Saturday, May 10, 2014

It's Not About Me

I had decided not to write a Mother’s Day post this year.  Starting this blog has been a huge step for me in being more real, but I wasn’t sure I was ready for a Mother’s Day post.  That’s just too touchy, too painful, TOO real, and it would have to wait for next year.

So this week, like every second week of May for the past few years, I’ve tried to push all the thoughts and feelings surrounding Mother’s Day aside.  “It’s just another day,” I tell myself, “You don’t HAVE to feel this wayYou’re choosing to feel this way.”  But anyone who has ever been single on Valentine’s Day OR infertile on Mother’s Day knows it’s more complicated than that.  The idea of an entire day, and in this culture we all know it’s more like a week, dedicated to honoring something you want and can’t have is unsettling at the least and unnerving to most.

Nonetheless, this morning I let my guard down and read a post on someone else’s blog about the struggles that some of us face on Mother’s Day.  I found myself wiping tears and chastised myself for letting those feelings in that I’d been working all week to keep out.  But then, much to my surprise, it occurred to me that I actually felt better, not worse, at letting those feelings out and at reading the experiences of someone who understood exactly how I felt. 

That’s when the thought came to me: “It’s not about me.”  I’m not the only one struggling this weekend, I’m not the only one with a hole in my heart, I’m not the only one just going through the motions and pushing feelings aside.  There are so many reasons, besides infertility, that Mother’s Day can hurt.  There’s someone else who needs to know they aren’t alone, and by being afraid to post about how this feels, I was taking away that comfort that I had just felt from someone else.  So, here I am…

Simultaneously, it occurred to me that the same thought that struck me is a better coping mechanism for dealing with this issue than just pushing down the feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness.  It’s a good reminder for the weekend in general: “It’s not about me.”  There’s no denying that motherhood is a beautiful privilege, awe-inspiring responsibility, and gift to be celebrated.  If it weren’t, I wouldn’t be fighting these feelings of jealousy and despair in the first place. 

So why not just celebrate IT for what it is instead of dreading it for what I’m not?  Why not give a nod of respect and a word of encouragement to the amazing mothers in my life (I’ve certainly been blessed by the influence of many, including my own) and stop wallowing in my own self-pity?  If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years, it is that no baby is an accident- God’s hand is in the making of every one.  In the same way, His hand has been in the making of every mother and who am I to overlook or discount that?  That same hand has guided my life at every turn, even when it hasn’t turned the way I’d planned. 

The beauty of motherhood is deserving of the honor and respect that this day brings, and for this one day, it’s simply not about me.  But that doesn’t mean He doesn’t have a divine plan for my life as well.  No need to despair.  He always has a perfect plan that will bring glory to HIS name, if we’ll just stop focusing on ourselves.  It was never about us anyway.  

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