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How to Manage COVID feelings on Mother’s Day

 

I’m sure all of us are feeling a range of emotions while in the midst of this pandemic. In addition to that, it’s rather painful to think of how to manage COVID feelings on Mother’s Day. “COVID feelings?” Yes, we might as well categorize our highs and lows as “COVID feelings.”

After all, most of us mental health therapists put labels on everything else. If we can label it, that seems to help us get through it. Or if we can categorize it, then we can bring some order to it. If we can bring order to our COVID feelings, we can then move through them.

In a previous blog article, I mention that Mother’s day  can bring many highs and lows anyway. But it can be especially challenging during COVID19 while in physical distancing mode. It’s another reminder of the hugs we won’t get. As we experience all of our humanity on such a sacred day, there’s three keys of awareness that help us manage those COVID feelings.

Mother's day can be especially challenging during COVID19 while in physical distancing mode. Click To Tweet

Awareness #1 – Feel your COVID feelings

Here’s some common concerns I hear from clients. These phrases go something like this.

I’m afraid that if I start crying, I won’t be able to stop.

I just don’t think about it because I won’t be able to stop the dark feelings.

On the other hand, when the stories and feelings come out of hibernation, there’s relief. I help clients get a sense of emotional grounding while facing what they’ve avoided for years. For many, it’s a huge relief. They have proven to themselves that they are bigger than their emotions. And it’s true, that we all are more than our painful pasts.

Awareness #2 – Name Your COVID feelings

Since the beginning of recorded history, mankind has labeled and categorized everything. After all, God gave Adam the job of naming the animals and giving him dominion over creation. And that’s what sets us apart as human beings.

The message here is that we are bigger than our emotions. We are not anger or depression or anxiety. Rather, our humanity includes emotions that are supposed to be felt. They were not designed to identify us or to rule over us.

We are bigger than our emotions. And they are temporary messengers to our souls. Click To Tweet

On the other hand, they are messengers to our souls. They have purpose. And that’s why it’s vital that we don’t ignore them. In addition, we need to recognize their purpose and allow them to move.

Awareness #3 – Honor Your COVID feelings

In chapter 25 of Beyond Messy Relationships, I use the analogy of emotions as being temporary guests to our souls. They were not meant to be permanent residents. Here’s an excerpt:

Of all the emotions we identify as temporary guests, sadness is the most lingering. Psychologist and researcher Joseph Forgas tells us that mild sadness improves memory, judgment, and motivation. It can help us be more compassionate and reach out to those in need. The longevity of most emotions is ninety seconds. . . .

Again, we must allow all emotions to cycle through our hearts. Our task is to keep them from becoming permanent guests. . . Instead, we need to allow the wisdom those difficult feelings provide. And it’s true that God never wastes any of our pain. Without it, we miss our authentic selves.

Final thoughts for COVID feelings on Mother’s Day

Even though we’re in physical distancing mode. And we will miss the hugs of our mothers, and daughters and sons and family. And of course we’ll feel many of those temporary messengers of our souls. Let’s all raise our awareness of feeling, naming, and honoring our “COVID feelings.” After all, we’re acknowledging our full humanity on such a sacred time as Mother’s Day.

As we feel our COVID emotions, we're acknowledging our full humanity on such a sacred time as Mother's Day. Click To Tweet

Your Next Step:

Now is the time to get two copies of Beyond Messy Relationships. Buy one and get one free to give to your mother.

Unsplash Photo by Hans Vivek 

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day Highs and Lows

As we all celebrate Mother’s Day, let us pay attention to the high’s and low’s we experience as moms. May we be compassionate toward those who have unknown stories.

It can be a difficult day or just another day.

Regret, sadness, and secrecy hidden among the smiles and pleasantries. The stress of single parenting or the long-term resentful marriage make Mother’s Day a challenge for some. It shows up as an aching heart that seems as physical as a stopped up drain in the throat.

All we see is the outward appearance. We turn away from those who don’t smile back and totally misinterpret another’s stern face.

We don’t know the journey of another.

  • Mothers who lost their babies through abortion, miscarriage, still birth, or sudden infant death.
  • Mothers who’ve placed their newborns for adoption.
  • Mothers who experience rejection, unforgiveness, and estrangement from adult children.
  • Mothers whose child has an addiction, or whose children are torn from divorce.
  • Mothers whose children died through accident, suicide, or sickness.
  • Daughters whose mothers have passed on leaving a void no one else can fill.
  • Grandmothers who aren’t allowed relationship with grandchildren.

We see and relate or avoid and judge.

There’s a unknown story. Or there’s made up stories in our heads about others and ourselves.

We judge by our own limited understanding.

I recently re-read “Carry On Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton who’s become my hero and role model on several levels. She writes about the power of embracing your messy, beautiful life. Her term, brutiful  describes how our lives can be both brutal and beautiful.

I resonate with her as a writer, a mother, a wife, and a courageous woman speaking truth in love. She’s one of the most authentic authors I’ve read. Even a second reading (audio listening) of her book brought tears to my eyes. She encourages me to listen to my soul and recognize God’s spirit in others.

How her story makes sense to me. 

  1. We’re all beloved by God and our substance is divine.
  2. Some of her stories shed light on my own judgmental attitudes. I’ve had to repent of my boldness at confronting others and unknowingingly wounding them.
  3. I’m still working on listening and being open. It’s a life-long journey for me.

Whether joyful or dreadful on this day of celebration, let’s honor the untold stories of all mothers. Their lives matter. They’re life-givers, nurturers, and lovers. They’re wounded, guilt-ridden, and downtrodden. They’re worthy and lovable no matter what category they’re in.

Here’s my message to all mothers

You are a woman of dignity
You’re worthy to be loved and celebrated
You’re an overcomer
Your story matters

Carry On Warrior. Life is brutal and beautiful – as Glennon would say, brutiful.

Questions to Ponder

Who in your life honors your story?

What is one brave thing you can do to affirm your dignity?

Your Next Step: Get “Beyond Messy Relationships”