The Courage to Heal

I have both a mother and a daughter within me.

For I am both a mother and a daughter.

And what I recognize, as issues come up in my life, is the old schema: The wise crone. The rebellious youth.

These beings have been at odds in my soul, and yet they are one. Unifying these parts is the key to my success in this life. And I am only now learning how.

As daughters, we have a tendency to resist, to rebel. To say, whenever something hard or difficult comes up, No, no, no. I will run away.

And then we have the wise old crone within us, who whenever something hard or difficult comes up, sits by the fire with a shawl around her shoulders and says, Well, let’s see.

Running away vs. sitting in place until we reach a point of clarity—this seems to be the challenge of life. At least for me.

When something is hard, I want to run. I want to ignore it and avoid it and go off in the distance, into the wilderness, create new stimulus to distract me, and never return.

But the problem with that wilderness life is that then some other shit comes up, and I have to run again. And again and again.

Because this is how life is, a series of challenges in which we have the choice of whether to sit still and deal with it, slowly, like a weaver, or run. And what we learn through that running is that there is never going to be a point at which we reach the mountaintop, where we coast, where we don’t have to deal with things.

As my Quaker friend told me, “Even Gandhi had to wash his clothes.”

(To which my rebellious daughter would respond, Why do we even have to wear clothes?) 

My point with all of this is to say, it is hard to heal our deepest wounds. It is very, very hard.

More often, when an opportunity comes up to face them, we try to run away. Instead of applying the salve, which may hurt a bit in order to go deep and transform from the roots, we leave the tube of ointment in the medicine cabinet and go off to dinner.

We fill ourselves with so many other things so we don’t have to deal with the shit that causes us pain, that has always caused us pain, because we are so used to being in pain we don’t know what life looks like and feels like otherwise.

And you may not want to hear this, but the Lord, your internal Mother, will help you.

Because we have each been gifted with this miraculous treasure chest of wisdom, and it lives in our hearts. Quakers call this the Christ within. Buddhists call it the Buddha within. We are all very attached to words. Let me tell you, it’s the Divine Mother.

She knows things. She knows what’s best for you, at every step, in every way. But we just don’t want to listen to her, because we are rebellious daughters. We want to find our own way. We want to chart our own course, create our own path.

What our Mother wants, is for us to be happy. She wants us to live in line with the deep, deep source of everything. She wants us to sink our roots into the earth and grow strong and tall like trees, trees that blossom and change and grow and bear fruit. Trees that meet the hands, the branches, of other trees, and work in harmony.

But we are flowers cut off from our bulbs. We look from that vase, to the other, skipping around, forgetting that in order to thrive for longer than a few weeks, we need to be connected to the ground.

And that doesn’t mean everything will always be perfect. There are cold days, days when the sun doesn’t shine, days frost lands on our petals. But the spring always comes again. The cycle of rain. And we change, and we grow, and we fall forward, and then we rise up.

Do not run from the wisdom within you. Do not run from your wise, old mother. Keep her close. Listen to her. Let her nourish you, let her feed you the enormous fruits of your life. Let her keep you warm in the cold with the shawls she has so painstakingly made.

She’ll tell you when it’s best to sleep, when it’s best to eat, when you should run like hell from a predator, and when to come home.

She just always looks out. She will continue to always look out. Because she loves you unconditionally.

Go deep. Find her. Trust her.

Have the courage to heal.

Categories: motherhood, spirituality and faith

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1 reply

  1. I see your point. I have to think about it more.


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