I have been reflecting on what I call Mother-Guilt. If you are a mother, you know exactly what I mean, but let me explain. It is this constant, underlying feeling that you have not quite measured up as a mother. It may range from a minor feeling of disappointment to an overwhelming sense of failure, of past opportunities lost, and of no resources to make everything okay.
I raised my three children mostly as a single mother. I loved my boys and did my best to be there for them emotionally and to make sure they didn't lack anything because of our family constellation. We had our ups and downs, but I felt close to them and looked forward to seeing them transform into independent young men.
I honestly thought I would avoid the "empty nest" syndrome. I saw my sons as brilliant, creative individuals who would thrive in the world on their own. However, as they left home one by one, I began to experience a deep heaviness. It wasn't the loss of having them leave home; it was an overwhelming feeling of guilt and regret for having failed them.
I would torment myself with memories of their childhood or teen years, when I was struggling emotionally and ended up taking it out on them. How many times did my perfectionist qualities cause me to yell at them for something as inconsequential as cleaning up? How often did my own pain plant seeds of shame in them for having made a mistake?
I cried so many tears as I grieved for the perfect mother that never was. I felt a terrible guilt over having hurt my children, causing them to judge themselves, neglecting to see things from their point of view or lacking kindness, compassion and patience. This created a deep well of grief and self-judgment.
I am lucky because I was able to go to each child, who had by then become a young man, and say, "I love you so much and I feel bad that I couldn't always be a good mother to you. I am so sorry for ever hurting you in any way. Please forgive me."
And these beautiful beings forgave me right away. Not only that, they took responsibility for their own behaviours that had sometimes triggered a negative reaction in me. These were healing moments. I feel gratitude well up in me even now, years later, as I remember these conversations.
But what I realized that it was even more important to forgive myself and that was the hardest. Occasionally I still have a thought of self-judgment or self-recrimination but I remove it as soon as I am aware of it. I will not allow myself to go there, because by feeding those thoughts, I risk the chance that they will overtake me, much like a toxic weed that runs rampant in the garden.
And so I have created this meditation for all the mothers. Mother-guilt seems to be a universal experience, which in some ways soothes me because it is a natural outcome of being a human who has taken on the role of motherhood. We share in this, and in doing so, naturally relieve the burden of our shame and pain.
It helps me to remember that my child is not mine. He is not my possession or belonging or extension. He is a unique spark of divinity who came with his own Life Purpose and karma. Every struggle he has is not necessarily due to something I did or failed to do; his path is his own.
It also helps me to remember that my child chose me and I chose him. Spiritually, we agreed that we would have a mutually beneficial relationship in terms of personal growth. We were a perfect fit for spiritual advancement and for learning the lessons we chose to work on in this lifetime. It is the human condition that so much of this work is done unconsciously and it is a blessing when we start to awaken and can continue our work together with our eyes open.
It helps me to remember that when all is said and done, it is only love that remains and only love that is real. At any point in our path, when we remember this, the angels sing and rejoice. This knowledge helps the process of self-forgiveness to be a little easier.
I suggest you listen to this meditation once for each child that you have. If you have a beloved child who has passed, or you have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth, please honour that child as well. If your children are adopted or you have step-children or any other role-model relationship, strengthen that bond with this meditation. If you have an estranged, damaged or dysfunctional relationship with a child, it is important to change this dynamic energetically, and that is what this meditation is for. It is not always possible to speak directly to your child for many different reasons, but you can always speak with your heart and mind, set intentions of healing, and forgive yourself.
You deserve to be free of the guilt that comes from being a mother, and to enjoy a relationship of respect and freedom with each of your children. Remember love!
The following meditation was created for mothers and mother-figures. .
I am a Mystic Angel with some Fairy energy whose Life Purpose is to learn, teach and share the esoteric and mysterious.