It’s the evening of Mother’s Day, I’ve got two grown sons and neither of them have spoken to me today. My eldest son who is 21 lives in a nearby city and my youngest, now 17 still lives at home, although mostly in his bedroom. It’s clear that they either didn’t know it was Mother’s Day or they haven’t bothered about it. Either way, I’m delighted.
Spontaneous expressions of love and appreciation are the only ones that are really meaningful to me. If they don’t arrive on Mother’s Day then I’m not the slightest bit disappointed.
I’ve decided to take care of the situation and let my sons off the hook. I’ve given myself the best gift this Mother’s Day: I’ve given my attention to my own happiness.
I’m basking in my newfound emotional independence.
As I rest in the warmth, joy and aliveness of the heart energy radiating within me I’ve found my happiness and my freedom.
Do I really want an act of obligation or empty ritual?
I’m feeling free of the accounting exercise that our society demands of relationships. According to the love-accounting principle, if I’ve spent my days caring for my children in loving kindness, they’re supposed to pay me back with a card, flowers or a special lunch on Mother’s Day. My love for them must be matched with a demonstration of their love for me (best if it’s a boost to the economy too) or the account won’t balance. They’re under obligation to perform certain rituals or risk disappointment or censure.
How many children have been made wrong by not following this ritual or doing enough to please their mother?
How many adult children go through the motions without really meaning it? Buying something (most likely useless) because they think they should?
How many mothers have built up their expectations of Finally getting some appreciation and then feel only disappointment and resentment?
It’s lovely when its real and heart-felt.
If you have had a lovely Mother’s Day and been showered with gifts or a lovely breakfast in bed then I’m delighted for you. Your children have been gifted with the opportunity to show their love and care for you and I celebrate that.
Instead of flowers or a phone call this Mother’s Day I’ve been gifted with an opportunity to show my love and care for myself. I’ve made a pancake breakfast for myself and my husband, visited my mother for morning tea, given her a big hug and I’ve been for a swim in the sea.
I’ve also had a chance to reflect on unconditional love.
Unconditional love isn’t a transaction. It doesn’t keep accounts. It flows freely and carries love to my sons with or without words or actions. Nothing needs to be done. It’s always there and never wavers. The actions it inspires are soon forgotten and require no reciprocity.
True love is only alive in the present. It never gets depleted and isn’t bothered by rejection.
Unconditional love is often forgotten in favour of the old, stale stories of motherhood that are all about self-sacrifice, duty, responsibility and obligation.
I’m glad those old stories are being disrupted. I’m glad to be one of many women who are no longer going to settle for the shallow role of Mother at the expense of their own wellbeing. I’m glad I’m one of the many women who are waking up and discarding empty rituals, resentments and responsibilities in favour of their own living unconditional love.
I won’t wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.
I wish you the limitless joy of unconditional love. I wish you a deep rest in the warmth of your own heart. Right now.