A few years ago I was standing in the middle of a picturesque little-town cemetery, talking to my deceased grandmother, and to my mother who was out of the country. I imagined we were all standing there together looking back over our lifetimes and the lives of those before us and then to the generations that will follow.
My heart went out to Goldie, my Granny’s mother who was killed by a drunk driver while sitting on her front porch while her daughters looked on.
I wondered at the life experiences that one tragic moment put into motion for my Granny and her sisters, the events that led them to form their fears and hopes about their own place in a future family. And how it may have launched the abandonment mentality of several generations…And like so many of our diverse life situations, Goldie’s life was taken and her children may not have known, in their need, that she didn’t plan to leave them.
I saw the ways that I had been afraid to feel or to take the risk of demonstrating dependence on loved ones after experiencing loss. I saw my mother’s tears of disappointment and the years of her struggles to feel loved. And I saw her eyes and the eyes and faces of those dear ones, who through their struggles, gave far more of themselves because of their love for their children, than they thought possible.
Then I saw timelessness. Mothers, taking turns in the stages of life and now Goldie and Granny are elsewhere. But there we were together and I felt as if I could see the plain of our existence lying even, the years as if they were a moment. I could see that each of us had a set of challenges completely unique to us as individuals and that they were an integral part of our mothering. We had each given everything we could within our limitations and,
It was and is enough.
We were and are loved. We have been wounded, we have fought on. We have dealt with the uncertainties of life and made our best attempt at loving,
And it is enough.
Standing there I could see the deficits being be filled-in. The wounds healing. The limits being expanded. And all things working together for our good. And now or in a future day, our love being perfectly expressed.
So this weekend is coming….the day we may anticipate with some trepidation and maybe a few strange expectations. (Can you relate to this thinking about Mother’s Day?)
With this memory of my mothers revived in my heart, I’m focusing on the “brain boundaries” that I have set for myself. Like zero tolerance for listening to a cutting, negative ruminating voice. No more inviting in of the wicked little thoughts that may seem true, but are skewed deceptions aimed at destroying my peace. About every mistake I made as a parent. About the pains, the problems, the perceived failures large or small. On Mother’s Day or any day.
And then the zero tolerance for the comparing voice. (Yes, that is the devil himself.) Comparing is judging wickedly. There is no other adjective that will cover it.
It’s time to prepare to have a happy weekend and I propose that we can do it in two simply stated (and with practice simple-to-do) steps:
- choose, then commit, to attend to the tender voice of encouragement and no other!
- intentionally fill ourselves up with the sweet-smelling blossoms of self-love, self-acceptance and validation instead of waiting for someone else to deliver the bouquet.
It’s interesting, because as I look at those two steps, I see that the first makes the second possible! When we’re marinating in negativity, there’s no chance for any sweet-smelling, beautiful thought or feeling to get through! This is the greatest part of being an agent. We choose what we allow into our minds. If we’re sloppy, negligent or permissive with our own mental boundaries, we can immediately feel the pain of self-allowed victim hood. Ouch! Step one clears the stage and step two brings in the beauty! “I am loved.” “I love my family!” “My continued efforts are enough.” “I am important and my feelings matter.” “I am strong.” “I can learn.” “I love my life!”
Here we are in our time, in our turn. We are going to struggle. We are going to mess up because we’re human. But we can choose to live “in love” and not to go out of love because we allow ourselves to be deceived and manipulated into self-criticism, perfectionism or apathy. As mothers we choose to love, and it’s our listening ear, our validating responses, our boundaries, our example of kindness and strength…not our perfection…that will transcend our time here and leave a legacy.
Here’s my recipe for today:
The way to have a Mother’s Day or any day that feels like a grand celebration is to become a Lioness at the door of your mind.
Eyes open, heart open and a kind, gentle, respectful and firm Lioness at the Door of your mind.
Happy Mother’s Day to my Moms, and to all you fellow moms!
I’m sending you lots of love!
P.S. If you haven’t read I Don’t Have To Make Everything All Better by Gary B. and Joy Saunders Lundberg, now would be a great time!