Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers Day


I have a complicated relationship with this holiday.... it's always struck me as a bit like forced intimacy. I've gone through the many seasons of my response to a holiday that is filled with expectation.  I've loved it, I've hated it, I've been hurt by it...and "it'" is just a holiday...nothing more...nothing less.  

A couple of months ago I ran across a you tube video that piqued my curiosity.  It was a bit o' propaganda so I won't share it, but there was enough truth in the middle of the attempt to manipulate me towards a particular ideology, that I began doing a bit of research on the history of this hallmark holiday.

What I found to be true helps me integrate this particular day in a much more joyful and holistic way.  You see the beef I have with this holiday is that motherhood is an art and a science.  I don't want to be told how to honor my mother and I don't want to be told on which day to do so.  I love my mother and I am grateful for her presence in my life.  I want the way I live to be the honoring of this woman I hold so dear.  I also don't want my children to feel forced to pay me homage.  I want them to live big lives with passion, conviction, joy, and integrity.  That is all the honor I desire.  The thing about this consumer culture is that many voices shout out that to be a good child or to be a good mother...you have to send cards, flowers, and gifts.  But this day did not originate in anything materialistic.  The materialism strips empowerment from this day...this movement.

Read This:  

Mothers are the main attachment figure for the next generation.  Some women never get to have children of their own, but they are still mothers if the care about and advocate for the next generation.  Support mothers in our world, because it is hard work.  Daily work.  Thankless work.

No more guilt or shame for doing the right thing in the eyes of some advertising executive who told us we are not quite good enough unless we consume and we bind ourselves and our families up in unrealistic expectations.  Instead there is an opportunity to excavate those passions that can heal the world, heal our communities, heal our families, heal ourselves.  

On this Mothers Day I dream this gift for us all... that we find the fire in our bellies that will lead us to join a movement that speaks to the humanity all around us.   If your passion is new life, support new life.  If your passion is adoption, advocate for that.  If your passion is gender equality, connect with a young girl and pour into her and then connect with a young boy and pour into him.  If your passion is the homeless, give.  If your passion is peace, serve a veteran.  

My passions are pretty obvious.  Gender equality, attachment issues for children, sexual violence advocacy, and a kinder faith expression within the church that stands on the teachings of Jesus.  Rather than feel anxious and bound up, I will spend energy on advancing those causes.  I will still enjoy cards and gifts.  I will still give cards and gifts... because I want to, and that’s okay too.  No guilt, no shame...just joy and love.

Happy Mothers Day!

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