Mothers. We love them, sometimes we ‘hate’ them; often we expect the world of them. And they of themselves. No matter how you feel about your mother, there is one undeniable fact … they carried you and they gave you life. There can be no greater gift than that! Our challenge as their children is to honour that gift by how we live and what we do with that life.
While not a ‘conventional’ mother myself, when Buster, my four legged ‘boy’, came into my life, he gave me the opportunity to be a ‘mummy’ with all the joys and sorrows that brings. Although it was ‘love at first sight’, it wasn’t until much later that one of his funny antics caused me to say “Buster, I could lay down my life for you”. In that moment I experienced what I believe it is that a mother feels for her children; why they are such fierce protectors and struggle in so many ways to get it right, and why their happiness is so intricately connected to the happiness of their children. The very person who gave you life often carries the feeling of responsibility to maintain that life, even though it may be an impossible task or require them to do things which cause them immeasurable pain.
I don’t presume that being a mother comes naturally or easily to all women. No doubt their job has been made all the more difficult by the complexities and choices of modern life. As adults, women who are mothers also need and thrive on the intellectual stimulation and company of other adults. To raise a child well takes a village and one of the worst things that can happen to a mother is to be left to do that on her own. Mothers do make sacrifices for their children in ways most of us never fully realise or appreciate until we become parents ourselves. And rarely would they choose to have done otherwise! Sometimes what it takes to conceive and carry a child to term, or to bear the loss of a child in the multitude of ways that happens, actually costs them their lives … or their aliveness.
We are far less tolerant of mothers who ‘fail’ us than our fathers, perhaps only getting a glimpse of their suffering when we begin to look into our own lives. Making peace with our mothers begins with accepting them as they are – seeing them as fellow human beings with needs and challenges and dreams just like any other person. They did the best they knew to do with what they had and the emotional awareness available to them at the time.
In this edition of Inner Sense I honour the mother in all women and give thanks for my Mum and Mamma and to the many women who have loved and guided and believed in me throughout my life. Perhaps the biggest gift you can give your mother this Mothers Day is to let her know she got her job done. And how you do that is by taking responsibility for your life today; for doing everything in your power to be happy and healthy and fulfilled; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Sounds like a big ask? Well … that’s your job and my job. As we honour what we have received, and let go of that which no longer serves us, we create for ourselves and all those in our world the opportunity for new life and new ways of being. And I know there is no limit to how we can get there!
Inner Sense No. 19 | May 2010
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