Maternal love in its purest form is nurturing, wise, and gentle, yet equally fierce and protective. The mother/child relationship, however, is filled with complexities that challenge us to use the power of empathy.
For those who did not have a loving mother; for those whose mother has crossed over; for those who received maternal love from someone other than their mother; for those who were given up for adoption; for those who are mothers who have lost children; for those who want children and can’t have a child… Mother’s Day is a day filled with emotions that extend beyond the tradition of gratitude and celebration. In fact, for some, Mother’s Day is downright painful.
Showing up for those facing these feelings with empathy is powerful and often needed. Exploring the power of empathy helps us to better understand why.
Empathy, so different from sympathy, is an emotional response to another person. With sympathy we understand another person’s feelings from our own perspective. Empathy involves feeling what someone else feels bringing us closer to understanding.
When we can feel what another person feels, even if we are not facing the same circumstances, we tend to be far more helpful. Rather than trying to fix something that can’t be fixed, we listen. Just by being present, without judgement, without advice, but simply with our focused and loving presence, we can help another know they aren’t alone and don’t need to explain why holidays like Mother’s Day are difficult.
If you have received the purest form of maternal love, it is a beautiful time to celebrate and shower the mother in your life with love. If you know people who struggle with Mother’s Day, use the power of empathy to provide support. Trust me, they will be truly grateful for your presence and understanding.