One cannot get through a Mother’s Day weekend without at least recognizing that mothers’ jobs go well beyond the scope of any other job in the world. We are also inundated with that retail push to buy presents and send our mothers flowers or a card, right? Well, what about those of us who buried our mothers? How do we continue to honor them?
We can be sad, lament the loss, wish for them, long for them, and reminisce. We can visit cemeteries, lay fresh flowers or trinkets, look at old pictures, and fill our conversations with mentions of them. And when we do these things, we feel great mixtures of feelings ranging from anger or regret to a deep longing driven by love alone. This day, if you are one of the ones who cannot treat your mother to lunch or a long phone conversation, I invite you to explore some spiritual ideas with me.
When a person dies, the physical self—the body only—ceases to function. The life force exits, and with it goes the brain function and the blood flow. But the life force—that which drove and inspired matters of the heart—cannot die, it merely exits. Regardless of religious or spiritual (or lack thereof) upbringing, very few people believe that death ends it all. Even many non-believers feel that something carries forward, if only for a brief period of time.
As we all reflect upon what our mothers provided for us when they were alive, I invite you all to go one step further this Mother’s Day.
Today, as you think of your mom, really push yourself to go deeper. Don’t stop with the memory of the time she taught you to drive a car, or of the arguments that you two had over nothing, or of the moment of her death and just how your heart felt like it would never recover. Go into the memory. Allow or push yourself into the memory and the feeling that you felt on that day, that night, that moment of the memory. See if you can call forth any smells or any sounds that surround that memory. Close your eyes and re-experience that incident, that instance that your brain has called forth.
Do you remember the first time your heart was broken? Do you recall how your mother consoled you? Can you feel how deeply you hurt and yet how the touch and love that your mother gave unconditionally seemed to help with the catharsis of the moment? Her hug opened something so abysmal in you that you thought the world was collapsing, and then you knew that if it did, your mom would be there with you. What about when you were sick? Can you recall how just having her soothing words healed your illness? Don’t stop there. Feel it. Remember as you had a high fever just how she nurtured you back to health, easing your worries, abating your fears. Know the feeling again of being that vulnerable child and trusting wholly and totally in the care your mother would give. Pick any memory and go all the way into it, and allow yourself the full feelings.
You may be unable to recall precisely the events that actually happened in your memory and that is okay, simply go within and allow the feelings to bubble up.
In the remembering, our brains are able to connect us to frozen moments in time, where we can relive anything we have ever felt. We can use this anytime we desire. It is always available to us. We can recall the facts only or we can go further and step into the feelings, which is the way to connect to those people and the essence of who they were.
This day, as you remember your mothers, take more than a moment of thinking of them. Take many moments and reconnect with them. Feel the pain you felt and feel the love that replaced it during those difficult and tumultuous adolescent years when the world didn’t make sense and your mother stood beside you. Meet with respect that powerful woman who brought you here out of love, and know that she is a part of you forever. Step fully into a spiritual connection with the one who loved you the most from the first time she ever felt your presence inside her womb.
If you are overcome with tears at the memories, allow yourself to be comforted by the knowing that she is never far from your own essence. Take refuge in the fact that she is not sitting alone in the cemetery waiting on your visit, because she is within the things you do and the thoughts you observe. Look around you and when something occurs or you notice something that takes your thoughts directly to her, revel in the possibility that she put it there, and that she is still connecting with you from some place that is totally ineffable and outside our current scope of understanding. Know that she continues to try to get your attention, and that some days you just need to stop your busy-ness and allow the connection to penetrate your whole being.
This day, I invite you to engage in an activity that your mother taught you, or that she enjoyed doing. I invite you to fix a meal that she enjoyed or that you have fond memories of her having prepared. Hold an object that was hers and imagine the many times she also held it. Look at old pictures and try to recreate the day they were taken and all the things she represented or what she may have felt. Imagine her sitting with you right here reading this over your shoulder and smiling that you are honoring her as more than just a memory in your brain but more of an energetic essence that will always be present at will. When you fix that meal or engage in that activity, don’t be afraid to speak to your mother, or invite her input. Don’t be afraid to ask for her help in remembering just how much of which ingredient her favorite dish required. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel moved to add something you never knew was in that dish, because moms often had secret ingredients. Allow whatever ideas you have about how to spend this Mother’s Day honoring your own mother. Allow those ideas to come forth because mothers never stop being mothers even after their deaths.
And if you are also a mother, teach your own children that after you are gone you expect them to invite you back, to still call on you for help, to accept your advice, and to honor you on this day of each year at the very least.
Laurie M. Knight, author of Journal to the Center of the Soul, can be reached through her new business site, www.HealingCenterEd.com. She can also be reached through www.Facebook.com/LaurieMillerKnight, www.Facebook.com/JournaltotheCenteroftheSoul.com, www.Facebook.com/HealingCenterEd.com.
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