In a World Filled with Mothers

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Being a mother has been my greatest gift, and I’m certain that I’m not the only mommy that would make this statement.  My children have molded me from a child into a woman.  They have given me more life than I physically gave them.  It’s because of my son and daughter (wise, accepting and loving) that I have discovered myself rooted into the ground that once seemed infinitely shaky.  They are also the reason I cherish my own mother even more today than ever.  

At a very young age I played with and loved my dolls like I was their mom.  I changed their diapers, fed them, rocked them, sang to them and gave them names that I enjoyed saying aloud.  I named my son several years before he was even born.  I was dreaming of being a mother long before I was a teenager.  It was something innate within me that yearned to give life, to teach, to love and to guide.  When I was gifted with both a son and a daughter, just like my mother and her mother before her, I was elated.  But being a mother is not as easy as holding, and fake feeding a doll.  It means you have to be a mother to yourself first, and I lacked these skills for a very long time.  I grew up while my children were growing up.  I made mistakes worse than my own parents made with me, and often cursed myself for falling short as a mom.  The one thing that never changed, however, was how much my children loved me regardless of my shortcomings, which is why I made a choice to grow up and to learn to love myself so that I could spend the remainder of their lives honoring them.

Without a mother’s love a child is lost.  We are the life chord our children’s hearts.  Mothers are the spirit of the planet, drawing in and extending out love that unites and connects the world.  For the mothers out there who have a difficult time with love because of the abuse that they have endured, love must come from within.  Love must be given to yourself, from yourself first and foremost before it can be delivered outward.  This is a difficult endeavor to love yourself, when you have been taught that you are worthless. But when you look into your child’s face, they are reflecting your own worth, which is eminent.  Let your child lead the way back to yourself.  Let them teach you to love the way you were never loved.  For they are our greatest teachers. 

For the women in the world without children, I have discovered that you are mothers to many.  I have had moms delivered to me in times of need who have never held their own infant.  Mothers come in so many different forms, even in the hearts of dads who raise children on their own.  To be a mother means to be filled with infinite love for someone other than yourself, but to love yourself enough to extend that love through you.  It is a circle of being, and of giving.  It is what makes this world go ’round.

I love my mother, who has not only given me life, but who has also given me dynamic depth.  When looked upon with clarity, the challenges we have faced together were a path toward overcoming inner obstacles that were holding us back from greater dimensions of our lives.  We entered into each other’s lives to become better people, to show each other the way; to poke and prod one another into noticing what we need to face in ourselves.  It has been difficult, but now that it is clear to me that my mom was my greatest advocate for my spiritual growth, I treasure her more than ever.  I wouldn’t have chosen a different mom.  She was the one, and she’s done her job with honors.

Mothers are amazing human beings, although none of us are perfect.  Even the moms who give their children up for adoption are offering the most unselfish love to their child.  It is what a mother is.  When we do our job correctly, we are unselfishly loving.  I’m so grateful today that I’m one of the mothers out there who is deliberately making the world a much better place.  Peace to all you mothers today!

 

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Devistating News and The Story of the Monk

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The irony of getting my life together, is that my children’s father has gone on a downward swing in the meantime.  This isn’t the first time this has happened.  When we got divorced, it was because he was mixed up in meth, and I couldn’t help him.  He pulled himself out of it, we became close again, and then I spiraled out on alcohol.  Up and down; up and down, the pendulum swings between us.  It’s like the extreme ebb and flow of parenting in recovery and relapsing.  I’ve spent nearly three years sober, and I’ve been diligent this time around.  I’m not going to relapse again, but I wasn’t expecting a phone call like I received yesterday.

We’ve been divorced for ten years, but we’re raising children, so we try to keep a civil relationship.  He has supposedly been sober for several years now.  He disappeared in September, and I suspected a relapse.  I expected a phone call, any minute, that he was dead, but it was his voice on the other end of the phone yesterday… “Hey Red,” (his nickname for me), “I’m in a lot of trouble.  I relapsed and I’m going to be spending some time in state prison.  Possibly two years or more.  My court date is in a month and a half…”

The weird thing was, I didn’t flip out on him for disappearing.  He is like a brother to me, and the love I have for him is unconditional. I totally understand addiction, and I know what he is feeling is one hundred times worse than anything I could say to him.  I practice living in the moment, and being in total acceptance of whatever it is that comes my way.  I trust the Universe is constantly supporting me, so I surrender, but I cannot deny that I am devastated; hurt; saddened; heart broken, stressed and anxiety stricken. 

There is story I keep in the back of my mind for situations like this.  It’s about a monk who lives by himself in a village.  One day a baby is delivered to him by the angry parents of a girl who says the monk impregnated her.  The monk takes the baby in without question, saying, “so be it,” and for several years he raises her.  When she is a toddler, the parents come back with their daughter and apologize to the monk; for he is not the father.  The girl was afraid to tell the truth about her pregnancy, and in order to keep a boy from getting into trouble, she lied and blamed the monk.  The family took the toddler back into their care, and the monk, without question says, “so be it,” and goes about his business.

I believe the monk practiced, “Life on life’s terms,” beyond anything that I could ever imagine “being,” but I’m giving it the good ole’ college effort today.  It is not for me to judge what comes my way in this human experience of mine.  If I am open to receiving, and trusting in a higher purpose for my life, I should ask no questions.  I should trust that this is par for the course of my recovery.  I won’t sit here and lie about how I felt yesterday.  It was the first time in a long time that a shot of alcohol tempted me in my disoriented state of shock and anxiety.  I reached out, however, and told on myself for these alcoholic fantasies I was having.  They were old tapes playing.  Back in the day, receiving news like this would have been a perfect reason to drink.  I’m still shedding old skins and practicing NOT picking up a drink.  This was good practice.

Four months of a meth relapse, and my ex is looking at state prison time.  Our daughter will be well into her teens when he gets released, and our son will be an adult.  I will be in my forties.  The old part of me wants to scream at the top of my lungs and slap this man who is supposed to be a father to my children, but the recovering person in me wants to be like that monk in the village.  I remind myself today that I am not in control.  I’m not the conductor of my life; I’m merely a passenger on a spiritual journey.