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The simplicity of nurturing...

Did you know that most of the world's languages use some version of "mama" as their word for mother? Apparently, it has to do with the "mmm" murmurings of the infant during feeding, which associates "mama" with food, but we know that mothering goes far beyond mere nutritional sustenance. Mothering is nurturing, in whatever form it takes, whether it be from a friend, relative, Gaia, pet or even child, we can all recall times that we have been "fed" by the love of others. To quote Carolyn Bergen's article, "mothering is an attitude," and not about biology.

If I could, I would bring a bouquet to every person in my life who has contributed to my development and sense of worthiness!

Such displays of gratitude are very nice - I mean, who doesn't love an expression of appreciation? However, the simplicity of mere presence is all that really needs to be done. Mother's Day founder, Anna Jarvis, spent her later years trying to eradicate the very honoring day she put in place when she saw how commercialized it had become. She felt that gifts were easy substitutes for spending actual time with mom. Therefore, a phone call, a visit, a Zoom works... whatever communication that says, "You matter to me - thank you!" is what really counts.

Of course, the biggest mothering job of all is learning to mother ourselves, a job that can take a lifetime. We all carry wounds (many unintended) from those who have parented us, and those memories are ours alone to resolve. Learning to love ourselves unconditionally while still holding the bar high enough for growth is a challenge, but gets easier the more it is practiced.

There's no such thing as the perfect mother, as I learned in graduate school while I was pregnant with my firstborn. What I was taught then was the concept of the "good enough" mother, an idea that sustained me throughout my mothering years on the many days when I felt I had fallen short in my nurturing capacities. Mothering myself meant I needed to forgive myself for my trip-ups and trust that my underlying devotion to my children would carry the day. I'm still mothering myself and others, as I'm sure you are, whether you're a parent or not. This process never stops because it is the wellspring of Life itself, for to love is all. Blessings to you and the many ways you care! Have a beautiful week. :) Infinite blessings, Hope

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