Everything is better with that little voice that tells you you are loved. You are okay. You are enough. I finally am able to hear that voice in my own head.
Don’t panic if this makes you think Mother’s Day is a week earlier than it actually is, but my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day share the same week, so the occasions nudge me to reflect on my journey of being a mom and having a mom.
Becoming a mom was like having a coconut dropped on my head labeled “self respect”. What I would once tolerate for myself I would not tolerate for this vulnerable being in my care. Becoming a parent opened a chamber in my heart invisible to me prior.
When I look back on the years my own mom fed, clothed and nurtured 4 children, I am in awe, knowing what I do now about what is involved in raising a single child. She parented in a stable partnership and I have not, but all the ways she made ends meet and was there for each of us feels like some great mysterious juju I barely understand.
The crazy thing is, despite having a loving mom, it has taken me decades to honor the voice that says you are enough, you are loved, you are okay as you are. When you care about anyone, it is difficult to watch them beat themselves up and be at war inside themselves. I see now what was in my head caused pain for others.
I believe feeling inadequate and self-critical is the most common struggle every human being deals with in our life here on Earth. I don’t know why some have a deeper battle with this than others. I’m sure there are many causes for each person. I wonder if one of the many causes for me is generational trauma I “absorbed”. A constant pressure to do or be something remarkable and never feeling I lived up to that was borne out of knowing my grandparents survived great struggles to remove themselves from Hitler’s vision of an Aryan race. They were survivors so my life could be. Now, I see everything as remarkable including myself. Hence, the name of this blog.
The even crazier thing is, my own child seems to not struggle with the same self-hatred I did. She has more social network, confidence, strength and balance in her pinky finger as a teen than I attained in 40 years. I have no idea what part I played in her being who she is, but I am grateful every day she is who she is and I get to be in her life.
Below is a little piece she wrote for an elementary school assignment years ago that helped me see myself in a new light. I still work as much, but weave in a lot more balance for physical health and activities I enjoy. One of my favorite memories from when she was two was finding her Binky in Buddha’s lap, placed on my little altar where I meditated. She wanted to put something she loved there.
Kind, patient, loving, helpful, fun – these are all good traits in a person. My mom has all these traits and more. She also feeds me, gives me shelter, buys me stuff, you know, typical Mom stuff. But maybe because she’s “my” mom and I wouldn’t be here without her, she is important and special to me.
My mom meditates and is very down to earth. She walks a lot and eats healthy, but she sometimes works sixty hours a week to have enough money for us, so when she does that I feel really bad for her because she doesn’t have a lot of time to get exercise so she feels really bad physically.
I love my mom and she loves me and I wouldn’t have her any other way.