Existential Psychology


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“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.”
-Erich Fromm

Most mothers do something for their children that is truly miraculous, although many of us come to take it as a normal state of affairs and not worth remark. They love us intensely for who we are rather than for what we do. This unwavering love comes without a price tag attached to it and it simply exists, bolstering us up and giving us the confidence to be ourselves. A mother’s love is Agape, what we also refer to as God’s love, and I am quite certain that without this gift from mothers humanity would have been lost long ago.

Erich Fromm has another quote that speaks to how difficult a mother’s task really is and why designating one day to celebrate all that they have done for us and continue to do for us is inadequate. “The mother-child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense, tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother, and to become fully independent.”

We don’t really remember the close and seemingly inseparable bond we had with our mothers when we were babies and very young children but they certainly do. We weren’t just connected symbolically but also literally through the umbilical cord. It’s not that they felt like we were a part of them, it’s that we actually were a part of them. What is truly remarkable is that our moms can love us so much and feel so connected to us yet be willing to take a step back, wanting us to live our own lives, silently and vocally supporting us in our endeavors and our independence.

So here’s a salute to all the great moms out there, including my own, who have loved unconditionally and have always been in our corners. It is a truly amazing gift and one I am taking the time to think about and appreciate today.