This year will be our first Mother's Day without our Grandmother.
This is the first year that my Mother will be without her Mother.
We are feeling her loss savagely. The loss has become like a predator that slinks and creeps into the quiet spaces to shank us with waves of memory and tears. It feels like the heart of our original family unit has been ripped away.
Now we are adrift, making our own family units stronger, closer. They need to matter even more than before. I am asking myself how do I heal this Mother-wound in our family and in myself? And what is a Mother?
When I was a child, I was very lucky to know that 'Mother' meant love. My Mother and my Grandmother were safety, a warm cuddle, kind words, and feeling held. They were also fierce protectors, hard-workers, and someone whose word was to be followed.
Since having my own children, I know Mother means selflessness, sacrifice, devotion, and understanding. It means the feeling that I would do anything in my power to make sure that my babies are safe, fed and happy. There are totally times when my girls drive me MAD, but I wouldn't have it any other way because the contrast between the good times and the hard times is massive. It is this contrast that makes me aware of how beautiful Mother Energy can be. That feeling of holding and being held. That feeling of intense, fiery protectiveness, that feeling of late-night worry, feeling like I'm not doing well enough, feeling out of my depth. Feeling loved when little arms cuddle my neck, proud when they show kindness and compassion to another person, and knowing that actually I am doing a good job.
How often can we hand-on-heart say that we feel this way about ourselves? Do we soothe ourselves, speaking softly and kindly to our small inner child? If not, why not? And how exactly can we begin to do this?
I'm not going to tell you to have a warm bath, eat something yummy and snuggle up under a blanket with a book. You know that bit already. It's hardly revolutionary advice and frankly, it's f*cking boring to do that all the time.
I am going to tell you to go and find a picture of yourself from when you were little. Or if you don't have one, picture yourself when you were very young.
Take that picture and look at it. See the detail through the eyes of Love. Look at your lovely little face. Your kind eyes, your beautiful self. See how perfect you are. Tell Little You how you feel when you look at him or her. Tell yourself that you love you, and that you are always doing the best you can. This you must try to carry in your heart for yourself, every day. Always.
This is not an easy thing to do. There are times when you will feel uncomfortable, evade your own gaze, cry, rage, feel numb. You may forget to tell yourself one day how loved you are. There are days when your love for yourself will feel like the sun. Embrace it all.
Even if you never knew your Mother, or wish that you didn't have the Mother you had, or if you had the best Mother you could ever have asked for, you can still do this for yourself. When you step into this place, you embody Mother energy. You bless yourself and you bless those around you.
There is a lot of distorted 'Father' energy around us at this time (*looks pointedly to the US and UK governments...*). Dare to birth a new way of seeing yourself. Holding this space for yourself is a beautiful, quiet act of rebellion. Become your own Mother.
P.S. The picture is me and my Mum in about 1985!!