The north shore is beautiful, ocean and rocks, spring blooms and sea air. I’m surrounded by inspiration. I have space around me and time to rest. And guilt finds me.
It’s Mother’s Day 2021. I have only one child who may feel obligated to reach out today and share her sentiments. All the other sentiments are in my head and heart.
It was the dream I kept having several times last night, my critically-ill daughter struggling to survive and I wasn’t enough to help her. I wasn’t enough to fix her. Likewise, I’m not enough to fix the pain my healthy daughter feels from losing her sister. I’m not enough. I’ll never be enough.
It’s so difficult to feel helpless when a loved one is suffering. It’s easier to blame myself or someone else. It’s easier to be angry at myself or someone else. Blame is an action that gives some feeling of control over an uncontrollable situation.
I pulled myself out of this recurring dream, wiped my tired eyes and took myself to the ocean. As a human entering this planet about 68 years ago, I learned that painful emotions are to be avoided at all costs. Do everything in my power to avoid emotional pain. IT’S AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK!
Life is full of painful emotions. Life can’t be lived fully without feeling pain and joy. And those feelings move in and out of us like the moon moves the tides and the seasons change, and the days turn to evenings and so on.
The message is written in stone in my brain. Since I can’t get rid of my emotions, I can affirm what they are, emotions that move in and out of my human consciousness.
As I connect with my Higher Self, I don’t feel the emotional ups and downs I feel in my humanness. I feel a patient, ever present, steady love. The feeling reminds me of my pets in the past; they accepted me for me, no matter where I was at. I think animals are Higher Selves practicing detachment.
I often use the metaphor of a bird’s eye view on life. I imagine I am observing me through the eyes of my Higher Self. I watch me in my human life, the ups and downs and ins and outs as I emotionally respond to the world I live in. The pain and suffering, the joy and celebration, all observed by my Higher Self, patiently watching, soothing and reminding me there is more of me. I am more than my humanity.
It helps me feel less guilt and shame. There is more of me. I stand up straighter and am proud of everything I have overcome. I am a spiritual being in a human body.
An excerpt from Rumi’s poem A Great Wagon
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don’t go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don’t go back to sleep.”
Thank you as always for your huge gift of words, thoughts and inspirations. When you mentioned mothers of all kinds, I thought of mothers all over the world and what they have to go through. And even non-human mothers who have the same pains and joys we go through. I appreciate what was said. Personally, my son is having a hard time and when people cry out happy Mother’s Day, I want to scream what are you talking about? I appreciate that. What I like to say to people is, I’m thinking of you on Mother’s Day.
Thank you so much for this reading. I loved the Rumi poem and the line about don’t go back to sleep. It’s such a good reminder. Being away these few days, it’s been quite a journey for me. I participated in a ritual yesterday and was a witness. It was very powerful. That is what ritual is all about, reminding us to stay awake to really connect to our authentic selves. When I’m away like this, I am studying what I want to be studying. I am exploring an incredible topic and I get overwhelmed by it. It feels good to be grounded by the reading and by ritual. Thank you.
It’s interesting. I stayed in bed this morning aware I wouldn’t see my children today. I woke up at sunrise and went back to sleep. I was having an internal conversation about how my day would go if I went back to sleep. It was megaphone loud, don’t go back to sleep. It was validating for a moment. Then I realized not going back to sleep is about becoming aware. It’s such a dichotomy. We all take in these readings based on where we are in our soul work and in our awareness. But it really was a contrast for me on how much time I spend on the little ‘I’ vs the big ‘I’ in terms of my definition of what it meant to go back to sleep. Thank you.
Thank you. It’s such a loaded day. My son is adopted. I remember thinking of my litmus test when I was younger. I’d ask myself, at the end of my life, what would I regret? I remember thinking I could still have a joyful life if I didn’t find a person, but I would regret not having children. My career specialty was women and labor. I helped women have their babies. I looked into artificial insemination with a doctor who believed women shouldn’t have babies alone. I wound up getting married and got pregnant. But lost the baby. It happened again. And again. We adopted a baby. I used to help women who were losing their babies. Even though I have my son, there’s always something missing. Thank you for letting me share.
It’s all painful. Life experience makes you who you are and makes you more sensitive to what’s around you.
It’s quite a thing, not being enough or not feeling enough. Heather Plett wrote an article about being an imperfect mother. That whole thing about being a mother or what a mother should be is so loaded with the concept that is put on us that fosters the dream that we enter into about motherhood. It’s a nightmare for so many of us. And until we start sharing that in its truthfulness, we will maintain the pain, maintain the shame of not being enough, maintain the unrealistic expectations of what a mother really is. I had an experience with a mother who was in an abusive relationship. She became pregnant and made a decision to not have that baby. Mothers make incredibly difficult decisions. She wrote from the perspective of her being a mother, the stereotypical role that comes through the patriarchy in America and Europe. Thank you all for your authenticity on this, that is what we have to share.
During the meditation, I went to the “not enough.” I remembered a time when my daughter was a teenager and the way I handled things was different than the way I wished I handled things. I have been since grateful for more chances. Our relationship is good at this point. Also, there are times I look around for a perfect faith community. I have a church family and I love them and there are traditions that are followed that I don’t agree with. I was with them yesterday at an event. The speaker had a child when she was 17 who committed suicide at age 24. She was teaching how to become aligned with your soul and celebrating this weekend. I spent time in silence this morning working in that direction. Last night, at our church drive-by spaghetti dinner, a young man came at the end wanting four dinners. I made sure he got supper and I saw he was providing for a young family. During the meditation, I realized that, in a sense, I had mothered this total stranger. The definition of caring for one another and we are all family is where I’m at. I was so glad I was with my imperfect community as a link.
I’ve been working at home for a large corporation. I’ve had a mind shift. We were thrown into this and didn’t chose. We’ve become quite a family. I realized yesterday as I was working with people, that I was in a sense parenting. I was helping them improve their lives. I also want to say that I’m old enough to remember people saying women were the weaker sex. Everyday, I think about how ridiculous that was. I am surrounded by strong women.
Thank you. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for your honesty and sharing the authenticity of the pain of this. It’s not all roses and chocolates on Mother’s Day. I’m a believer in reparenting. And we all have an opportunity, whether we are an active parent or not, that we mother ourselves and we nurture ourselves and we comfort ourselves. And we feed and nourish ourselves in all ways so we can keep growing. I wish you a day of self-care whatever that looks like for you.
Photo credit: Oil painting by Linda Lundell www.lindalundell.com