Father’s day is quickly approaching and while many of us will be celebrating those we love, or being celebrated, there is another side to Father’s Day. Or Mother’s Day.

For many of us the figure of mother or father is a VERY touchy subject. These “holidays” are anniversaries and can be reminders of the terrible things that did happen, what we wish we had, want now, or what we have lost recently or long ago.

For many years when my mom was still an addict, Mother’s Day would roll around I would walk into the grocery store and spend hours in the card aisle and pick up, and eventually put back, what felt like hundreds of cards. None fit the description for how our relationship was at the time and it was brutally painful to be reminded that others could casually walk in, grab a funny or sentimental card, and walk out of the store. I wanted to at least acknowledge Mother’s Day to her, but all it was to me was a big sign post that I didn’t have the mother I wanted or needed.

So for those that struggle with Mother’s Day or Father’s Day please know you are not alone.

Take this weekend to LOVE YOURSELF if you haven’t been loved by a father in the deeply necessary and basic human right way.

Maybe…

  • Take a walk with a friend
  • Write yourself a note talking to yourself as you would vision a father or mother speaking to you
  • Listen to your favorite music
  • Take an exercise class

but most importantly, BE KIND AND COMPASSIONATE to the yourself and the parts of you who are:

  • grieving
  • experiencing pain
  • aching from the neglect
  • angry
  • distracted
  • cheerleading
  • pretending

or whatever other piece they are trying to share with you.

As I always say in my practice, “how would you respond to a friend who is grieving, angry, sad, etc ?”. Certainly not by telling them they are stupid, blaming them for not getting over it more quickly or blatantly ignoring them.

Offer yourself the same basic decency to provide the compassion, camaraderie and connection to the parts that may get activated at the upcoming reminders for Sunday.

And for those of you celebrating the wonderful men in your life who have left and indelible imprint on your soul, CONGRATULATIONS! Celebrate the crap out of those men!

And if you are one of the men being celebrated GO YOU! Seriously, the importance of a mature, loving and committed masculine figure in all of our lives is undeniable. Take a moment to know that who you are, how you love and show up for those in your life has and will continue to leave an irreplaceable healing impact on this world. Keep it up.

So for those of you approaching “the other side” of Father’s Day what do you do to take care of yourself?

Grace and peace,

Sarah