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Healing Mother’s Day

My life is simple. Well, I should say “simplified.” It took me a long time to stop trying to show a life well lived and figure out the things that make me feel alive. One of those things is simplicity. I have found life is much more enjoyable when it feels manageable. It takes work to figure out what you value and why.

I value my alone time. I value a rainy day where I have moved my body outdoors before the rain came because it feels like I somehow maximized that day’s potential. I value things less, and experiences more.

I have learned to be specific about guilty pleasures, so there is no guilt, just pleasure. One of those things is scented candles. I love them.

Another simple pleasure is an empty email inbox. When I switched careers, I was intentional about changing my email address, where I could feel, for once, that people contact was on my terms.

So, when I order a scented candle that I love, and they immediately send me an email with a coupon for 20% off my next purchase if I buy it in THREE minutes, I get irritated because I did not ask for another email and because that kind of marketing works on me (#Iboughtthecandle).

This week, the guilty pleasure company emailed me unexpectedly, and even though I have tried to unsubscribe, and unsubscribe, and UNSUBSCRIBE, this week they kept asking me if I have bought my mother her gift yet.

What I think their marketing department is thinking:

Mother’s Day is a great day for us to profit on people who are last minute or maybe not that thoughtful while pretending to care about their mother.

What I was thinking:

Back the fuck off.

I am irritated by holidays because they have become all the things that toxic positivity and denial mirror. They are commercialized to a level that gets people to overextend themselves in ways that don’t (in any way) mirror the reality in their minds and body.

Is Mother’s Day bad? Nope.

But it’s another thing, event, day that tells survivors their story needs to take a backseat.

The relationship many survivors have with their mothers is complicated. There is no sentence, paragraph, or book that could articulate the pain of a person who has had to name the ways their mother abused them, or the ways they had to stop loving her because it was too costly.

The issue with Mother’s Day is it denies the reality of people who are already suffering in silence. Mother’s Day says you need to spend money and buy a gift to show your mother you appreciate her. This eliminates everyone who has had a different experience.

So, what do they do?

What do they think, say, feel about Mother’s Day?

I have seen a lot of people say it is the most triggering holiday for them. I think a big part of that is because it does not give room for there to be other stories, like heartbreak, or trauma recovery, or abandonment for those who did not have the ideal mother.

I share this below with the hope that you do not shrink this year on Mother’s Day. That you take a moment to honor what is true for you and let the rest happen around you and be what it is.

With that:

To the broken-hearted daughter who has never known her mom: May today be a day for you to grieve and know your pain matters. May that grief bring lasting and deep peace.

To the angry son, who has cut himself off because loving his mom made his life unpredictable: May you find the tenderness that young boy needed long ago. May that tenderness remind you, the little boy in you deserves love.

To the young mom, who is afraid of repeating the cycle: In your stillness, may you find each day a gift to give differently than what you got. May you enjoy the results for many years to come.

To the adult kids of an abusive mother: May you find peace for your heartache and protection from all the things people say when they are afraid of your story.

To the heavy-hearted child who tried and was never enough: May you resign from what takes and never gives back. May you rest in your enoughness.

To the many who are spending their first year without the mom they loved–may her memories, her gifts, be honored and held, so they spread to those she left behind.

To the mothers who did some hurting, and aren’t sure how to repair: May you find the words to comfort that younger mother in you, to hold her close, to let her breathe and know your love.

To all who need healing from Mother’s Day: May you see things for what they are, and what they are not. May this day be what you need to heal and find peace on your terms.

I’m so glad you’re here.



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