The Bravery in Celebrating

I haven't celebrated Mother's Day in a while.  I don't really have anything against Mother's Day.  It seems like a wonderful holiday.  But, to be honest, in recent years I've forgotten all about it. 

I may have forgotten it because it involves grief.  Grief because my own mom passed away about a decade ago.  And grief because although I always imagined I'd become a mom, it never really happened.  Mother's Day can sometimes be a reminder of what I don't have to celebrate - my mom and becoming a mom.  

And as Mother's Day draws near this year, I want to choose to celebrate.  To celebrate her.  To celebrate my memories and my gratitude for our relationship and the way that formed me into who I am today.  

Our relationship went through seasons.  When I was young and my parents were divorcing, she was a tower of strength.  Setting aside her own feeling to raise me as a single mom and not be in a puddle (at least that's not what I saw).  As I moved into my teen years, she was the organizer.  Keeping everything together.  Our schedules.  Where I had to be when.  Dinner.  Later, in my 20s, she became one of my closest friends and supporters. She was a woman of wisdom.  She supported my career.  She extended grace when she could see I didn't have it all together in the financial department (she may be extending me grace from heaven).  And she supported me when I picked up, moved to Minnesota, and went back to school to start a new career.  

The thing is, sometimes I focus on what I don't have.  Today, I don't get to go buy a present for her.  Today, I don't get to call her and learn from her wisdom of running her own business.  And I can get held down by what I don't have.  

I think we can all get bogged down by what we don't have or what we aren't accomplishing or where we haven't arrived.  

One of the most common questions I ask in my coaching sessions is:  How can you start celebrating...?

As humans, we tend to look at what we haven't accomplished instead of celebrating what we have accomplished.  We tend to look at break-ups through the lens of hurt instead of the blessings of what we've learned and how we've grown as a person.  We tend to look at loss (whether a person or a dream) and focus on what we don't have instead of what we've already experienced. 

One of the bravest things we can do is to choose to celebrate what we've experienced instead of focusing on what we don't have.  

It's brave to choose to focus on the blessings of a relationship with a relative instead of on the fact they are no longer with us.  It's brave to choose to celebrate the 3 pounds lost instead of the 50 yet to go.  It's brave to choose to be thankful for how we've grown instead of how a situation has hurt us. 

It's brave to choose to celebrate because it's hard.  It easier to focus on loss and hurt and what isn't getting done.  It's easy to believe what you think people are thinking about you.  It's easy to give in to what isn't right about life.  

But hard is worth it.  And so, the brave thing is to choose to do the hard act of celebrating what's good, what has made you grow, what has made you who you are. 

I always thought of my family as a little disjointed.  My parents divorced when I was young.  I always thought it was complicated and messy.  And to be truthful, I didn't always appreciate my family in my younger years. 

Recently, I've met many new friends.  Through coaching class.  Through working at the World Market.  And I've heard stories about families.  Families that were different from mine.  The stories of others had made me realize that even though my family was complicated and sometimes hard to explain, my family was love.  My mom.  My dad.  My aunts and uncles.  My cousins.  There was love and support and blessing. 

I've become grateful for what I had because not everyone gets what I had.  Some are still searching.  

But mostly, I want to be known as someone who chooses to celebrate.  Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying we ignore the bad.  We still process the bad.  We live with hard stuff.  We bring it to God and let Him heal.  And then we choose to celebrate. 

So this Mother's Day, I am choosing to celebrate my mom.  I miss her.  I wish she was still here to buy a Mother's Day present for.  But in the meantime, I choose to celebrate with some fun pictures of us together and the thankfulness in my heart for the blessing of family. 


How are you choosing to celebrate today?