In a word – yes! As many of us know, in the Judaic-Christian scriptures, we are commanded to honor our mothers and fathers. Under the Islamic banner, people are also taught to treat one’s mother with respect and love. In Buddhist practices, it is also acknowledged to honor our mother. See a pattern?! Many, if not all, of the world’s major religions call for celebrating and honoring mothers.
But how can this be holistically healthy? Anything that promotes healthy emotions, cognitions, and behaviors can be considered holistically healthy. It’s true that some of our mothers did not do such a great job raising us, but we can still honor the fact that they gave birth to us, either by nature or by adoption, etc. Raising kids is not easy, after all, especially in the teen years!
In my experience, I remember my mother, in the earlier years, being loving and caring. Although she developed a drug addiction and became an alcoholic later, which adversely affected her mothering behavior, as I got older, I saw that she still loved us. My mother always had my siblings and I dressed in clean clothes, we had a decent roof over our heads, and we had food on the table, three times a day – always. Amid all the chaos that substance abuse brings, I never forgot the feeling of being loved.
Part of my own holistic health is to forgive those who trespass against us. I counted my mother as one of the trespassers, but when I later learned self-love and could start to forgive myself, I also forgave her. After all – I’m not perfect either! And forgiveness is highly therapeutic for the forgiver as well as the person receiving forgiveness, whether they are there to partake of this or not.
So, for some, this holiday may be an exercise in forgiveness, but that also involves love. When we are happy, we are contributing to our health, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
For more information on holistic, healthy living, please visit my website.
Dr. Donna Poppendieck (Dr. P) has over 30 years of experience in the mental health care field. She is a seasoned college professor and instructor for providers. She uses credible, proven holistic health strategies in instruction for parents of children with mental health challenges looking for another approach as well as healthcare providers seeking to implement or understand holistic strategies.