We each have our own stories of the sheer magic we felt as our child grew inside our bodies and the miracle that occurs with birth. As mother’s we know there is no way possible to describe the swell of love and pride we have for our children to anyone who has never been a parent. No matter what our children do, even if we don’t agree with their choices or behavior, we always love them with our whole being, easily choosing to lie across the train tracks if it meant the only chance of saving their life.
This same intensity of love exists even when our child doesn’t grow in our womb. Ask any adoptive or foster parent and they will tell you as much. This is the spiritual, unconditional love almost all mothers describe when talking about their children.
I imagine that is how our mother Earth must feel about each of us. We use the land as if it is possession only, ours to take, use and destroy without consequence. We have become so accustomed to living in buildings and working with technology that we forget to spend time with her, respect her, and tell her how much we appreciate her beauty and unwavering sacrifice. Through thick and thin, she continues to give even if only to be ignored and abused in return. All too often when a mother’s love is freely given, the children come to expect it and take its existence for granted.
Our relationship with our mothers is one of the most powerful relationships in existence. Regardless of the circumstances of how we came into this world, how or where we grew up or what kind of communicative contact we keep with our mothers, those relationships are ingrained into a large part of who we are and how we perceive everything around us. Some of us cherish this fact and others spend a lifetime trying to deny it or get past it. Not every mother- child relationship is idyllic, but there can be no doubt this earliest bond colors how we respond to all the other relationships that may come into our lives.
The only other relationship that is potentially more important and powerful than the one we have with our mothers is the relationship we have with ourselves. Most of us wouldn’t ever dream of speaking to someone with the level of cruelty we continuously use in our minds to speak to ourselves. We badger and belittle and we can hold guilt and grudges forever.
This mother’s day I challenge you to look past the sentimental greeting cards, chocolates and flowers and give yourself the greatest gift possible. Mother yourself and love yourself like the idyllic mother loves her child. Learn to value and appreciate your worth and only speak to yourself with kindness. Give birth to an authentic you that is whole and nurtured and can nurture outward in return.
Today the calendar reflects the one time of year we are supposed to recognize our mothers and tell them how much we appreciate their love and sacrifice. I used to love holidays, absolutely buying into the commercialism of it all. Of course I recognized along with everyone else, that we should try to remember and express our gratitude every day, but we get busy and locked into our own patterns and we often forget.
Maybe now, with a renewed awareness, this can be different. It starts here, with you. It starts with me. The stories we tell can all have happy endings.
I spoke with a co-worker the other day as she reminisced about the good times with her parents years ago. Her mom has since passed away and her father is in the end stages of dementia. At the close of her story she looked back at me with eyes that were brimming with tears and said, “They are the ones who taught me how to love.”
Surely, there can be no greater gift.
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I am a 43 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast