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Mothers are celebrated because they have provided the gift of life. A life is something for which to be grateful. Some people say they wish they’d never been born. If you are here, it’s not a mistake. Some of us come into the most difficult of challenges, but with the right motives, all those experiences can be turned into meaning and purpose.

I spent many years resenting my mother for her shortcomings and mistakes that occurred during my childhood. The absence of safety and security left me bereft of a secure bond. As I worked through the baggage of my past, I was able to retain the good that she provided me such as her faith in me and my abilities, fostering independence, and her ability to be calm and steady regardless of events.

I made some of the same mistakes she made as a mom and even more. I had to acknowledge those mistakes before I could forgive myself and be forgiven. Then instead of blaming my mother for what went wrong, I was able to have a little compassion.

Maternal deficiencies can be compensated in many other ways. I found maternal energy from a grandmother. I also found her in Mother Earth, by watching nature and allowing it to fill me with awe and teach me about unconditional love. I also found many substitute moms who were able to provide the parts of nurturing and guidance that were lacking in my lineage. I was also fed maternal energy through a spiritual connection with the feminine divine energy of my higher power.

Having a child is the most difficult job in the world. I don’t think anyone truly understands the level of work until they have a child. Many of us are ill-equipped and unknowledgeable about what constitutes healthy parenting. Fortunately, we know a great deal more now than decades ago, and parenting styles and techniques are continuously improving.

I still work at being a better mom even though my kids are grown. Making mistakes is easy. Correcting them is lifelong. But we only have one mom, and that will never change. The gift of life is a beautiful thing, not something to be wasted. Despite my childhood pain, it was my responsibility to heal. Being free from the past, I can focus on being the best version of a good daughter. I feel blessed to have this resolution while my mom still lives.

Mom, thank you for teaching me all that you could. Thank you for the gift of life. I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you for your faith in me. I wouldn’t be who I am without you.

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Dr. Donna Marks has been a licensed psychotherapist and addictions counselor in Palm Beach, Florida, for over thirty years. In 1989, Dr. Marks developed a chemical dependency training program at Palm Beach Community College, which has grown into a four-year degree and received the Florida Governor’s Council Award. She is also a certified gestalt therapist, psychoanalyst, hypnotist, and sex therapist. She’s facilitated A Course in Miracles for over 30 years. In addition, she shares her methods with hundreds of thousands of listeners on podcasts, radio, and tv shows. Learn more about Dr. Marks, her books: Exit the MazeOne Addiction, One Cause, One SolutionLearn, Grow, ForgiveA Path to Spiritual Success, and The Healing MomentSeven Paths to Turn Messes Into Miracles, her services, and free offers.

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