Today marks the 15th Mother’s Day since I became a motherless daughter. I am grateful that my mother and I were able to resolve our difficult relationship, and my heart goes out to the many for whom this holiday brings nothing but pain. Earlier this week, I spoke with Lynda Martin on San Diego Living (click to view) about the Mother’s Day dilemma. Tonight, my Rx for Mother’s Day airs on KOLO-TV in Reno/Lake Tahoe, the region I fled to forty years ago, to escape her. For anyone who has tried to run away from personal demons, you know where this is going: my mother-pain came with me.
If you are as rebellious as I once was, try this Mother’s Day Forgiveness plan. First step: temporarily set aside your proud independence and send her a card, even though it’s late! Hallmark sells 133 million of them every Mother’s Day, and you know they’re not all sealed with a kiss!
If she’s gone, buy one anyway. Write a short message, sign it, and send it to her at your address. Trust me. This works. When you open it up and stand in her card-receiving shoes, you can forgive yourself for the Mother’s Days you dissed or missed and move on to step two.
Stuck on a card choice? There are many ways to skirt the saccharine sweetie-pie “love you to death” norm. I recently shopped at a Gold Crown store and quickly found three types that fill the bill. The first ends with the wish for “all that makes you happy.” Presumably you don’t make her happy, but the card will and you get the credit.
Another card pictures an animal, perhaps a wide-eyed cat, with a headline “That awkward moment” opening to “when you realize your mom was right about everything.” It’s the animal’s epiphany, not yours, but again, the associated halo covers you.
If you can’t stomach either of these strategies, there is a third, more snarky card category. This would include the one picturing a hand mixer dripping with chocolate over the headline, “Good Moms let their kids lick the beaters,” opening to “Great Moms turn the mixer off first.”
It always works! When family drama gets intense, humor saves the day.
Now about that gift: sure, you could buy a box of chocolates or send flowers, but that may not be your style. For David Moye’s selection from the universe of weird Mother’s Day gifts, like the Creepy Clown Purse or Mermaid Swim Suit, click this link. Or, take matters into your own hands and make it yourself. Studies show that Moms prefer homemade above all. In less than an hour you can create a photo album about your latest job, love interest, or child’s accomplishment but make it radically fictitious and startlingly bad so that, as she gets all judgy or alarmed, you can turn it around with “Mom, just kidding! Joke! Joke!” (Especially if you don’t have any children!)
The final step is the most important and she doesn’t have to be involved at all. Yes, you read me right. This step is for you alone, without your mother. If you have a difficult relationship with a mother living or dead, you’ve got to do an anger release. Whatever blocks your forgiveness of your mother or her forgiveness of you lives in your house, in your body, and it’s not benign. There’s more. Confronting her won’t do anyone any good; and you already knew that. Telling the same sad or funny story about how frustrating she was, or how hurt you were, is fruitless. The outcome remains the same: blame, anger, bad feelings, and a Mother’s Day migraine.
Nope. You need to purge, and you must do it alone. Write a never-to-be-mailed letter in which you push out every bit of bile in you. Call her names. Blame her up and down. Don’t hold back, but don’t beat yourself up. This is the safe place to be as nasty and childish and mad and unforgiving as you feel. And that’s the key. These bad feelings, which have been stopped up inside you for a gazillion years, must get out and evaporate so you can breathe some oxygen. And then buy yourself a gift! For a complete guide to raising your emotional vibration, read Melody Fletcher’s Deliberate Receiving: Finally the Universe Make Some Freakin’ Sense!
And that, my spirited girls and boys, is the whole box of chocolates! You are not hopeless or unforgiving, or unforgiveable. You may be too nice to honestly complain about your mother. That’s understandable given the circumstances, but unhealthy.
If you seek a posse to help move through a mother-block, I’m offering a special 3-week MOM Fix soon! Go to www.motherdaughterway.com and join me on the road to Wellville. I’ll see you there!