Mothering ourselves can be a bit tricky to navigate. First, we have to removed the gendered identity of thinking love is a womanly “soft” love. Instead we have to think of it as universal, ebb and flow, tough and ease – a dichotomy of emotional stances we must build within ourselves in order to grow and develop. For example, a child doesn’t need an adult to softly speak ‘stop’ when they are about to burn themselves, they need that adult to go snatch them away from the fire. That is mothering too. And it also does not have to come through a woman – mothering is the nurturing needed at the moment and it is intuitive, but not always painless.
I realized I was mothering myself, not out of an absence of motherly love (though for some that is a starting point) but out of the desire to become who I truly am and to sincerely and earnestly be loved by ME. Self love and adoration through your intuitive needs is the ultimate Mothering of Self because it requires reflection, honesty and changed behavior and it comes from a universal source that is here to nourish your highest self.
When I was determining if I should stay in my EdD program or leave, I decided that I should leave because it was not in my best interest at the time. My Inner Mother, in all her wisdom, showed me that my opportunities to learn and grow were endless. Leaving the program gave me time and space to spend more time with my daughter and with myself. Ultimately, this decision was for my highest good. Whether we have had a great relationship with our mothers or not, learning to love ourselves for ourselves is something that while it can be modeled must be practiced.
I want to share with you some ways you can and do “Mother yourself” today and everyday.
***stop giving a damn about people’s opinions. Their opinions are a demonstration of what they think and where they are psychologically. If what they think bothers you then you share their feelings about this thing on some level. Meditate on that. Seek a deeper understanding for and of yourself and what was once spewed at you will not hold any weight anymore.
****Audre Lorde was a fierce defender of self-determination and definition. In fact, the term “Mothering Ourselves” is most popularly known from one of her essays called “Eye to Eye”. In this same spirit we must take personal responsibility for our present state of mental, physical and spiritual health. We define how we want to live our lives and how we want it to look. If you are in agreement with everything, maintain. If you are not, it is not your critics fault, though you can still shut you critic down for being an idiot.
****Do not use social media as your diary to see how many likes you can garner. Your life is not about being liked by anyone but yourself.
****Be honest with how you feel, including to yourself with reflection and thoughtfulness. Do this just the way you would want someone else to speak to you or you need to speak to yourself in order to be in practice of radical self love and healing. Our missteps are our guides into something better.
****Don’t mind making mistakes so much, as long as you process why you did what you did and how it affects how you feel about yourself and treat yourself and others. Reflection is a powerful tool. Incorporating lessons from mis-steps in life is critical. Observing and reflecting on others mis-steps without judgement is a depth of wisdom.
**** Stare at yourself in the mirror and affirm yourself.
**** Take from and teach the lessons from your mis-steps. Teaching is learning.
****Practice reciprocity. Give credit where it is due. Pay people their worth because in doing so you are relating to the universe that you are clear about your own worth and are worthy to be exalted for your work.
****Slow down. If you rush through life, you will miss the opportunities to do all of the above.
This list is NOT exhaustive of all the things a woman can to do Mother herself. In this world where women are expected to play respectability Mothering yourself will look like a mess to some and liberation to others but will feel like bliss to you and that is all that really matters.
Leave a comment with some testimonies on how you are/have been deeply loving yourself.
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