In last week’s love note, I talked about my new mantra:
“It’s okay to move the cat.”
In short, I was exploring the tendency many of us have to let our inner mother/nurturer run the show pretty much all the time, even when it means we’re depleting and compromising our minds, bodies, and soulfire.
This week I want to expand on that a bit and explore another reason so many mothers rarely feel empowered:
We aren’t allowing our inner mother to mature.
Just as beauty standards in our culture are incredibly narrow, unrealistic, and unattainable, so are the ways we’re taught to think about the ideal mother:
She is organized, self-sacrificial, and hardworking. She is fit, ambitious, and composed no matter her circumstances. She’s figured out all the right routines, hacks, and skincare products to be able to thrive (and maintain aforementioned impossible beauty standards) despite the demands, narratives, stressors and oppressors coming from patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy. Oh, and she never burdens anyone with her needs. In fact, she hardly seems to have any because she’s basically superhuman.
Even when we’ve evolved our ideas of what it is to be a mother and we reject this dehumanizing version, we often stay stuck in a stage that doesn’t feel quite right for us. This is because we’re taught to fear aging, society doesn’t show us versions of healthy mature mothers, many of our own mothers don’t fit that description, and the older we get, the more invisible women become.
It can feel like our sense of belonging, our attractiveness and lovability, and our value to society depend on us NOT maturing.
But the truth is that everything that actually matters and leads to fulfillment and cultural healing requires that maturation process.
To let the mother within us mature is…
…to match our nurturance with rage and fury over harm and injustice.
…to be increasingly discerning about what is and isn’t for us.
…to strip away and heal from conditioning that keeps us overfunctioning and tolerating mistreatment.
…to admit our limitations and learn to be vulnerable.
…to affirm and trust her even when the world doesn’t.
…to protect her from people and situations that aren’t good for her, just as we do for our kids.
…to say no to many, many things and honor only the most important yes’s.
…to swim upstream and find others who are also working against the status quo.
…to feel in our bodies when it’s time to fight the good fight and when it’s time to rest.
The truth is that society needs our maturation. It desperately needs more mature, self-aware, lit-up mothers in their power, fiercely protecting their hearts, time, and resources, and clear on the unique medicine they bring.
Better with age,