Mother’s Day. Perhaps you (like me) will be having a long-distance conversation with your mother. Some of you may be sharing a moment with your mother’s spirit through memory or prayer. Others of you will be experiencing the losses, griefs or loneliness of what you longed for and never got. We praise and honour mothers on Mother’s Day, for without mothers, life would not exist (we need fathers too, but they have their own day!).
Some of you may be rejecting your mother’s teachings about life or religion or about who you have the potential to be. Others of you rely on her faith in you to accomplish your best in life and relationships. Whatever kind of relationship you have with your mother, it can never be dismissed as insignificant.
Whether you are left with scars or an abundance of cherished memories, her life has left its large and irrevocable imprint. For those who have been deeply wounded by their mothers, there may be ways in which the charge and effect can be dissipated and lessened over time, but the scar will likely remain in some form or another, dormant or active. Indeed, there are mothers who loved you, but never had the tools, the skills, the support or perhaps the sense of self to mother in the ways you needed. That she loved you doesn’t make up for trauma impact for her neglect and abandonment.
Many of you also are connected to Nature, to Earth as our Mother. Currently, we are witnessing the effects and impact of our abuse of our Mother. It’s profound, this abuse, and it is spreading to Her children en masse. Many of us ignore the extent of the abuse. Some of us do desire to care for her and to honour her pain and anger, so she can begin to heal … and to restore the abundant vitality She has to nurture and care for us.
And yet, we struggle to know what we can do. We feel overwhelmed. We believe it won’t make a difference. Or we are too afraid to give up our sense of ‘security’ to right the imbalance of reciprocity necessary for sustainable life for all of us in relationship with Mother Earth.
And then there is the Divine Mother, the Goddess that gave birth to the Universe. Lao Tzu speaks to this in the Tao Te-Ching:
The Tao is called the Great Mother:
empty yet inexhaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.
It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.
Tao Te-Ching 6
There was something formless and perfect
before the universe was born.
It is serene. Empty.
Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name,
I call it the Tao.
It flows through all things,
inside and outside, and returns
to the origin of all things.…
Tao Te Ching 25
This Divine Mother frequently has been buried, repressed and tortured in our religious and spiritual stories, imagery and philosophy or theological understandings. She has often been honoured and appropriately revered by indigenous peoples, but less so in our hierarchical, patriarchal and colonialist ways of being in relationship with ourselves, with Nature, Her creatures, Her diversity, and with what is Sacred.
Through the profound state of our planet and the majority of her inhabitants, we are in a position, on a precipice, a critical threshold of ignoring our Mother, or denying Her existence or abusing Her natural balance and abundance for all OR returning to Her and seeing the Divine Mother in ourselves. She lives within us. She moves within us. She is always present within us.
We may have disconnected from Her. We may feel like She abandoned us or neglected us. We may feel anger and profound sadness that we have never had the knowing, the stories, the ways of even getting to know Her.
I believe it is time to return to the Divine Mother. The journey back may involve many unexpected sorrows, anger, experiences of despair and hopelessness, but we must return. She is our life. She is our heartbeat. The choice, it seems, is whether we return with courage, trust and a willing heart to have her lead and guide us anew. We have been told a story of survival, power and success for so long, we barely know how to hear the Great Mother’s voice … the One who gave birth to the Universe.
We may need to go into the darkness for a time to hear Her. Not the darkness of imbalance and mental illness, but the darkness of ‘nothingness/emptiness’ – of expectation, of control and outcome, of ego identity, of linear answers and determined progressions of the ego’s future. We will need to go into the darkness to find our true essence, our inner light and meet our Mother who loves, comforts and sustains us. (Tao Te-Ching, 34)
Every Mother’s Day we are invited to celebrate the love and life our mothers have given us. No matter how adequately (or not) she may have done this for you, remember that she too lives in you. She is in your memories, in your cells and neurons. She exists in the very constitution of who you are! For your health, your life and your most meaningful relationships, and even for your career and sense of purpose and destiny, make peace with your mother. Return to her.
And if you cannot do so because it remains unsafe in some way to do so, return to Mother Earth and return to the Great Mother who gave your great-grandmother life, who gave your grandmother life, who gave your mother life, who gave you life, who perhaps gave your daughter life, and so on. And when you return to the Great Mother, express your gratitude for Her eternal and unconditional, unchanging love, comfort and sustenance in your every breath, choice and action.
Breathe in the words of Lao Tzu:
In the beginning was the Tao.
All things issue from it;
all things return to it.
To find the origin,
trace back the manifestations.
When you recognize the children
and find the mother,
you will be free of sorrow.
If you close your mind in judgements
and traffic with desires,
your heart will be troubled.
If you keep your mind from judging
and aren’t led by the senses,
your heart will find peace.
Seeing into darkness is clarity.
Knowing how to yield is strength.
Use your own light
and return to the source of light.
This is called practicing eternity.
Tao Te Ching 52
If you need to find peace and love in your relationship with your mother and be free of sorrow, contact me. But for today, celebrate the love and power of Mother, in whatever Mother you can be with in your heart.