Happy Mothers Day!
One of the things I love most about Mothers Day, and about Fathers Day as well, is their universal community — we all have them in common. The simple fact that we spend any amount of time on this earth as human beings means we each have a mother, we each have a father, and we are all capable of being parents ourselves should we choose to be.
Now I know our experiences (and our true ability to parent) have their imperfections as well as their joys. Some experiences are all too short, and may be largely unknown. Others can be much too intrusive, for family can overwhelm us, to the point of our walking away from them deliberately. However, there is indeed that guaranteed commonality of our biological humanity. Simple maybe, yet quite profound.
I certainly think about the connection of our family experiences a lot when it comes to Managing with Aloha, for so many of the beliefs and convictions, philosophy and morality of our values have their roots in family. Again, it is quite profound. Thoroughly telling, yet equally mysterious.
Choices of connection, Choices with celebration
When we speak of the ethos of Managing with Aloha, we talk about three choices within our ethos of “Be true to your values” — Values, relationships, and intentional work.
Whether for Mothers Day, Fathers Day — and there’s a National Siblings Day now too — I think about relationships as a choice we make, even with the family we are given, or if feeling cynical or burdened, the family we feel we may be “stuck with.” The character, and thus the pleasure, of those relationships in tone, in generosity, in appreciation, in compassion, in forgiveness, in trustworthiness, and in so many other values-driven dimensions, is indeed the result of the choices we make.
We may hold a value dear, supposedly, yet how do we manifest it?
We choose our degree of connection. We choose our distance in separation, and in “giving space.”
Then, when holidays like Mothers Day arrive, we choose how, or even if, we will celebrate.
Choose wisely; take leaps of faith
In making our choices, we choose how to manifest our Aloha Spirit, and we ourselves determine our degree of well-being. I think that’s a good thought to hold close, holding it at the surface of our consciousness. It’s good knowledge to have, for it’s an assurance of how much control we have on the quality of our own lives.
To be a parent is utterly courageous. Choosing to be a parent is an ardent, dedicated leap of faith, for you can’t really know exactly what you’re getting into, no matter how much you watched, learned from, or judged your own parents. Parenting is the classic case of learning by doing.
Parenting, is also being open to becoming a different person.
However, I think the choice not to be a parent is extremely courageous as well. People who make that choice know themselves well enough to chart another course, and maybe, to rededicate themselves to who they already are, and want to continue being. They take a leap of faith too, I think, just a different one.
Celebrate lokomaika‘i— generously
My mother is healthy and well: She is 82 years strong and we are blessed to celebrate this day with her.
My husband’s mother and father both passed away 9 years ago. When Mothers Day was soon to arrive the following year, my husband and I literally had a “Hallmark moment.” We stood at a rack of Mothers Day cards offered for sale in a local store, looking for a card for my mother from both of us, when my husband picked up a card similar to this one (which we bought this year) and started reading it out loud:
“On Mothers Day,
we think about the women who make a difference in our lives,
the ones who want the best for us,
the ones who keep on caring, no matter what.
That’s why I’m thinking about you today,
and I want you to know how lucky I feel to have you in my life.
Happy Mothers Day.”
~ A message offered by Carlton Cards
Then he said, “I want to send this one to my Aunty Amy.”
He has bought a card for Aunty Amy every Mothers Day since, and he started a new habit for us. We buy about a half-dozen cards with similar sentiments for more of the women in our lives, hand-write in our own added messages, and mail them out.
We do the same thing before each Fathers Day. We have both lost our fathers, but there are men in our lives who are our elders and mentors, and fathers to us in nearly every sense of the word.
We have children of our own, and we feel so blessed that we do. Our son and daughter will sometimes slip and call us “old,” usually when asking us not to act “that way,” but you know what? We still get mothered and fathered too, so we can still learn to be better for them.
Lucky us. Getting mothered, and fathered, is something you never grow too old for.
Sunday Mālama has been when I will share my off-the-workplace-highway scenic route kind of posts. Not as a normal weekly feature, but whenever they seem to be writing themselves.
There are some fabulous holidays on Sundays as well, when it seems the whole world conspires in grabbing your attention, saying, “I will not be ignored!” and I don’t mind a bit.
You can access the Sunday Mālama archives via this category link, also residing on the right-hand sidebar.
Bonus link: Here is a mother-daughter story I enjoyed reading recently, writing by Leah Pearlman, the artist and creator of Dharma Comics.