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Mother’s Day – A Spiritual Perspective



Mother's Day is akin to a tale of two cities, depending on who you speak with.


For some, it is the best of days—a day of joy, celebration, special meals, giving and receiving gifts, and long phone or video calls.


For others, Mother’s Day is difficult to get through. Those who struggle with Mother’s Day consciously seek to avoid anything to do with the day. If they had their way, they would cancel Mother’s Day altogether.


I get it. My feelings about Mother's Day were ambivalent at best for many years. My natural mother disappeared from my life when I was about six years old. One day, she was home with my sister and me. The next day, she wasn't. I didn't know what happened to her, where she was, why she left, or whether she was dead or alive.


Naturally, each year, as we approach Mother's Day, I think about my experience with my natural mother. For many years, I saw myself as abandoned. As a result, I believed I was unworthy and I had a negative self-concept. Because of how I felt inwardly, despite my outer success, I engaged in a self-destructive lifestyle.


Many years later, I discovered the New Thought Ancient Wisdom Teachings, of which Spiritual Life Center is a part. I learned that how we view or see a particular situation determines what it is for us. Our interpretation and the way we choose to place our attention colors what our experience will be.


When I began to look at my positive experiences with my mother, my whole outlook changed, and a new way of seeing my relationship with my mother emerged. So, here’s a story with my mother that I remembered which helped me do that:


One summer, I was in our backyard and noticed a beehive. As a mischievous child, I picked up a stick and poked the nest. The bees came flying out, and I ran away, escaping their attack. I came back a second time and stirred up the nest. The bees once again came out, and I ran away. I went back the third time to strike the nest again. But this time, the bees were ready.


As soon as I raised the stick, and before I could lower my arm, the bees flew out in a formation that would put the Blue Angels to shame. They came right at me. I ended up getting bee stings all over my head and neck. I swelled up with welts all over that part of my body. I'm sure I looked like one of those aliens with the lumpy heads on Star Wars.


But what I remember more than all the pain was my mother holding me and caressing the swelling and welts that sprung out on me. She did it with much love and affection. The singular and most searing memory of my childhood surfaced in my mind. I kept the vision of that memory in the forefront of my awareness. So, even though she was not physically present, she was always with me because of that memorable moment.


One of my favorite scriptural phrases is from Philippians 4:8, “whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” When we see our world through that lens, our world reflects what we see.


Many people were not mothered appropriately, and there was pain or a significant deficit in that aspect of their lives. However, we can forgive those who mothered us or did not mother us along the way. When we do, we unhook our attention from how we thought it should have been.


When we forgive, we've released the past and unhooked our attention from our perceptions and interpretations that do not serve us. We don't deny the impact the facts may have had on our lives. But by redirecting our attention, we achieve dominion over our awareness and unhook the past from how we thought it should be. Moreover, no matter how our earthly mothers have raised us, we always have a loving and supportive presence—the Spirit of the Living God.


My story has an unexpected and divinely ordered twist to it. Nearly thirty years after my mother stopped being in my life, she reappeared, and we have developed an excellent relationship (that's a whole other story). I’m grateful that even during the many years she was not physically present, the essence and energy of her love were always there.


Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

James

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