Words of Wellness

May 03, 2009 | The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner

Happy Mothering Day!

As Mother's Day approaches, it is natural to think of motherhood in all of its forms:† our own mothers, mothers we know and love, and our individual experiences, if we are mothers.† It is a time for us to celebrate and affirm all the women who have taken an interest in our development, and thank them for what they have given us.† Mothers are often our greatest supporters and cheerleaders, and this time of year is a great opportunity for us to return the favor.† Knock yourself out to appreciate all the mothers you know, and fill them with the joy and energy that they so often supply to everyone around them.

†††† Of course, we at Samaritan Family Wellness know that Mother's Day can also be a very hard day for people.† This might be the first Mother's Day since mom died, or it could be the first Mother's Day for a mother whose child has died.† For these people Mother's Day will inspire very mixed emotions as joyful memories are experienced side by side with the unspeakable sorrow that accompanies loss.† Not everyone has been blessed with a supportive and nurturing mother.† For those who have more complicated relationships with their mothers, or are frustrated as a parent, Mother's Day can be a challenging reminder that they are not experiencing the kind of love and support they desire in that relationship.†† At Samaritan we acknowledge the full range of emotions that are inherent in this journey we call life, and so offer our support to all those who may be hurting this time of year in addition to celebrating with those whose relationships are already more satisfying.† Relationships grow and shift, and the mother-child bond is no different. Spend Sunday focusing on your favorite aspects of that relationship, and be creative in dealing with the rougher spots.† All of us have the ability to nurture, but these extraordinary people accepted it as a lifelong role; they are constantly learning, too.

†††† While we honor the mothers in our lives, let us also remember that the word "mother" is not only a noun, but a verb as well.†† To mother someone or something, is to help bring it into the fullness of its existence through ongoing attention and nurturing.† We can mother an idea, or a project into existence, just as we can serve as the source for ongoing attention and nurturing to all the children in our lives, whether or not we are in fact their mothers.† Many cultures acknowledge the role of many mothers in a child's life by bestowing the title of "auntie" on special women in a child's life.

†††† Author Elizabeth Stone has a great quote about becoming a mother, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous.† It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."†† Whether you are a mother or not, our society needs a lot more people walking around with their "hearts outside their bodies," --to care about and support our children, making real for them a love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things--a love that never ends." †

Whether or not you are a mother, I encourage you to mother someone, or a few someone's, as they strive to grow and develop mothering relationships of their own. †

†††† Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, and Happy Mothering to everyone!

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