Let’s talk about pedestals and comparisons and jealousy. Then, let’s take it a step further and talk about racism and sexism and hate. Everything is on the same spectrum. When we make ourselves separate, by hiding, comparing, and judging, we are part of the problem. If you don’t know what to do, start by remembering who you are.
How many times have you compared yourself to a friend or fellow mom today? What did you read on facebook, or see at the park, or witness at the coffee shop that made you separate yourself from someone else – either by feeling elevated about what you would do differently, or by loathing and condemning yourself for not being good enough? We all do it, especially in the mom-world, where advice about how to take care of our children and our own bodies is like a 24 hour open sign, constantly flashing and buzzing in the background, if not right in our face.
Information overload is an epidemic, and I wonder if we really understand the full effect on our psyches. Information is not only abundant, it is immediate and constant. Within a 5 minute period on my phone, I’ll read about what to eat, how long to breastfeed, and the latest political crisis. It’s easy to feel at once overwhelmed and inadequate.
But what if there is no difference between what’s going on “out there” and what’s going on inside you? What if they are one and the same? If you hate yourself, you will pass on hatred to others – your family, your spouse, a stranger. If you feel you are not worthy, no one will be able to live up to your expectations. If you are broken, you cannot make the world whole.
These are our insecurities – our fears that we are not good enough or we don’t know what to do. But what if, during times of loss or confusion or crisis, we focus on our collective inspiration instead of our fears?
As mothers, what inspires us?
Falling in love
Watching them grow
Creating something out of nothing
Just as these principles inspire our daily actions as mothers, they also inspire the world to be good.
Whether you’re at an organized peace rally, or a neighborhood block party, I promise you, there is someone near you, and they are in pain. Either due to the collective pain of current society, or the personal pain of their own experience, people everywhere are in pain. And it doesn’t matter if the pain is Universal or personal – the only difference between personal pain and collective pain is the number of victims who suffer from the destruction. Someone with their own personal pain can create just as much damage for an individual as an entire crowd can cause for a race, community, or oppressed group.
Pain, like love, needs to be fed in order to grow. Cultivating compassion and understanding in our homes and within ourselves feeds the collective soul of the planet, and ripples out to every being and every species on Earth. But our fears that we are not right, not worthy, or not intelligent, will prevent us from demonstrating our power. When it comes to motherhood, we fear that we are not a good mom. We fear that we hate our screaming infant. We fear that we don’t like breastfeeding. We fear that we no longer love our partner.
In politics, maybe we fear we are, in fact, part of the problem. We might be sexist. We might be racist. We’ve never accepted it because we’ve never thought to look at it from a place of compassion and forgiveness.
Our role as mothers and as humans is to live out our purpose, according to our truest inspiration. If something makes you angry, say it. If you ache with sadness or shake with rage, own it. Hugging your children at the end of a long day feels freeing because it is the truth. Don’t underestimate the ripple effect of being true to who you are, and not being afraid to admit it. As mothers, and as women, we don’t need to cut ourselves away in order to hide from our truth and what we want. We don’t need to give to the point of keeping nothing for ourselves. Instead of focusing on our separateness, by judging and comparing, we need to focus on our shared inspiration – love, nourishment, and humanity. Our collective spirit as nurturers, caregivers, and teachers is what will save us, and in turn, save the world.
Photo Credit: Samantha Davis Photography