and yes, I had to search the definition. (See the article on BeABraveParent.com). As I wrote it, I sat with the realization that many of us miss these emotional quotient (EQ) lessons from our moms. If you read Brave Parent, you know that my mama was a relationship therapist, and the litany of emotion descriptors were knitted into my (and my brother’s) vocabulary from a very young age.
I was just reading Brene Brown’s most recent work: Atlas of the Heart. She correlates our limited range (in describing emotions) to visiting the hospital emergency department for a serious ailment with tape over your mouth—rendering you unable to describe your symptoms. If you are a parent who wants to help your child with Social Emotional Learning (SEL), and you feel ill-equipped to do so, dig on in! Check out Brave Parent for more resources on SEL and many other topics that will help your kids grow up happy and healthy (against all odds) in today’s world.
PS. My prayers abound for people everywhere who are in pain today. While the love between a mother and child can be the highest calling of love we can experience, motherhood can feel like it’s ripping your heart out too. If today you are in discord with your mom (or your child), detached from your mom (or your child), or suffering the loss of your mom (or your child), my heart goes out to you. Remember that it’s better to have loved deeply, than not at all. Today is a good day to embrace gratitude for experiencing the kind of love that can hurt your heart. And prayers matter.