In seven days we have an opportunity to celebrate mothers. And yet it is also an opportunity to celebrate the motherly qualities in all of us regardless whether we have children, regardless whether we are women or men.
What are we really celebrating on this day other than make florists happy? Mothers are adored as so special on this day but then “mother” is often for many a power-packed mixed baggage, a mix of idealized, expected and experienced motherly qualities. Our many interpretations of these qualities are colored by our own experiences, triggering feelings, beliefs and stories we were told and that maybe as adults we are still consciously or unconsciously telling ourselves. For some these qualities evoke nurturing, beauty, safety, compassion and understanding, for some they evoke control, anger, domination, absence or fear. For others motherly qualities evoke a blend of the above and for many motherly qualities are equated to the female gender. A big mish mash of assumptions in the desperate attempt of both men and women to categorize, label and box in what feels uncontrollable: the oceanic nature of the feminine.
The result: we are stranded on the island of gender confusion debating about who is to blame for the misery of the other, confused about who we are and starving for connection and understanding. The irony is that for all this time – as we are struggling on the island caged into our gender assumption – the ocean around us has been available to deeply fill our thirst at any moment.
For a long time we have been thirsty women and hungry men on this forgotten island with seemingly no access to the ocean. On this island we have been trapped in the gender illusion: this illusion has informed our cells for many generations and created painful experiences for both women and men. This illusion has been engrained into our bones by the stories developed in our families, by religion institutions, by the “winner and losers” of starvation island and reflected into the institutions and systems of our times. And, we have been perpetuating this illusion by parroting our “mother” and “father” stories to ourselves and those around us. In this gender fantasy both women and men have developed sophisticated and often crude survival mechanisms to cope with a self-induced disconnection from the ocean. In the insanity of a mind-based society we self-sabotage and cut ourselves off from what keeps us alive.
The ocean represents the quintessential feminine energy: the source of life, the womb of infinite creativity and possibilities, the realm of the unknown, the subconscious, the gateway into the present, the door into the universe of our hearts, the door into the pulsating life force. The ocean becomes available to feed our bodies and hearts when we are open to receive it, when we are cracking open the tight box of gender assumptions. The gateway to the ocean widens when we learn to own our gender assumptions with radical honesty, when we learn to fully feel the pain that these assumptions have caused to ourselves and to each other. This takes courage, much courage, because it challenges our ego, our identities, our worldview, the comfort zone of our box of known beliefs and stories. After all stretching our muscles after having spent so much time in a tight box on a dry island can cause painful spams. However, the reward for our courage to stretch is being truly alive, authentic, touched in a deep way that nourishes our souls.
As we are releasing the feminine from the gender trap, our desperate thirst and hunger for belonging and significance will eventually turn into a cellular knowing that we are being held by the ocean. Life on the island of gender confusion will still continue as long we are breathing in this body, learning and growing. However, we may not take it as seriously because we have learned to peak at the ocean and learned that we are deeply loved and held by life guiding our journey through the waters.
Thus, on this Mother’s Day let us both, women and men, celebrate in that we offer to the ocean our long held gender assumptions, acknowledge that we are simply learning to swim and drink from the well of our souls.
Practice: Find which and where your gender assumption is located in your body, stretch and dive into the ocean, river, or your bathtub.