Feliz dia de las Madres!
If this holiday finds you feeling JOY and fully CELEBRATING you as a mami, your mother, maybe your abuelita and the other mothers around you-- then I want you to know that I am smiling and holding that joy with you today.
For some, this holiday may stir up some complicated emotions. There was a time that I did not want to celebrate this holiday at all. I wanted it to be over as soon as it began. I wanted to NOT be reminded of the mourning that was required of me in not experiencing the same kind of relationship with my own mother that I saw friends and others experiencing. I felt sad! And friends I had who had lost physical contact with their mothers, either because they had passed away or because of distance.. they also felt a sadness.
I came to understand that it was okay to embrace all of the complexities and dualities of this day. I can celebrate AND mourn today. I can rejoice in my mothering AND I can feel the grief of what was not had.
If this latter experience is more aligned with how you are feeling today, I want you to know that you are seen.
if you are a daughter without a mother physically emotionally painfully without a mother i see you i hold you i honor you on mother’s day and every day
The beautiful thing about facing grief and mourning of not having a "mother" meet our needs the way we may have longed for growing up or maybe still long for, is that it creates an opportunity for someone more powerful and wise to step in. Just as we have an inner child, we have an Inner Madre. We remother ourselves with the Knowing and Wisdom of this Inner Madre who we can access whenever we like, whenever we need
This Inner Madre is always evolving. This Inner Madre is reminding us that we are safe. This Inner Madre is showing us the way forward.
This Inner Madre is is ALIVE and actively ensuring that we are unfolding into a future ancestor, our future Abuelita selves, towards healing our matriarchal lineages.
Just as you are letting others CELEBRATE who you are as a mami, the mami your children chose, so should you celebrate this Inner Madre that is caring for your Inner Child daily.
Here are FOUR tips and activities on how to bring in the Inner Madre today if you are feeling challenged by this holiday:
Write a love letter to your Inner Child from your Inner Madre: Find a quiet space with a journal or even utilize your Notes app. Center yourself with your breath. Write a love letter to your Inner Child from your Inner Madrecita to help you reconnect with her. This does not have to be a novel. This can simply be a few affirmations, or a few lines on a post-it. The idea is to keep at the forefront of the relationship between your Inner Madre and your Inner Child. You can let your Inner Child know he/she is safe. Speak from your corazon. Allow yourself to cry if the tears come. You do not need to dwell on what you did not receive or what you do not feel you have even now. This is about reminding your Inner Child that anger, rage, sadness, grief-- all of that complexity of feelings-- is okay to feel.
Write a note of appreciation for your Inner Madre from your Inner Child This, again, does not have to be drawn out. It could be 2-3 things that you are grateful to yourself for. How often do we stop to look at our mental and emotional labor and think: Wow, I have accomplished amazing things in my day-to-day and in my healing journey." Not often enough! Tell your Inner Madre (your highest self) all of the things you love about her. These are truths. When we begin to doubt our worth, our value, we can come back to this reminder from our Inner Child and know that these are facts that we can use to re-ground ourselves in gratitude and self-appreciation to replenish our Inner Madre who works so hard to keep us evolving and keep our children safe, nourished, and whole. 3. Nurture your interests, appreciate your uniqueness Spend time today eating your favorite comida (it's frijoles con chorizo I already know), listen and dance to some favorite songs, wearing something that makes you feel YOU. Nurture all of the things that make you FEEL GOOD and more like yourself. For example, whenever I want to remind myself of who I truly am-- I braid my hair into two trenzas. I wear my hair like this for a while and it brings me back to a sense of authenticity. It also makes me feel connected to my grandmothers Josefina and Tomasita, who wore trenzas in their early years of mothering as well. This brings me to my third tip. As long as it is not harming anyone, you have permission to do anything that brings you a sense of freedom and full alegria.
Reconnect to your ancestors and to yourself as a future ancestor Reconnecting to our ancestors-- either by looking at photographs of them if it is possible, imagining what they may have been like at our age, or creating an altar with items that carry their essence-- could give you an access point in reconnecting to your Future Abuelita Self. Your future Abuelita Self is the fully actualized embodiment of your Inner Madre.
These are just a FEW activities and tips we can engage with today to celebrate our Inner Madre.
I hope that this was supportive of you today and that you find so many moments of joy at your disposal. You are so brave. Eres tan valiente and you should be so proud.
xoxo, Leslie --
p.s. if you want to dive deeper into Madre Wound work, which discusses not only our Madre Wounds but all of the factors (colonialism, Marianismo, feminismo) that contribute and that impact us as Latinas/Chicanas specifically, check out these upcoming offerings:
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