Ask E for advice: How do I handle conflicting emotions about my mom?

The Homepage, published by Hazelwood Initiative

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Photo courtesy of Erika Johnson

By Erika “E” Johnson

Dear E,

I have a difficult relationship with my mother that makes Mother’s Day a challenge, to say the least. How do I handle my conflicting feelings around this time of year?

Signed, Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

Any time there is a difficult situation, especially one that involves emotions, healing and boundaries, you must be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace. During Mother’s Day, be gentle with yourself and try not to allow your emotions to beat you up. Your emotions are here for a reason, and you are meant to feel them because you need to realize something, process it and release what’s inside. Don’t ignore them. Look for ways to understand, process and release your conflicting feelings.

Once you process the feelings you’re carrying, you can figure out what emotions you want to release. There are no rules for this but, as a guide, I advise you to do what brings you the most peaceful relief. A release can look like writing a letter and burning it, or giving it to your mother. Journaling about her, having a good cry, talking to a therapist and working out can also help. 

Ask yourself what you can do for your mother while respecting your boundaries and maintaining peace. Find a small way to show her appreciation, like giving her a card, sending a text or flowers, or sharing an old picture with a thank you.

Erika "E" Johnson is a Pittsburgh native, a singer-songwriter, writer and founder of Beata Beatus Co. Find out more at www.erikadenaej.com. To ask E for advice, send your question to editor@hazelwoodinitiative.org.

Homepage publisher, Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., is a community development corporation and a registered community organization. Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., does not profit by or receive compensation from contributors or organizations for mentions or links in Homepage articles.

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The Homepage is a print newspaper delivered monthly to households in Greater Hazelwood, Glen Hazel, Greenfield, Hays, New Homestead, Lincoln Place and The Run. Hazelwood Initiative, Inc., a community-based nonprofit, publishes The Homepage through a grant from the City of Pittsburgh and advertising revenue from local businesses and organizations. The mission of Hazelwood Initiative, as a community-based development corporation, is to build a stronger Hazelwood through inclusive community development. Sonya Tilghman, Executive Director of Hazelwood Initiative, Inc. (she/her) Juliet Martinez, Managing Editor of The Homepage (they/them) Sarah Kanar, Layout and Design of The Homepage(she/her)

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