Love Notes – A Mother’s Love

The definition of mother in the dictionary seems kinda thin to me: to be a female parent. As a verb, it means to give birth to a child (or any other result of a creative process) and to care for and protect the child (or project).

If you do a Google search on being a mother, there’s a LOT more written about the qualities of a good mother, the joys of being a mother, the responsibilities, rights, the best and worst ways to mother, etc.

And there are women who long to be mothers and are not able to fulfill that desire for all kinds of reasons. My heart goes out to every woman in that situation.

On Mother’s Day, a great deal of emphasis is placed on doing acts of recognition and appreciation for mothers – our own and the worshiping of the ideals of motherhood.

How does this day land for people who have lost their mothers – either recently or even at their birth? It’s often a day that triggers the grief of loss. How does it feel to swallow the pain and hold back the tears of remembering a lost mother, or a mother who has been abusive, neglectful, absent, or the anguish of not being able to give birth or raise your own children?

The subject of motherhood and a mother’s love brings both joy and sorrow. Taking the time to acknowledge YOUR feelings on that day is so important. Give yourself permission to grieve, it that’s what shows up. There are no “shoulds” here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mother, who died over ten years ago during the days and weeks leading up to this Mother’s Day. My mother – pictured above – was a complex and brilliant woman. She was also fierce and uncompromising, a tough cookie for sure. Her own childhood molded her to be that way to survive it.

I spent my childhood trying to be a good girl, to stay out of trouble, not because she taught me these things directly, but because I was afraid of her and her formidable anger when crossed. I learned not to need too much from her. It’s a long story, mostly told in countless therapy sessions (while I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me that my own mother couldn’t love me).

What turned my thinking around from being a resentful, wounded victim about my relationship with her? I came to understand this:

My mother was always doing her best to love me in the way she knew how.

She loved me the way she knew how. Sometimes not the way I wanted to be loved. She was not the “kissy boo-boo,” huggy kind of mom.

I learned to tune into the internal mother inside of me to give myself the kind of love I wanted to receive – nurturing, encouragement, and making life and the world a safe place. I turned to the archetypal Mother and leaned into her great Love that’s always available, always present.

My mother clothed me, fed me, taught me, protected me, and at times inspired me. She created me. She raised me. I had an awesome mother. That’s the God’s truth and I am grateful.

As I grew older, our relationship became closer. We grew to be friends. I miss her friendship more than anything these days.

Are you missing your mother today as the rest of the world is celebrating Mother’s Day? If so, what might be possible for you if you tap into that bigger Love that is available to you right now?

You may or may not be a mother. However, if you are alive, you were given the gift of life by a mother. Take a moment to listen to this beautiful song celebrating a Mother’s Love by Jim Brickman:

Reach out to me if you would like to have a conversation about how to give yourself the motherly love you desire.

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