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Mother’s Day, like any holiday, has the capacity to leave us feeling like something is missing from life. Whether we don’t feel like we are the best mom we can be to our kids or we feel like our relationship with our mom is less than ideal… Mother’s Day can leave us feeling “less than”.

If you are feeling anything but radiantly loved and appreciated this Mother’s Day… read on.

A few years back I dreaded Mother’s Day before it even arrived. Having experience with not being acknowledged with cards, gifts and and acts of service such as having breakfast made for me, I braced myself for the lack of appreciation I would receive. I “did pretty good” I thought… keeping it all together… until half way through the day when, I don’t even remember what prompted it, I burst into tears about how much it hurt that my husband, who was not my children’s dad, didn’t even consider recognizing me for Mother’s Day or helping to facilitate acts of appreciation from my children. Of course it didn’t help that my children’s father didn’t take the initiative to help them in this department either. So there I was feeling like a 3 year old myself for wanting more and not having it. This was only one of the many times I allowed my “little self” to be seen by my husband in order to let him know how I was feeling, as humiliating as it seemed to be acting (what felt) so “childish”.

I’m not going to continue by telling you that he and my children now get me cards and gifts, or that I feel great on Mother’s Day even when I don’t get acknowledgement. I’m not going to tell you about happy smiles, butterflies and unicorns and how thinking positive fixes everything. The point of the story is that everything that shows up in our circumstances – everything – is an opportunity for us to get more of what we WANT in our lives. Every circumstance is an opportunity. Even the ones (especially the ones) that feel like shit.

If you are feeling anything less than radiantly loved and appreciated this Mother’s Day I have a tip for you. Look at the reality of what is happening that you don’t like. Look at it. Acknowledge it. Cry about it if you feel like crying. And then say to yourself… this circumstance is happening to me so that I can learn something, heal something, see something, love something so that I CAN enjoy the life I WANT to have. And then give yourself permission to say what needs to be said and do whatever needs to be done today so that you can feel lighter in your body. Do you need to tell someone how you feel? Write it down? Go for a walk? Exercise? Cry? Laugh? Read a book? Sit on the couch? Let the house be messy? Have oatmeal for dinner? Watch a funny show or movie? Do you need yell at the top of your lungs in your car then go home and read fart jokes to your kids so you can laugh?

Give yourself permission to be human. A natural human being. Today… let that be enough.

You are the perfect mother or daughter just the way you are. Your family needs you to be exactly as you are. You are whole. You are love. Give yourself permission today (and every day) to be exactly as you are. You will feel lighter in your body and mind… and your family will thank you too… eventually!

Happy Mother’s Day!

-Ani Anderson