Mother Isn’t Just a Noun, It’s a Verb
- May 15th, 2019
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In the post I published earlier this month, I spoke about the vital importance of acknowledging, appreciating and celebrating our mothers for giving us the essentially unpayable gift of life.
In this post, I’m shifting the focus from the idea of the “mother” as a noun to the notion of “mother” as a verb. The fact is, our mothers are only responsible for parenting us in the earlier stages of our lives. As we grow (and hopefully mature!) as adults, that responsibility falls squarely on our shoulders.
And let’s face it: Every one of us has aspects of our selves that weren’t adequately developed, lovingly encouraged or fully nurtured—and that’s just because mothers are human beings too who do the best they can with what they know and what they have given their particular circumstances and their unique histories.
So without deflating, denigrating or disparaging our mothers in any way, but simply recognizing the limits of our shared humanity, the task of attending to ourselves in ways that allow us to reach our full potential is ultimately ours.
And this act of mothering ourselves is not complicated. We engage in countless tiny and spontaneous acts of mothering every day when we care for a beloved pet, look after a sick friend, tend to a growing business or hold an errant subordinate to account. We know how to do these things innately—yet we withhold such acts of cherishing from ourselves.
So this second half of May, I invite you to examine what it is in you that remains unparented. It could be a dream, a hobby, a talent or even an aspect of your personality that was abandoned, denied or suppressed because of practical considerations, familial expectations or social obligations. If this dream, this hobby, this talent or this part of yourself were a small child, how would you tend to it? In what ways could you care for it, nurture it and protect it? In what ways does this child want you to raise it, so that some day, it can look back and say: “I’m only here because of my mother. And my mother is who I am.”
May you find delight, joy and love in the ongoing task of mothering yourself.
P.S. If you want to explore this subject of mothering yourself more deeply, just click here!
Photo courtesy of Suhyeon Choi.