Motherless Self-Care Part 3

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My middle daughter reflecting…

 

Happy Monday!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! Spring is such a natural time for us to energize and allow new ideas and ways of being to emerge and bloom.  Our family spent some time this weekend discussing how the emergence to light of Spring –  from the darkness of winter – naturally calls to us to move from a place of being more internal and reflective to action oriented and growth.  We asked ourselves, “what do I wish to have grow or bloom in my life next?”  I love embracing the seasonal and natural changes in nature to self-growth.

Today, I am going to wrap up this 3 part series on the unique challenge of Self-Care for those of us who would consider ourselves ‘motherless.’  The first two parts focused more on the heart of the matter – going inside and doing the deep, intimate work required to care for your highest self. This series will focus on the more lighter, perhaps more tangible ways I have found to mother myself.

One of the questions I ask myself is “What are some of the things I wish or miss not having my mom?”  And, then I take that list of ideas and I provide them for myself as a gift from above.  I hope that makes some sense, but after making peace with the loss of a mother’s unconditional love, I have empowered myself to take on the role of becoming the giver of my own love.

As women, we are notorious for attending to the needs of many and neglecting those of our own.  So here is a list of some of the ways in which I have found to be a mother to myself:

  • surround myself with words/note & quotes of affirmation.
  • enjoy ‘comfort foods’ as needed – mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs.
  • pick up a new accessory from time to time, just because you like it, or its pretty – this can be a delightful way to feel special.  I imagine my  mom walking in to my house and saying, “I saw this and thought of you.”
  • Indulge in holiday treats, buy yourself a box of chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day, enjoy a McDonald’s Shamrock shake on St. Patricks Day…

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    Shamrock shakes with my daughter.  A tradition I remember with my mom…

  • Continue small traditions you remember.  For me, occasionally I will purchase those disgustingly delicious lady finger pastries they sell at the grocery store in the bakery.  They come in a pack of 5 on a Styrofoam plate with plastic wrap.  I remember my mom buying them and we would eat them all on the ride home from shopping…I do that sometimes…I don’t eat all five, but I eat one and recall that time with her fondly.
  • Enjoy a movie with popcorn, by yourself.
  • Order take-out from time to time to take a break from cooking.
  • Take a nap.
  • Meditate 10-20 minutes a day (once upon awakening and set your intention and once before bedtime to put your day to rest).
I would love to hear some of the ways you mother yourself -please let us know ways in which you do or ideas of how you think we can better love ourselves like only a mother could.
There are two other rituals or traditions I find nurturing in maintaining a connection to the physical loss of my mother or a loved one.
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My Mom’s Candle.

Memorial Candles – First, on most days, I light a candle for my mother.  I buy those tall glass candles you see many times at alters of churches or memorials.  You can buy them anywhere – I buy mine at the Dollar Store.  They are so pretty and simple & burn for weeks.  They can be transparent with pretty colored waxes or sometimes, if this resonates in your heart, they have pictures of various saints.  I always pick a pink candle for her. My mom was not very ‘girly’ but for her funeral, she selected the most beautiful, soft colored pink pastel dress to be buried in – I loved that dress and it made her look so feminine.  That is why I choose pink.  I set this candle visible to me and throughout the day just look at it and smile and take peace in her ‘light’ in my home…

Symbols – I know many of my friends that have grieved the loss of a  love one, cherish a symbol that serves as a connection, a god’s wink, a sign, or affirmation from their loved one.  One of my friends has a beautiful connections to dragonflies.  For her, when a dragonfly is around or near, she feels it as a sign from her son.  She has pictures, paintings, drawings of dragonflies in her home.  This serve as a loving rememberence.  For another of my friends, it is the beautiful cheerful red cardinals.  While her husband was ill, cardinals became a symbol of hope and encouragement and up until his dying day, were placed in their lives when needed.  As a matter of fact, the day he was admitted in to the hospital,  as my anxious friend walked into the intenstive care she was struck immediately by the stunning image of a cardinal hanging in the nurses station – It was the only piece of art in the entire unit.  Recognizing the signifigance of this image – as a sign that this was exactly where her husband was supposed to be – without a moment’s hesitation, she had the portrait taken down and ran in to her husbands room with it and said, “honey, look, its a cardinal!”  She lovingly placed it at the foot of his bed.  He did not come home from that stay, he passed away.  But this symbol served as a sign to them and continues to provide her love and encouragement after his passing.
For me, it has always been a rainbow.  My mother was a religious woman and we had a personal love of the idea of ‘his promise is in the rainbow.’  She took great peace in this concept – I do too.  Since her death, I have had the most amazing experiences with rainbows.  Whenever I have been going through a particulary trying or challenging time, perhaps had big decisions to make, or was enjoying a celebration, the gift of a rainbow has appeared.  These rainbows always bring me peace and I feel like is colorful hug from my mother that whispers…‘everything is going to be ok.’ 
In 1997, my husband and I were driving across country with our two cats to begin a new phase of our lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I was so nervous, anxious to be moving so far away from everything familiar to me. As my husband and I crested the Sandia Mountains on Route 66 we were greeted not only with a rainbow, but a DOUBLE rainbow.   They were so vibrant, big and in a desert sky radiant!  I immediately found peace

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A sign from my mom in Paris, France. 

and knew I was exactly where I was meant to be.  These rainbows continue to connect me to her love and provide me with comfort and peace.

3 thoughts on “Motherless Self-Care Part 3

  1. This series provoked a lot of thought and conversation about degrees of motherless and different modes of coping or adjusting. Thank you Vickie.

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  2. I am approaching the 9th anniversary of motherless ness, my first experience of the privilege of being in the presence of God when one of the 3 most precious people in my life crossed that “white water” to the other shore, tho I didn’t realize any of it at the time, my mother and I talked on the phone almost daily, we were very close and when you first truly grasp the loss of that first and only unconditional love it is so heartbreaking, but for me, I knew and know that she is free, she is waiting for me in some place with my other loves, that is what I learned from her…. Faith, hope, trust, love, this is a wonderful site, I am privileged to be included as inspiration for my daughter sister friend, I love you vickie, unconditionally

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