On Mothering

Mother’s Day is an important day to acknowledge our mothers. Everyone has one, and if we’re fortunate, we have a good relationship with our mothers, or good memories, or both. But many of us have had a difficult relationship with our mothers, which can make us bitter or unfeeling about the idea of mother.

I believe that my mother did the very best job she could as a mother. She might have been limited by her own life experience, less than optimum choices, or bad luck. But in all relationships, we can focus on the good aspects and then wrap the wounds in forgiveness and celebrate whatever remains. As a father and grandfather, I also know that there is pain and difficulty in the job of parent or grandparent, and I give myself and my lineage a large dollop of love and compassionate empathy.

But each of us, men and women, have a feminine side to what Karl Jung called our “collective unconscious,” which is the seed of our nurturing, sensitivity, compassion, and selflessness. Some of us, like myself, have given organs to save others in dire need. I am proud of that level of selfless nurturing. It is part of my most profound mothering nature, which I also celebrate on Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day should also be a day to uplift the stories of mothers who have lost children at whatever stage of development or life. Also, for those of us, the donors who have been wounded by our donations. Mother’s Day can also be a time of remembrance and acknowledgment by expanding our thinking about the purpose of Mother’s Day. We can make it a spiritual time wherein our consciousness can heal and draw our communities together, rather than drive wedges between us by making us feel cut out of the circle of love the day engenders.

Finally, although Earth Day was last month, may we also take this opportunity to honor, connect to and cherish Mother Earth. She is the Great Mother of us all. May our actions, words, songs, and thoughts serve to stimulate urgent action to heal her many compounding poisonings. May we love her fiercely while there is still time to reverse the dreadful imbalance we have caused to her fragile atmosphere with its resulting shocking climate change.