• Mother Mother and Self-Care

    I’m always impressed when I listen to songs by the Canadian band Mother Mother, not only as a listener, but as a therapist. Their lyrics seem to show a keen understanding of the human condition and what it means to struggle with the challenges of life. Take their song “It’s Alright”, for example, which seems to be about reacting on autopilot, and realizing only later, from a clearer perspective, what we’ve just done. The song is like a discussion between one person who’s beating themselves up and suffering as a result, and a loving other. Whether that other is the same person’s more-evolved self, or a different, caring figure in that person’s life, is unclear, but that other is trying to help the person settle down and see clearly again.

    “… I had a night / I had a day / I did one million stupid things / I said one billion foolish things …” the person says to themself. “It’s alright, it’s okay, it’s alright, it’s okay / you’re not a monster, just a human / and you made a few mistakes …” says the other.

    The self-blamer goes on to lament how badly they behaved; how they “ignored the signals” they were trying to watch out for, and how they’ve come to a painful rest in that cruel but familiar place we too often go to of feeling “broken down in shame”. The caring part or person continues to be present, reminding the self-blamer “… you’re not a demon, there’s a reason you behaved in that way …” and reassures “… I believe, yes I believe that you will see a better day…”.

    Musically, “It’s Alright” is a fun and unique song. It’s up-tempo, creative and full of the excitingly-strange voices and harmonies Mother Mother is known for. It also provides a nice reminder that we can all make it through our struggles with self-care and some acknowledgement that one, mostly unconscious reaction (that’s probably quite rooted in the painful parts of our life history) doesn’t have to define us — even if it’s a reaction we keep allowing ourselves to make over and over! A loving part of yourself (or someone else who loves you) might say: ‘It’s okay you did that again, you’re learning. You caught it this time. See if you can catch it next time, before you do it.’

    We all have these muscle-memory action patterns wired into us — we developed them to make it through the difficult circumstances we faced years ago. It’s alright, it’s okay. Part of growing and maturing involves learning to recognize those patterns and change them to reflect our current circumstances and the people we are today. 

    Contact us if you’d like help recognizing and changing your own self-destructive patterns.