I embrace today’s soul. I embrace my emotional exhaustion, or should I say, welcome the new emotional muscles?
I knew this test was coming. My knowing showed me a fissure, a rip in my illusions about a beloved person. I have had a tendency to imagine particular kinds of others as clean in their intent, imbued with qualities I want them to have, because I want to see them with the shine of the symbol they have become for me. Many of us do this. We make leaders, athletes, movie stars, and other achievers into symbols and lose their human qualities. When they become oh-so human we discard them along with their gifts.
One of the most loaded symbols is “Mother”. Religions have sprung up over the holy symbolic connotations of Mother. To be Mother is sacrosanct. Mother is sacrifice, is love without question, is feeding even from one’s own body, is carrying children and giving birth, is care of the hearth, is the making of food from the gifts of the earth. She is the ultimate creative power. Like anything a symbol embodies its opposite. Mother out of control is supreme control over her children. She smothers them, she demands absolute loyalty, and she force-feeds them with guilt and food even as she eats her children. She is destruction.
Our mothers are demigods until we sprout into our personhood, our potential mother/fatherhood to take our place. Then, they become essentially, biologically, rivals. Either we make friends of our rivals, or we throw them over. Each culture decides differently. In this larger cultural overlay of “civilization” that has supplanted our indigenous cultures (and all cultures have indigenous roots) children are encouraged to make anyone older the enemy.
And then, as we become mothers (or fathers) the story begins again, and we make our way.
Are there archetypes for children? There are for filial behavior. Remember the prodigal son? They aren’t quite so loaded however, as children are expected to malleable, given to youthfulness. What happens though if they don’t grow up, if they cling to childhood?
There can be no Mother symbol (or Father symbol) without children.
There are many paths around a symbol, around how we see and interact with each other. We make symbols of authority figures, and again of particular political leaders, athletes, actors, etc. We even make symbolic figures of each other as friends, colleagues….but I continue to believe one of the most powerful is Mother. A Mother gives; a Mother takes away.
Smashing those symbols, those illusions and setting free the people inside them can be liberating, and even so, absolutely terrifying. Those symbols can be life preservers in the deep, deep ocean of psychological waves and shifts.
I remember the day I decided to see my mother as a human being. I chose to see her as a little child, growing up under the duress of extreme poverty with a mother who didn’t know how to love. She became a human being, someone on the path alongside me. She was no longer a towering figure of perfection gone wrong. I found a way to forgive her, to forgive myself. Our relationship shifted. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t transgressions or failings. There were. There are. We are human.
Yesterday I had to face an immense illusion. I had worked on it for years. Perfected it. I had carefully built a symbol. I used materials of hope, and put together a design made of how-I-thought-it-should-be, and had hammered it together with wishes. Hammering with wishes is like hammering with handfuls of water. I had created someone wasn’t there. And the someone-who-wasn’t-there was who I had imagined interacting with me, was whom I had been relating to all this time.
It broke, as such illusions eventually do. What I had created was no longer there. Instead, what stood, was a very small and raw human being, with immense insecurities, failings and fears.
My first instinct was to defend myself, to fight.
Breath and love began leading me, first to see the illusion I had created, then to act with integrity even as I feel the pain.
And for me, most of all, because of my particular tests, I had to acknowledge my knowing. Knowing is beyond the human mind and emotional field. It has always told me the truth. The truth can be painful beyond measure.
And mvto, or thank you, dawning. This morning is another day. Each day has a soul, is a being, and loves to be acknowledged. How beautiful you are in blue blue sky.