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Mothers: The Tie That Binds

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Mothers. Without them, we wouldn't be here. Yet what travails we often have with our own mothers. It doesn't matter if she's alive or dead, if you were adopted or abandoned -- your relationship to your birth mother is still a major factor in your day-to-day life. That umbilical cord may have been cut at birth, but emotional cords tie you two together for life and beyond.

Reams of material have been written about mother-daughter and mother-son relationships, from the Oedipal to the "best friends" variety. We spend nine months (more or less) securely tucked into mother's womb, and we will never have such an extraordinarily intimate relationship with anyone else in our lives.

Of course, not all of us are filled with mother-child memories of warmth and comfort and apple pie. As I said in my book, Truth Heals (Hay House 2009), my mother resented my close relationship with my father and controlled my every move; her parenting was often downright cruel.

It took years of rebellion and decades of spiritual practice for me to be able to forgive my mother, to understand her fears and to love her. Now, in her old age, I visit her and help in whatever way I can during her health crises and hospitalizations. It's been a difficult and complicated relationship, but I can now see and appreciate the gifts I received from her, as the pain and suffering of my childhood provided the foundation for my present-day work as a wounded healer.

This Mother's Day, try to re-examine your relationship with the woman who gave birth to you, but through new eyes. Instead of seeing the old hurts, remembering the old pain of not getting the love you wanted or needed, or, on the other hand, being smothered with non-stop attention and attachment, try to see how that relationship influenced who you have become.

Are you able to feel love for your mother, no matter what happened between you? Have you cleared away the toxic residue of your past relationship within yourself, or do you still have deep dark pockets of pain regarding your mother? Do you parent your own children in the same way you were parented, or in a totally different way?

If you are carrying memories that still hurt, now is the time to bring them into light, to acknowledge whatever happened and to release what no longer serves you. Thank your mother for, at the very least, carrying you within her body and bringing you into incarnation. Journal, journal and journal some more about everything you feel regarding your mother. No matter how long she's been gone from your life, I guarantee you'll find plenty to write about.

So give yourself a gift this Mother's Day -- the gift of re-evaluating and re-examining your relationship with your mother. When you finally express the truth of that relationship -- the truth as you feel it, as you experienced it -- you will find reservoirs of love within you. Far more beautiful than a bouquet of roses, the sweet smell of truth will truly liberate you.