If you ARE a mom, first, Happy Mother’s Day. This message might be a gift to you whether you have kids or not. Words can’t say how happy I am to have three beautiful, smart, loving daughters. Did you see my interview with Caitlin, my adult daughter, on the podcast this week? Sooo proud of my girls.

The reason I write about this on Mother’s Day is…if you’re like me and you don’t have a mom, you know that no amount of love and affection can absolve the ache from the void that only a mom can fill. In fact, even though my mom left when I was ten, I did have a chance to connect with her before she ultimately ended her life after a long battle with mental illness. And I realize there’s a special grace in that absence, because so many of you have a mother who’s living but unavailable emotionally — either because of a disease, mental illness or… the monkeys in her head that keep her from being present in life.

A good friend who shares my love for coaching women shared this with me, so I’m sharing with you a #mentalwellnessmonth strategy for your life that might help fill that mother void. She told me, you have three amazing daughters because you decided they would have the life you always wanted. So I want you to give yourself the mom you always wanted. Write a letter to your self as a mother, to yourself as a daughter.

My family used to call me D.K. Here is my Mother’s Day letter to D.K.

I know what you’re feeling today. It’s always the same. You were orphaned by alcohol. Then your momma left. Then your daddy died with early onset Alzheimer’s. You were richly loved by three older sisters who were mothers to you, but you long for the affirmation of a mom who loves you and celebrates you like I love my kids.

The reason you need so much affirmation is because there’s a big void in your soul where a mother’s love is designed to be. You try to fill the void in your heart by trying to find new mothers, friends, anyone who will read your stuff and tell you how smart you are. But, D.K., your need to be affirmed can be suffocating to friends who have their own sisters and daughters to love. Because they can’t be there for you, you feel fundamentally flawed. Unloved…no matter how much your husband and children love you.

D.K. get the facts straight. You are greatly loved. The reason your mom left was because of her, not you. The same reason why others have left your life is for them to sort with God, not for you to carry. Give a little grace and grace will be given to you.

There is enough love in the world, D.K. You don’t need an earthly mother to receive the love I have for you. All you need to do is love your girls, love the people God has given you to love and leave the rest to God.

And love your dog. He needs you always.