The Mother’s Day holiday is celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of May in the USA. Last year, our weekly discussion on Mother’s day had discussed “Mothers and Spiritual Caregivers”. I still recall the diverse emotions that flowed during that chat, and how I came to realize that this is a tough holiday for many, many folks.
It is tough for those women who want to be birth mothers, but aren’t. It is tough for those women, who are birth mothers, but for some reason, have not been able to mother those who they gave birth to, in the way that they would have liked to. It is also tough for those (women and men) who did not have the archetypical – warm, kind, loving – mothering influences that some of us may have been blessed enough to enjoy. It is extremely tough for children who may have experienced the loss of a mother, or mothers who may have suffered the loss of a child recently.
And then, there is the category of women who are mothers and daughters – trying to do their best in these two tough roles. There is also the single-mother category (including fathers playing the roles of mothers), which is fast-growing in our world today. Then, there is the category of the foster-mother and the adopting-mother. And the multitudes of folks who are caregivers, and in caregiving roles. Last, but not least, is the role-reversal category – children mothering their parents at different stages in life. I am sure that I am missing some categories here, but you get the idea. Of all these different roles that mothering entails – which one do you most relate to? If you don’t fit in any of these “mother” categories, how do you nurture your “mothering” instinct? Or do you?
I had a brief conversation about the word mother, and its diverse connotations – noun and verb, and the “law of substitutability” – on twitter with my friend @SandyMaxey. It is indeed amazing, how much one can learn very quickly in a few tweets! Sandy reminded me about the toughness that some mothers have to develop, and how difficult it is to “balance fierceness with softness” in mothering. This made me think – at what point does toughness become a liability in our mothering roles? What happens to our spirit when we are in a long-term state of “fierceness” in our mothering?
From a spiritual perspective, we can talk about the concept of the universal “mothering” power. It is the power that manifests in the form of a universal spirit that cares for, nurtures and protects all of us. We can also choose to mirror this universal power at an individual level by putting these three mothering qualities into action. This universal mothering power has no gender – it is freely available to men and women alike, even though it may seem to manifest more strongly in women. I am compelled to share this quote:
The real religion of the world comes from women much more than from men – from mothers most of all, who carry the key of our souls in their bosoms. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
So, what is it that makes those who “mother” us the torch-bearers of spiritual influence? Or is that a gross generalization? What influence (positive or negative) have your mothering influencers had on your spiritual development? With the advances in technology, are the roles of “mothers” in society diminishing?
As has become custom, I invite all of you to join us on Sunday May 12th at our regular time of 9amET in our weekly #SpiritChat discussion on twitter. We will have a conversation on the Spirit of Mothering. The toughest job in the world.
For all of you who are in a mothering role, or those who nurture your mothering spirit, I salute you. The world is a kinder, gentler place for you being here. Thank you.
Update: Here is the html transcript and the pdf transcript for our twitter chat. Here are the questions asked during the live chat on Mothers and Mothering. If you weren’t able to make the chat (or even if you did), I welcome your answers in the comments. Thank you 🙂
Ready? Q1. What feelings/emotions does the word “Mother” invoke in you? #SpiritChat
Q2. What characteristic(s) of Mothering best define those who Mother(ed) you? #SpiritChat
Q3. What are some ways that you express your OWN Mothering instincts… #SpiritChat
Q4. What challenges may prevent the full expression of our own Mothering traits? #SpiritChat
Q5. How do we balance the “protective” and “letting go” instincts in our Mothering? #SpiritChat
Q6. It is easier to receive motherly love than to give of it. Agree or disagree? Why? #SpiritChat
Q7. Visualize an image of the Divine Universal Mother ~ what do you see? #SpiritChat
Q8. Time to send out a Mothering message of Love to the world… Please share. #SpiritChat