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A divine feminine celebration
Happy Mother’s Day! It seems like such a joy-filled phrase doesn’t it? So all inclusive and wonderful. Well it’s certainly a powerful message of recognition for one of the most profound roles anyone can ever play. But, not all women are created equal and for some it is a day of challenges and deep introspection. The ideal mother, the gold standard greeting card version, is what we are all taught we need to strive to be or can expect to have as our experience. The reality is that some women will never reach that standard, not because they love their children any less than the hallmark inspired versions of motherhood would suggest, but because they simply do not have the internal or emotional resources to do so.
A woman who was raised by a wounded mother (read here alcoholic, addicted, mentally unstable or ill, abandoned, abused, unloved, chronically ill, workaholic, perfectionist, critical, overly judgemental, heavily stressed, or even absent mother) will have filters on her psyche through which she experiences love, and these filters may either inhibit or radically enhance her ability to love her own child.
Some mothers replay the wounding of their own childhood because it is all they know how to do, and on some level they’ve accepted that distorted love is real love and they believe it is enough… they never learned how to ask for, or reach for more; others reject their childhood wounds and overcompensate by ensuring their children want for nothing and they love them to the point of entitlement and apathy; and there is a full spectrum of the mothering experience that lies between and beyond these two examples.
Why am I saying these things? Well it feels like there is an unreasonable amount of pressure placed on mothers by their partners, their families, their community, their teachers and leaders, their colleagues and bosses, their peers, friends, enemies, social media… and most importantly, themselves. A mother often feels that she needs to be all things to all people and will so often sacrifice her own comfort, growth and happiness for the sake of her children. A woman who has not known unconditional love in her own life may well struggle to offer that to her children… unless and until she heals the wounds of her own past, and that may be a lifelong process.
So while we are singing the loving praises of our amazing mothers on social media, in public, in our own families and lives, let us offer compassionate understanding to the mothers who may be struggling with the task at hand and who may be feeling like they aren’t ‘making the grade’. Those mothers facing challenges most of us will never have to encounter or could never understand; those mothers who are smiling to hide their tears and who push down their fears and doubts and insecurities, who hide their grief and their overwhelm. Every mother loves her children to the best of her ability, however, that ability is so often determined by factors over which she had no control or ability to influence. We do not all start with the same toolkit.
Which brings me to this wonderful truth:
It takes a village to raise a child.
Let us offer on this day of recognition and celebration, our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the others in our lives who uplift, and support, and love without reservation, both the mothers and the precious children in our care. Those who pick up the slack when we find ourselves flagging, who love us unconditionally no matter how poorly we might think we are doing, who are honoured and treasured members of our parenting teams without whom we might collapse under the enormous weight of responsibility we sometimes feel.
Mothering is the feminine divine in action and embodies the energies of nurturing, holding, guiding, supporting, encouraging and allowing and it isn’t necessary for a woman, or indeed a man, to have physically birthed a child to embody this way of being. So my wish on this Mother’s Day is to not only salute the mums who did the hard labour, and heaven only knows you’ve earned the title and should wear it with pride, same for those who struggled through the IVF process, or went through the anguish of the adoption process, who fostered, used surrogates, who took into their hearts and homes the children of other mothers, anyone who supported and championed young hearts in need… I salute you all; I wish to recognize too, the invaluable contributions of the rest of womanhood who by choice or providence may never have their own personal mother and child experience, but who, by virtue of their divine feminine energy. are helping to raise the women of the future.
As always, I offer you my understanding of things. I encourage you at all times to question and decide for yourself what you want to accept and onboard. I am always interested to hear your opinions and I encourage feedback. However, it is essential to understand this vital truth as we journey together:
We don’t have to agree on a single thing to be kind to one another.
So, disagree with me by all means, own your different perspective, but please remain respectful of other’s beliefs and journeys.
Treat yourself with EMpathy and EMbolden yourself to dream. EMerge from your learned way of being, allowing yourself to celebrate life as you EMbrace your full potential. EMancipate yourself from your limitations, EMpowering yourself to live with greater clarity and joy!
Until next time, be kind to one another and honor yourself as the unique and incredibly special soul that you are.
© Copyright 2020 – Janice Melmed