Celebrating Motherhood

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I was flicking through a catalogue, as you do, looking for an appropriate present for my Mum on Mother’s Day.

The catalogue was full of pink fluffy slippers, equally pink dressing gowns, and pink chocolates. Other things on offer were cross stitching patterns, crossword puzzle decoders, and mats to roll up picture puzzles so you could come back to them later and they didn’t clutter up your table top. Hmm useful, NOT!

Now, I don’t know about your mother, but none of these presents would be appropriate for my Mum. My Mum is a strong, independent woman, who was the first in her family to leave the farm and go to university. She worked her entire life and brought up my brother and I on her own after my Father died. She only recently retired at 76. She was working for the United Nations in Cambodia.

My Mum has travelled all over the world empowering women in different countries from a government perspective because she believes that improving the lives of women is the key to breaking cycles of poverty.

So no, pink fluffy slippers, dressing gowns and chocolates would not be an appropriate gift for my Mum! Honestly, what woman really wants chocolates for Mother’s Day! It’s like some cruel form of punishment. Unless, it’s a deliberate strategy from the giver to get the present given back to them!

It occurred to me that Mother’s Day seems to be stuck in some horrid 1950s stereotype of what it means to be a woman and in particular a mother.

As if mothers these days spend hours sitting around in their lounge gear, reading Mills and Boon, doing puzzles, eating chocolates, and making cupcakes.

Or that femininity is summed up by the colour pink, not that there is a problem with pink or even liking pink. It’s just that surely there is more to the concept of mother than this!

So how do we think about mother without falling into the stereotype?
This is where archetypes can be very valuable.

Archetypes give us a way of describing mothering without stereotyping and where we can embrace the Archetype of Mother and what it means to us.

We can all have access to the Archetype of Mother, whether we are a man or a woman or whether we have ever had children.When we can understand the Archetype of Mother, we can bring these resources into our life, no matter what our real mother was like.

Understanding the Archetype of Mother allows us to be more empowered and more self-loving, as well as, loving of others.

At the same time we can see that no mother, no matter how wonderful, is ever truly going to live up to the Archetypal Ideal and in this way we can manage our unconscious and sometimes child-like expectations. When we can see our mother as a human being and not our Archetypal Mother, we can relieve some of the pressure on the relationship.

This allows us to look to ourselves and our environment for Archetypal Mothering, rather than to just one person with their own problems, issues, and life to deal with.

Okay, so what is the Archetype of Mother?

The Ancients believed that there were 10 Key Ideals we seek from the Archetype of Mother. Today, I will just outline 7 to keep the blog a little shorter.

Since Mother’s Day is a time when we do things for our mum that she would normally do for us, you might like to think about one of these areas and what you could do for your mum that allows her to feel the love.

Obviously, not all areas will apply to you or your mum but they all bear thinking about.

1. Unconditional love

  • We seek a mother to love us no matter what we do, what we say, who we are, or how we appear.
  • I think this is why so many of us are reactive when our mother criticises us. Of course, she is probably just trying to save us from criticism in the world but really all we want is to be unconditionally accepted by someone, particularly our mum!
  • On Mother’s Day you might like to see what would be unconditional love for your mum, accept and celebrate her for who she is.

2. Understanding

  • We yearn for our mother to deeply understand us, to know why we do what we do, and accept our reasons without judgment.
  • We want to know that there is someone in this world who gets us, where we do not need to justify our behaviour because they simply understand our motivations.
  • On Mother’s Day seek to understand your mum, instead of being annoyed by things she does or says, seek to understand the intention behind them.
  • Your mum may love this more than any gift.

3. Healing

  • Most kids seek healing from their mum. Whether it is a scraped knee that is patched up with a Band-Aid or a bump that is kissed better, kids will generally go to their mum first.
  • What is not so obvious is that we seek emotional healing from our mum too. We want her to heal our anger, our sadness, and our fears.
  • On Mother’s Day see if you can understand your mother emotionally and give her reassurance or be a sounding board.

4. Imagination

  • Many people don’t realise this but the faculty of imagination is gained from the Mother Principle. As Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. It is the faculty of imagination that allows us to problem solve and seek a future that is different from that past.
  • On Mother’s Day put yourself in the shoes of your mother and see what would be something different or unusual that she would love.

5. Creativity

  • Creativity is something that we bring into form from our imagination.
  • Because mothers give birth, creativity has always been seen as part of the Mother Principle.

6. Protection

  • We want our mothers to keep us safe. If anyone ever thought the Mother Principle was weak or subservient all they have to do is look at a Mother Tiger or Mother Earth to see a fierce ability to protect.
  • Is there some kind of reassurance your mum would like this Mother’s Day that would make her feel like you are safe or that she is safe?

7. Communication

  • In ancient times the Mother Principle ruled the throat and the ability to communicate particularly about emotions. We look to the Mother Principle to be our sounding board and our model of communication.
  • We expect the feminine to be able to speak about emotions and to relieve our emotional pain by being able to talk about what is going on for us and what is upsetting us, as well as, to celebrate what excites and uplifts us.
  • This Mother’s Day you may like to communicate what you appreciate about your mother and what you are grateful for.

So that’s it. This blog is for my Mum and to let her know how much I love and appreciate her. So since I know she will read this blog I just want to say: “I’m so proud of you Mum and so grateful and happy that you are in my life.”

What about you and your mum? If it’s not your mum who has been there for you, then maybe there is someone else who has been and you would like to show appreciation to on Mother’s Day.

Let me know your thoughts and how your Mother’s Day goes. Feel free to contact me [email protected]

If you are interested in learning more about archetypes then you may like to come to our last 1 Day Event in Sydney called Discover Passion and Purpose with Archetypes. This event is normally $97, however, because of my very special love and friendship with Michelle Duval, we would like to offer this to you with our compliments.

If you would like to claim your complimentary tickets for you and a friend or even your mother as a Mother’s Day gift then go to www.discoverpassionandpurpose.com.au and when you click through to the Eventbrite page put in the promo code – mother – and you will get your tickets with our compliments.

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