Today marks the second anniversary of my mother’s death.
Ours was an unusually complex relationship, with complete estrangement over twenty years ago. Despite the common cry of making amends by well-meaning acquaintances who do not know the depth of the family’s dysfuncionality, I have no regrets when it comes to this relationship, or lack thereof.
My mother was a victim of her times and of abuse. She was the poster child of body loathing and repression. I grew up surrounded by women’s magazines, and I confess, I still regularly take Woman’s World for their feel-good stories and their little strips of inspiration. It reminds me of a simple time when my paternal grandmother would clip the posts and pin them to the fridge, or tear out the Ziggy comics and pin them to her inspirational bulletin board in the sewing room.
My paternal grandmother was in touch with her power as a woman. She was wise, fierce, kind and strong. She lived fully and taught me what it meant to be my own person.
Times have not changed so much, and maybe even for the worse. Not only are we expected to manage our homes, but bear the burden of less feminine roles as well. We are still surrounded by racks full of magazines, air-brushed images of the female form, with covers that imply we are flawed; how to be thinner, how to be happier, how to please our men, how to de-stress so we can be all of the above. We are ingrained in a culture who continues to devalue the natural life-affirming work of women.
You may wonder what this has to do with the anniversary of my mother’s death. Everything.
I was raised by a woman who was estranged from her own beautiful, glorious and powerful self. I had a choice as a young woman, continue the trauma, or claim my own glorious divine feminine. I chose the latter.
So many of us hate our ankles, our bellies, our hair or our skin. We punish our bodies and ridicule our own needs. We ignore the call of primitive intuition, and we diminish the great power of fertility and motherhood.
We live in the world of magazine promises; to create a common, submissive self that perpetuates a world where our value and spiritual gifts are damned.
As the years passed and I healed into my own femininity, into my own woman, forgiveness came. My mother was not a bad mother as such, she was truly a victim of her times, of her inability to seize her own power, and grow into her own, always determining her own worth by the praise of abusive men.
On this Mother’s Day weekend, I hope that all of the women in my life, spend some quiet time, reflecting on their own beauty and how their body has served them well, their own natural, intuitive intelligence, and their own power to embrace the fullness of what it means to be a woman.
More than that, I hope that whether maiden, mother or crone, that all of the ladies reading this live each stage of life and every transition fully. I believe that is the secret to a well-lived life. That is the secret to having no regrets.