Dearest Neighbor, if today–Mother’s Day–you are somehow feeling sad, mad, shame, depressed, deprived, or less than special, you are not alone. I feel you. I see you. I honor and salute you, all of you who carry a mother’s love in your heart, but may not be able to show or share it because something is standing between you and that nurturing. Two decades ago, as we were leaving the funeral for my son, Gavin Michael, my good friend said to me, “You’re a great mom, and he’s so lucky to have you.” It took me a few years to recognize that even though I didn’t have the opportunity to do the traditional “Mom” things, I was his mother in so many ways, ways that were merely (and vastly) different than what we humans expect or envision about Motherhood. In the years since, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on my friend’s proclamation, and the terms Mom and Motherhood have taken on an entirely new depth for me.
Maybe you spent months dreaming up a plan that was sure to take you to new heights or maybe you thought the exciting energy surrounding the trending new diet, exercise or self-help regimen sounded like the next best thing for you, too. Now, for whatever reason, your in-it-to-win-it spirit has turned into God-how-I-hate-this-I-just-might-puke-if…or a You-suck-you-quitter/loser/faker/despicable/[insert your whatever]-You.
Regardless of how you came to setting your resolution, it is obvious that this is more than a little slump; it is just not working for you. In fact, it could be all wrong for you. A few simple questions will help you isolate where the breakdown(s) might be and help you redirect.
Dear Neighbor, Twenty-eight years ago, a miracle happened when a child was born. When you think about everything that must occur prior to any birth, the precise nature of so many scientific details, every delivery is miraculous. When I began writing this post, I realized that twenty-eight years ago, at the exact same hour, I was timing and logging contractions … Read More
Dear Neighbor, Thank you for this question and your courage to heal your heartaches big and small so you can go on to live your dream life, the one YOU SO TOTALLY DESERVE, by unearthing your Future You. Understanding that we cannot return to the past and to some “Old Me” can certainly be frustrating. I well remember the angst … Read More
“Your doctor called you lucky after your son died?” You asked? He sure did, Neighbor…and here’s what I later gleened from that experience… …………… “You’re lucky we were able to do a bikini cut,” my obstetrician said to me during my six-week checkup. Lucky? I sat across from this man who had come to know my body—well, certain parts like … Read More
Dearest Neighbor, Thank you for your courage to heal your heartaches big and small and for sharing, for in reaching out, you are also giving strength and hope to others. “How do I move forward when the same bad stuff keeps happening over and over again?” Millions of us can relate to your question and in countless ways. I joked … Read More
Dearest Neighbor, Oh, how I relate to your current struggle and remember well feeling like I was the only person on the planet who wasn’t “getting it.” “I just can’t relate to my friends, my family, or my therapist because what they are saying just doesn’t make sense to me. Am I a lost cause?” Let me assure you that … Read More
Dearest Neighbor, This is one of the greatest fears The Living have following the death of a loved one, especially an unexpected or “untimely” death. Widows and Widowers. Loss Mamas, Papas, and Siblings. “Orphaned” children. [Insert your whatever.] We lament what will never be. “Lost time.” Things that “should be” but never will be. We have this sense of how … Read More
Dearest Neighbor, A question of the ages, spoken by nearly every human that ever walked this earth. Though the query has been asked in countless ways, they all boil down to one ultimate question: “How do we quantify love?” “How can I possibly love another as much as I did my first?” Parents ponder this when thinking about or expecting … Read More
Dearest Neighbor, I hear you. I feel your fear. I think it is fairly safe to say that all of us have experienced times where we keep making the same mistakes over and over. Maybe you keep choosing relationships with people who tear you down rather than lift you up. Maybe you burn dinner more nights than not because you … Read More