Finding the Mother Within
Everyone is born from a mother. And, even if individuals are separated from their biological mothers after birth, ideally they receive care from someone who took on that nurturing role, providing safety, nourishment, and unconditional love. In infancy, such needs are often met by a mother figure, a person able to devote herself fully to responding to the baby’s feelings of discomfort. The attention and feedback that the mother gives her child is integral in helping him grow into adulthood with a healthy sense of self.
In his book, Free to Love, Free to Heal, Dr. David Simon writes, “We feel comfort, happiness, and pleasure when we are getting our needs met. We feel distress, sadness and pain when we are not. All emotions derive from needs.” As children are not physically and emotionally capable of meeting all their own needs, raising them is no small task. Consequently, by putting others’ needs ahead of their own, mothers can become depleted, especially when they lack proper support. In fact, for all of us, the stress and imbalances that can result from raising children, working, and tending to other daily tasks can make us feel we have fewer resources from which to draw.
When we are feeling overwhelmed, we can help ourselves by shifting the way we look at our situations and thinking about how we can nurture ourselves in the way a mother would care for her child. If we look at ourselves through the eyes of unconditional love, we can identify what our own unmet needs may be and take on the responsibility of nourishing ourselves in ways that would enhance well-being. For mothers who are feeling weary, this means looking for ample support from others such as extended family, friends, community members, and other caregivers to assist with their children, and then taking time to meet their own needs.
As we get into the habit of meeting our own needs, we can establish and build on a strong foundation for a vitality-enhancing lifestyle, one that includes a healthy diet, ample sleep, and routine exercise, as well as meditation and spending time in nature.
To be fulfilled and enjoy a happy life, we can look to the relationship between mother and child as a wonderful example, and from this, find ways to nurture ourselves to feel our best.
Embrace the Divine Mother within you!