May 14, 2017 Liza Swedarsky, MD FacebookTwitterPinterestI’ve been a Mother for over 11 years now. And I’ve learned that Mother’s Day is truly a personal experience for all of us. For me it’s become about gratitude. I’ve abandoned expectations of relaxation and receiving acts of appreciation. I woke up today feeling grateful that I can fully see the blessing in it all. My gratitude is not only for the two beautiful spirits who call me “Mamma.” But I also have tremendous gratefulness for the challenges and the conflicting commitments that make me stop and think on a daily basis… “What’s really important?” Motherhood has heightened my awareness. I find myself constantly asking, “Are you being authentic?” “Are you spending time doing things that serve your health, your family, your spiritual growth, your vocation, and your goals that have meaning for you and no one else?” Whether we’ve mothered children physically, emotionally or a combination of both, the gift in all of it is in the journey. The gems along the road are found in the life lessons we draw upon from every experience. And what I’ve learned most importantly is that my self-love and self-awareness is the essential ingredient in gracious mothering. The times I catch myself asking if I’m doing this Motherhood thing right, I’m reminded of the advice I once received from my husband’s aunt … She told me not to worry. She told me to trust in the grand plan in it all. She told my children are not really mine, that they’ve been lent to me in this life to watch over and care for, but their ultimate path is not fully up to me. Her advice was the most liberating piece of advice I’ve ever received. It was also a wake up call moving forward to control my mind and my thoughts. I spoke with a friend today who struggles with her own relationship with her Mother; a topic she and I can discuss for hours for many reasons. So many of us can’t walk down the card isle at the nearest corner store and blindly purchase one of the many poetic cards professing our Mother’s endless acts of kindness, love, friendship and support. People have varying journeys. Just as often as people celebrate their relationship with their mothers, others’ crossroads are marked by abandonment, abuse, neglect, detachment, and scorn. In the end, we’ve all been given a gift. This gift is called life. Throughout this journey we are presented with circumstances in which we must teach, and we are also placed in paths filled with lessons from which we must learn. Being a Mother has been the single most rewarding process in growth, selflessness, self-discovery, and empathy. My journey as a Mother has also led me to embrace being a little more selfish as I watch my children age and become more independent. To be strong for my two gifts, I start off every morning nurturing my self. My emphasis on gratitude instead of lack or limitation has been the biggest benefit to my health. Our relationships with our parents can be the source of depression, anxiety, stress, and physical and mental illness. My prayer for everyone I meet is that we can find the lesson in all of it, and focus on the liberating good on this Mother’s Day. Honor Health Vow #2 Vow to Stay Connected to Your Body to Hear and Feel Everything it Has to Say... Feel Gratitude!