A few nights ago I had a dream. There’s a particular project of mine that completely relies on other people’s decisions before moving forward and it’s been weighing heavily on me, even keeping me awake at night which rarely happens. I drifted into a fitful sleep a few nights ago and found myself in a chaotic dream. There were situations playing out that seemed beyond my control and I couldn’t go anywhere because of them. In my dream state, all of the responsibilities and deadlines that are in my real life (plus a few that are not!) began to weigh heavily until I became so exhausted it was hard to stand. I finally collapsed onto the hard floor of my dream and began to sob.
In the distance, I spotted a figure walking toward me, blurred by my tears. I knew that this person was there to help me, support me and take some of the weight away. In anticipation, my tears turned from anguish to tears of relief and I couldn’t wait for the salvation that was so close. The feeling I had was that my mom, who’s been gone for twenty-eight years now, was coming to make it all ok again. As the figure got closer, I saw that the one who was coming to wrap her arms around me and give the support I so desperately needed, was me. My own arms cradled my head and stroked my hair. Like medicine, this maternal love filled my body. I curled up into the strong, capable embrace that was my own.
I woke up with damp eyes and a longing. I became a mother almost three decades ago and since then, I’ve done what I love best, nurtured and mothered my own three children, their friends, our four-legged family members, my own friends and partner, priestesses and clients. How wonderful it would be, I thought, to have a ‘me.’
And then the voice in my head spoke the obvious….YOU DO!
We are usually the last ones on our list to get our attention. I often illustrate the importance of self-care to my women’s circles with an example from my past: Years ago, while volunteering for La Leche League, I would occasionally have new mothers whose milk was not plentiful or had begun to dry up. We would put them to bed, instructing their husbands and parents or friends to wait on them, pamper them, give them lots of liquids. Within 24-48 hours, their milk would be flowing freely to nourish their babies. We have to take care of our own needs to be able to serve others. Of course this applies to both men and women.
The dream that I had took self-care to a deeper level. I became my own maternal comfort and solace. It’s my wish that you, too, find sweet solace within.
Happy Mother’s Day to the Nurturer in us All,