May 8, 2007

Why Is Mother's Day Stressful?

Got a mother? Wish you were a mom...or, sometimes, that you weren't? Wish yours were alive...or dead?

As the anonymous Middle English lyricist might have written, if he'd had mother-issues and the holiday had already been invented,

"Mother's Day's icumin in
Lhude sing Cuckoo!"

If you are feeling a bit nuts in anticipation of this holiday, you are not alone. Many of us dread Mother's Day either because we want our mothers to love us, we want our children or partners to appreciate us, we hate family gatherings, we have no family, or we think it's a silly holiday. It's a great time for inquiry.

Here is a sample from Chapter 6 of my eBook, Transformational Inquiry: Working on Mothers and Others:

Your Mother is Your Projection

I became interested in The Work when I heard about Byron Katie’s life story; before her “moment of clarity,” she was remarkably like my own mother: overweight, enraged, paranoid, addicted to pain-killers, bedridden for years. Depressed for most of my life and still despairing after having done all sorts of therapies and spiritual modalities, I was certain that one day I would follow in my mother’s footsteps…except it would be much worse because, unlike my mother, I had no husband or kids as enablers.

I’d been scaring myself half to death with that “my mother, myself” story for many years. So when I heard that there was someone who had been in that same kind of sickbed and had gotten out, I knew that whatever she was selling, I was going to buy it, however weird it seemed. (And it sure seemed weird to me at the time.)

Years later, when I met Roxann, Katie’s daughter, I introduced myself and said, “I’ve always wanted to meet you because we had the same mother.” She replied, “Hopefully we have the same mother now.”

I’m not quite there. However, my mother is no longer who I thought she was…and that frees me up to love her.

“Sweetheart, when you take the medicine, we get better. It’s a law.”
—Byron Katie

In Mothers and Others, you will find exercises and insights that can help you with your "mother story." What better gift can you give your mother, or your children, than getting clarity around the stressful concepts of Mother that we have held dearer than the person herself?

You may purchase Transformational Inquiry: Working on Mothers and Others at my website,

Do The Work for Sunday brunch this week, and have a Happy Mother's Day!

©2007 by Carol L. Skolnick; all rights reserved.

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