My Italian friends say that I am more sentimental than their countrymen and I’ve been accused of being over sensitive since my mother started calling me Sarah Bernhardt when I was 5 years old. But I do wish I owned stock in Hallmark cards because I think it is actually a beautiful thing to be so aware of the feelings of our hearts.
The commercialization of holidays in the US is obviously a bit over the top, but the idea of reminding ourselves to be grateful and appreciative of our connections AND letting others know of these feelings is a good thing. A few days before Mother’s Day I was listening to a couple of macho guys on sports radio gush about their moms and I began thinking about the fact that every single person on the planet Earth has had a mother. Of course, not everyone loves their mother, but the fact remains that without this person, we would not even exist. That simple truth gives us at least one thing to be grateful for.
Yesterday, I had 44 notifications on my Facebook wall – either mother’s expressing their great honor and love for their amazing children (they are all amazing to their mothers, by the way) or people expressing their gratitude and love for their mothers. That’s a lot of love in the field. Remember that we have commercialization to thank for birthing this holiday in the first place.
Our capacity for love is so huge and yet so many things interfere with our focus and expression of this incredibly juicy, rich and powerful aspect of our being. Sometimes I think it is our fear of the size of our hearts, our great capacity to feel that gets in the way of showing up as loving beings all of the time, rather than just on holidays. Perhaps it is a fear of being branded sentimental by others or just feeling so vulnerable deep inside. Maybe it is a fear of loosing someone or a fear of not living up to our potential or maybe even a fear of loosing control and becoming a blubbering baby.
Mother’s Day was a beautiful day for me. My kids showered me with attention, the weather gave us a fabulous day on the water and Austin provided yummy food all day long. Yet, I was also aware of how much I missed my son who lives far away. I was sad that I could not see and touch the little kids who no longer exist because they are now all grown up. I was even aware of the fact that eventually this fine day would turn into “regular” Monday morning with a focus on productivity.
So inside every moment are a million opportunities for sentiment – both happy and sad. I’m not sure that one can even exist without the other. Yet, it is our awareness of these emotions and sensations in a variety of colors that makes us alive and sentient. It’s ok that we move through bothpain and joy in all of our moments. It’s a both/and world. Learning to accept this might just allow us to open our hearts a little more to each day until we feel safe enough in our own skin to express these Hallmark sentiments no matter what day the calendar tells us it is.