Dear Brave Souls: as Mother's Day comes here in the USA, it is a little like Valentine's Day, sometimes fallen far away from the honor that was meant for those who have brought children, and I want to say-- and/or love children, those who cherish children, help children, walk with children, whether from their bodies or not.
I want to gently note to the many women who wanted children and through a twist of fate that did not come to be through their own bodies...
It can be easy for some to patronize around this subject which can be a very tender subject for some of our sisters... but/and, I have a different idea about what makes a mother... I'm not convinced it is the bringing of a living child into the world. I more so see mother as one who holds the desire to shelter, teach, guard, guide a young one on this earth.
I know it is outre in some ways, but your dr. e. is often rebelde [rebel] against the overculture's often far too narrow definitions it tries to press on us all...
I see as mother any woman whose heart has wished to be so. I need no proof her heart is the heart of archetypal mother.
I see mother for each soul who connects with beings ... the same as I see artists, healers... that we came as artists to this earth. We don't become artists. We are born as such. We came as healers to this earth. We already are. We came as mothers to this world. We arrived that way. And... for all who seek, we are looking for ways to show this; mother, artist, teacher, healer... are all the same related archetype.
There are many ways to recognize the profound diamond of Great Mother that rests in each of us.
I've seen women ready to die to save their furry children, women who have been mother to hundreds of children at a time, women mothering the artful in everything, women hands on helping and walking with familial children.
I am not saying compensate in other ways for not bringing an actual child into this world. I'm saying the laurel of Mother is inborn, and that one has a right to be honored on mother's day at our table, for amongst the family women, we are all mothers in many ways, including grief of losing children, including having never married but in deep dedication to nurturing the child spirit in others within reach.
There are many ways. With or without actual children, I can promise there are sorrows. With and without children from one's body, there is tremendous life to tend to, to watch grow, for each woman's one of a kind way, and in most circumstances her tender mother-touch is sorely needed, no matter who or what or where it is aimed.
I've often thought it odd that for a long time in some cultures, males were called the 'father of' this and that, that had to do with endeavor, invention, contribution, walking with.
I think that was on the right track in terms of naming 'fathering' as related to all of life. Not only about penetrating eggs no matter how lovingly.
For women also the same. We are all 'the mother of' too, with full rights to that title. Mother of someone, the mother of an integral something, the wild, strong, nurturing and inventing, carrying the incubatory and birthing source of so so much mother.
I recognize all women as mothers IF and AS they wish-- to walk under that banner, amongst others. As each woman chooses, she can define herself as mother by birthright, by kindnesses ongoing, mothers by archetype shining down on us all, mother by fate often, yes, and also mother who pours her love on any and everything capable of life and growth, holiness and sweetness, mending and tending.
Not all may agree. But I hold that hombres con pechos, men with nourishing breasts, are in their own unique way, also carrying forward mothering into the world.
A couple decades back, the older I became, the less I understood the gender boundaries set in stone by overculture, held true. Rather it seems gender is more like a flowing river of currents woven together, masculine and feminine, yin and yang, depending on the day, the moment, however one is called by the Magnitude. Not decided exactly. Called. As mother. And as father. Both.
On this day, I give too along I know with many of you here, special recognition and blessing on those who are fresh from miscarriage or loss of born children, those who have lost a companion beloved. All of us recognize you and hold you as whole in the arms of Holy Mother.
To us old believers, we know The Mother holds the mothers with a tender arm around your shoulders. Many of us know. We truly do. And send every angel to your side to aid and comfort.
However you see it all, in whichever way fits for you, let it be blessed.
I send love. . .
Dr. CP Estés’ is an activist in service of the voiceless; as a post-trauma recovery specialist and psychoanalyst of 48 years clinical practice; and as a journalist covering stories of human suffering and hope.
She is Mestiza Latina [Native American/ Mexica Spanish], presently in her seventies. She grew up in the now vanished oral tradition of her war-torn immigrant, refugee families who could not read nor write, or did so haltingly, and for whom English was their third language overlying their ancient natal languages.