Mothering is not a role; it is love. The role of mothering can be from love, but doesn’t have to be. You can look around the world and see women in the roles of mother, whom we can easily judge ought not to have this privilege. Animals, as well, occupy mothering roles as they care for their offspring just until the little ones are capable of surviving on their own.
When the role of motherhood is coveted more than the ability to express our inner love, it can become an energetic obstruction in the body/mind. We want what we don’t have, and don’t want what we have. This produces a tremendous amount of stress in the body/mind, which the energy of love does not produce. At our last retreat, one woman stated that her highest aspiration was to learn to love herself. Within two days, she had recognized and began living from the strength of this self love.
I recently was discussing with a friend of mine how I didn’t occupy the role of motherhood very gracefully, as far as conventional standards go. Each of my three children would agree that I wasn’t a typical cookie, soccer, PTA mom. They would also agree, that I did not put my children first. As much as I was able, their needs were cared for. They were and are fiercely loved. And I hope from this modeling they learned to pattern the ability to always put themselves first. I know this is not highly valued in our society. Women especially are taught that it is esteemed to put others first: your spouse, your family, your children, your boss, your work, your friends, your reputation, etc.
It comes as a great shock to step out of these roles that have become carriers of your esteem. What if you were none of these roles? What if your worth came only from yourself? Some wise sages throughout the ages have made this very declaration:
Be a light unto yourself.
Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is within.
To thine own self be true.
Do not lie or do what you dislike.
Be as you are.
Attend only to the sense of your own being.
Can you imagine what it would be like if you were to be fully and wholeheartedly responsible only to the truth within? You would be responsible for your life, your health, your fertility, your happiness. Do you really want this? When one learns to live from this inner truth, the world tends not to be so problematic. Our minds tend not to cause us disturbance. But the price is we no longer can blame anyone or anything for our unhappiness.