All Given Out

Like many of you, morning is the time when I seem to have the most epiphanies. Those moments just after waking, before I get my mind in gear; they are such a gift. Just recently, as part of my new manifesting process, I made a commitment to myself to devote those first minutes each morning giving thanks.

This focus has had some surprising benefits beyond what I had originally expected. One is healing from deep emotional pain that I thought I’d just have to live with. One such healing occurred a couple of mornings ago and it involved mothering. Because the holidays are here complete with all the angst and apprehension of family gatherings, I thought I’d share this healing story. After all, wouldn’t it bee better to look forward to rather than dreading seeing the family again?

Motherhood Contract: The Unread Fine Print

It’s kinda funny that one of the most important relationships we will ever enter into comes with an invisible contract. As I understand it, this contract is made in the Interlife (the time between lifetimes). The souls of the mother child not only enter into this contract, they also script the roles each will play. The purpose is soul growth; both agreeing to mirror the beliefs and behaviors each needs to see in order to change. We can’t see or read this contract yet we know in our hearts that we are bound to it as sure as the air we breathe.

Then there is the matter of the fine print. For the mother’s part, the fine print states that she will nuture, nurture, nurture (give, give, give) and continue to do so until the day that child dies. The mother’s nurturing teaches the child by example how to nurture him/herself and others. In an ideal situation, the time comes when the child begins giving back. It’s that sweet spot when the mother feels fulfilled and proud of her mothering skills while basking in the love and nurturing her child gives. Yes, that is an ideal situation…but since we are here on Earth to grow beyond the limitations we created in our previous lives, we sign up for something less. That “something less” is what a poorly nurtured woman becomes a mother.

The Empty Bucket

I once had a spirit guide that taught me about what I came to call, the Love Bucket. The Love Bucket is a metaphor for the heart and the amount of love that we have in our heart. When we are sufficiently nurtured as a child, our love bucket is filled to capacity. When a girl with a half full bucket becomes a mother, she is only able to fulfill part of her child’s nurturing requirements. How this translates in real life varies with each relationship, but generally speaking, the nurturing is sporadic and unpredictable leaving the child unsure as to when or how nurturing will occur.

When thinking that morning about what I wanted to give thanks for, the first person who came to mind was my mom. As I wrote in previous messages, ours was a difficult relationship. I learned early that I could neither count on receiving nurturing, nor expect to receive it freely. In other words, nurturing came with a price. In other words I was taught that in order to receive nurturing, I had to “be for my mom” in some way.

Needless to say I grew to adulthood with an near empty love bucket. Not only that, I learned to be highly suspicious of any nurturing offered, fully expecting there to be a price. I’m not saying this for you to feel sorry for me; I’m saying it as a way to describe the depth of the pain that was about to be healed.

Back to the epiphany …

As I went through a list of things I appreciated about my mother, one came to mind that I had not ever realized: she was all given out. This thought led to a review of my childhood, but this time from my mother’s perspective. I saw a woman struggling to stay in a marriage with a man who caused her unrelenting stress due to his unpredictable angry outbursts. Because we didn’t realize that a head injury had damaged my dad’s frontal lobe causing an inability to control anger, my mom had come to believe he was simply a mean man. The marriage that had been so full of promise had become a prison with new bars added with each new child.

I didn’t realize before just how strong my mother was. Having grown up with a half empty love bucket herself, and despite the unrelenting demands of six kids, compounded by chronic stress and depression, she had stayed the course. When many mothers would have turned to drugs, alcohol or just took off, my mom did not. Instead she hung in there and kept giving. This awareness was important that morning because it was the piece I needed in order to heal not only the pain from my mother’s behavior during my childhood, but that of her most recent behavior as well.

My mom is now at the point in her life where she needs someone to check in on her. I make sure that I talk to her at least once a week. Twice in the last several months Mom changed her phone number and not informed me. I had to call one of her neighbors to get the new number. Just recently she has stopped answering her phone altogether.

To me it appears that she is trying to tell me that she no longer wants to talk to me. Words cannot fully convey the pain that caused; it triggered all the hurt from all the times I so desperately needed her, only to be shut out. But now, with my new awareness I realized that her actions were not about how much she did or didn’t love me; instead, they were about her struggle to live and find some sense of happiness.

I realized that my mom’s inability to consistently nurture was because she was struggling so hard to keep herself together so that she could keep our family together. That left little energy for nurturing her kids. And now, at 83 years old, grappling with depression and congestive heart failure, she just had nothing left to give; not even the energy to hold a conversation on the phone.

Instead of being hurt and angry, I now felt compassion for her struggle, admiration for her strength, and appreciation for the love she was able to give.

In closing, being thankful is a not only a good thing to do in order to manifest, when given daily it can produce profound and life-changing epiphanies that lead us to deeper healing.