If you believed all the red and pink gift cards in the shops, you’d think Mother’s Day was (only and always) a day of joy and gratitude. Of celebration. Of unrelenting happiness.

And maybe for some, it is.

But for many of us, there’s also other undercurrents to a day like this…

For instance:

If your mother has died (as this heartfelt blogger shares).

Or if you’re yearning to become a mother, yourself, but haven’t been able to.

Or if you’ve lost a child, through death or disappearance or distance.

Or if your relationship with your mother hurts just to think about.

What then?
How do you get through a day like this?

It can be tempting, whenever pain fronts up in our lives, to try to look the other way. To try to ignore it, or ‘put a brave face on it’. To kind of push on through it. Past it. Back towards the more ‘acceptable’ feelings of happiness and light.

But that can take so much energy sometimes… and now you’re not only feeling bereft, but depleted, too.

And you’re turning your back on the very part of you that might already feel abandoned.

So maybe there’s another way…

Maybe mindfulness can offer another option? To simply connect with yourself for a moment. To see what it’s actually like to have the feelings that you have – rather than automatically start running from them. To just sit with them for a moment. To feel into them.

Maybe you could even go as far as accepting them – just accepting that, right now, for whatever reason, these feelings are here.

So what might they have to tell you?
How might you learn from them?
And how might you care for them?

In a strange way, some of this sounds familiar. It sounds a bit like mothering… kind of becoming your own caring parent to these feelings. To nurture them and give them what they need. To nurture you and give yourself what you need. To really take care of that part of you that’s hurting.

So this Mother’s Day, if it’s a hard day for you, just remember that – even in the midst of great pain – you can also welcome a nurturing spirit into your own life… and into the lives of those you love.


Photo: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a writer, blogger and Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She was the former editor of a journal on counselling and psychotherapy and she provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.



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From Psych Central's World of Psychology:
Happy Mother’s Day, 2011 | World of Psychology (May 8, 2011)

Happy Mother’s Day, 2011 | Dreams.Jasee.Info (May 10, 2011)

What Are Anxiety Attacks? | Keith (August 30, 2011)

    Last reviewed: 6 May 2011

APA Reference
Gawne-Kelnar, G. (2011). A Mindful Mother’s Day – Embracing Both The Pain And The Joy. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 31, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/therapist-within/2011/05/a-mindful-mothers-day-embracing-both-the-pain-and-the-joy/


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