“Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself
They come through you but not from you
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you…”
— from “On Children” by Khalil Gibran
Like all manufactured holidays, Mother’s Day is a setup for disappointment, loneliness, heartbreak, grief, inadequacy, longing, and shame. If you…
- are longing to be a mother
- have a painful or estranged relationship with your mother
- are divorced
- have lost your mother
- are scared that you won’t feel honored or celebrated by your partner and/or children
…this day will likely trigger pain.
So let’s start with a virtual hug, and a deep, slow breath as you name the pain and remember that you’re not alone.
Let’s now imagine that everyone in pain is joining together in a collective circle of heartache, and, holding hands across the globe, we practice a few minutes of Tonglen: hand on heart breathing into the ache, and on the exhale breathing out the opposite or what’s needed: comfort, a hug, love. We can practice Tonglen as many times throughout the day as we need to.
For those who carry a mother wound, this day can carry a particular sting and a hornet’s nest of confusion. How do you honor your mother when you’re filled with grief, anger, and disappointment about the ways she couldn’t meet and see you? There are no easy answers, no one-size-fits-all approach. But when we can name the wound, we might have a better idea about how to approach this fraught day.
In this week’s Gathering Gold episode, Victoria and I explore the mother wound in its tender, painful, personal, and collective layers. I share my gentle approach to exploring the mother wound, which includes compassion for the generations of mothers harmed by the patriarchy and an embrace of “good enough” mothering. I also offer a definition and some signs and symptoms of the mother wound, as well as poetry that speaks to my own mother-longings. Victoria and I reflect on lessons learned from the book Wise Child, by Monica Furlong, and its beautiful depictions of Great Mother love that can help us reclaim our power and free ourselves and each other.
I hope you listen to the episode and find solace in it. And if you’re ready for the deep yet gentle roadmap on how to begin to heal or heal the next layers of the mother wound, please join us for the next live round of Healing the Mother Wound: A 40-day course for daughters, which starts on May 28th, 2022. I only offer this course once a year, and very much look forward to connecting with you and guiding you on this most empowering journey of healing.