PAPAS: Mothers are like that, ya they are
By Rev. Paul N.Papas II
Thu May 08, 2008, 11:47 AM EDT
Right about now my English teacher is turning red wondering if I learned have anything. Perhaps, as she reads on she will forgive my title.
Mothers Day is coming soon; just take a look at the greeting card racks. It is not just about remembering to buy, send, or to give a card, it is one day to give back and say thank you to our most steadfast care givers.
Our mothers were there for us through all our trials, tribulations, accomplishments and victories. Generally mothers don’t give up, even in spite of their own trials and tribulations.
True, no one on this side of Heaven is perfect; however some people expect perfection from themselves or others.
For those expecting perfection on earth they run the risk of loneliness, disappointment, anxiety, and depression. This could lead to self medication and addictions which then could lead to a whole host of issues.
For those expecting perfection on this side of Heaven the better road would be to ease up on yourself. Accept the reality that perfection is not attainable in humans, and practice forgiveness, starting with you.
Anxiety and depression are real issues with many root causes. The severity and the root causes should be assessed by competent professionals. The treatments vary and may involve prescribed medications or perhaps even a hospital stay.
My theory is that the earlier a problem is addressed, the greater the likelihood of an early success. Prevention is my preference.
With all that being said, mothers have their own struggles in life and then they naturally take on those of their children. They noticed changes in us to see if we were okay. They were concerned about who we hung around with, wanting to know that we were in good company, and looking for our safe return. They wanted the best for us.
Sometimes it’s a mother who develops a mental or physical illness and gets frustrated with herself and others. She doesn’t ask to be given that lot, but feels less of herself because of it and takes it out on others. She needs a helping hand, forgiveness, tenderness and an appropriate hug.
Sometimes it’s a mother who experiences abuse sometime in her life. This causes a series of tapes to play over and over again, until they are dealt with.
She too needs a helping hand, forgiveness, tenderness and an appropriate hug.
I can’t say we (as humans) have always lent a helping hand, offered forgiveness, practiced tenderness or offered a hug. It is true that some people will use, abuse, misinterpret or reject our helping hands, forgiveness, tenderness, or an appropriate hug… but we still need to offer.
I think that many people would be pleasantly surprised at how effective the prescription of helping hands, forgiveness, tenderness, and an appropriate hug is. Apply them often.
If someone suffers from the medical condition of a mental illness and receives the proper treatment they are more likely to be productive members of our community. You can touch, and it won’t rub off.
We have horror stories about certain acts committed by people that someone blames on a mental illness.
If that person did in fact have a mental illness, it does not mean that the mental illness is to blame. The person had choices. Perhaps their choices were affected by unclear reasoning, which may be the result of a malfunction within the brain to communicate with itself.
This is why we have the Jail Diversion program. It decriminalizes certain acts committed while a person who has a mental illness is in crises, and at the same time provides a way for that person to receive help.
They could use a helping hand, forgiveness, tenderness, an appropriate hug while addressing the consequences of their actions.
This Mothers Day I would ask you to honor your mother by reaching out to her or someone else with a helping hand, forgiveness, tenderness and an appropriate hug.
(The Rev Paul N. Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (located in Massachusetts and Arizona) and current President of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Greater Framingham. NAMI Greater Framingham has support groups for family and friends in Framingham and Uxbridge, a new support group for consumers in Marlboro, and various Education Meetings on the first Thursday evenings of the months from September through May www.namigreaterframingham.org, http://www.narrowpathministries.org