It’s Halloween morning. As I sit down to write this, the rest of the family is still in bed, sleeping peacefully. My coffee has brewed and I have finished my first cup, along with a couple of peanut-butter Snickers (oh so good!). The wind is blowing like mad and the rain is coming down in ways it doesn’t usually here in Seattle: hard, heavy, filled with sadness and melancholy and grief.
We have been talking about the Mother-Wound in the (Un)Becoming circle, and the grief work that is involved in this healing. The grief of not having the mother we wanted or deserved. The grief of our mothers not having the mother they wanted or deserved. The grief of our grandmothers and our daughters. We have been talking of healing and empathy and finding ways to repair our Self.
It is heavy work. I feel the weight of the grief of the circle as surely as I feel my own. My grief of not having the mother I needed or deserved as a young child. The grief of just when our relationship was becoming what I had always dreamed of, she died. The grief of not always being able to be the mother my daughter (or son) need and deserve. The grief of being human and therefor flawed, imperfect.
In this healing, we learn that our flaws are yes, what make us human, but they do not make us unworthy. They do not make us undeserving of love or nurturing. They do not make us tainted or valueless.
These flaws simply make us human. Just like our mothers, and grandmothers, and sisters and best friends. Just like our husbands and bosses and teachers. Just like our children. We each do things we may not be proud of at times. We each have the capacity for cruelty, even when not intentional. And we each have the capacity for deep love and vulnerability.
I told the circle in my video this week that sometimes I think our fear of love is what makes us do crazy things. It was in reference to the truth that our mothers have to had, or have to currently, love us with the same fire we love our own children, they simply may not be able to show it in healthy ways, in ways we can feel it. I shared a bit of my experience as a mother when my daughter was very young, and the absolute terror I felt at the love I felt for her. My love for her, and hers for me, terrified me to my core. It was too raw, too pure, too unconditional. I was unable to feel or process this love and so in my own ways I distanced myself from her, from us.
Eventually I was able to come back, do the work I needed so that I could be closer to the mother she needed, the mother I needed and wanted to be. This is a slow and ever evolving process. I have my own wounds to heal, as each of us do, and I know she will have hers to heal one day too.
We each have days of not being the people we hope to be, for ourselves or for our children. We each have times of too much yelling, too much distancing. The vulnerability of the love we feel for our children, and they for us, can be overwhelming even in the best of times. And so we screw up and we come back and repair as best we can and we move on to the next moment and the next and sooner or later we will screw up again and come back and repair again. It is the truth of our human experience. It is what makes us human. It is also what makes us divine, sacred, holy and yes, magical.
In the repair is where our magic lies, where the holy lives. When we are able to come back to another we have knowingly hurt and say “I am sorry. I will try to do better next time” — that is where the sacred comes through. When we are able to admit our own humanity, and show others that it is okay to be human, this is when the Divine flows through us and into the world.
When we are able to not only repair with our children, spouses, and friends, but can also come to our Self and say “I’m sorry, I will do better next time” that is healing. When we can look to our own mothers and grandmothers and on down the line and recognize they were only doing the best they could with what they had — not excusing their behaviors, not saying it didn’t or doesn’t hurt— simply acknowledging their experience, the wounds are able to be cleaned. In this acknowledging the humanity of others around us, in finding our empathy for them and their experience, we start to have empathy for ourselves. We can start to see how while we are flawed, we are worthy of love, of nurturing, of respect.
And here’s where the magic comes in: We start to love, nurture and respect our Self. We start to do the little things each day that allow us to show our Self that we love her. We start to breathe a bit easier. We start to feel the ground beneath us. We start to sense the sacred, holy and Divine within us. This is self-love. This is healing. This is magic.
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