Relationship: The best Mother's Day present

Scripps Howard News Service - Where would you be without your mom? When you stop to think about it, you wouldn't be here at all, which ought to make you feel that much more grateful to her on Mother's Day.

She also raised you. Sure, you had your bad moments. And sometimes they still happen. Anytime you have a deep, long-term relationship with a powerfully influential person, there are going to be a few speed bumps. The important thing to remember is that those negative interactions are far more temporary than the lifelong relationship you have with this woman who has helped to mold you into the person you are today.

If you choose to focus on the uncomfortable parts of your relationship with her, it will create greater discomfort. She may have some behaviors that rub you the wrong way, but are they really worth making yourself crazy over? How about, as a gift to this year, you choose to drop your resentments toward your mother and acknowledge the positive actions she has taken on your behalf.

We tend to see those closest to us in ways we have always seen them. Looking at your mother from a different perspective can really change your relationship in a very positive way. Try this one out: "This is the woman who loved me through all those years of growing up, and she is responsible for much of the good that is in my life."

Instead of just celebrating "her day," make it about celebrating her life as a mother, and cherish the love you got, even if it wasn't perfect. By embracing her as a whole person, you are allowing yourself to receive a gift as well. A mother's love is not something everybody has been fortunate enough to have. If it is in your life, and you are blocking it for some reason, please rethink your position. Sometimes with a little forgiveness, you make your own life better as well. Who couldn't benefit from letting a little more love into their lives?

Mother's Day is special because your mom is a special person in your life. No one else can give you what she has. Honoring her presence in your world and making her feel like she deserves to be celebrated is really the only gift you need to give. The presents, going out and breaking bread together, are ways to enjoy the day, but feeling and sharing your love for this special woman is really what the holiday is all about.

When someone feels truly loved, it changes her world. If your mom knows that you really, truly love her, it is going to make her stronger and happier and allow her to enjoy the blessings that only her children can bring. It is such a special and wonderful connection. The closeness of mother and child is one of the most beautiful things on Earth, and when you feel it, you know that everything is going to be just fine.

This is the power of a mother's love. It can make any boo-boo feel better with just a little kiss.

(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author, most recently, of "100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence -- Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too." Email him at

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