As I sat to write to you these words followed….”I have nothing to say and that’s okay.” I used to believe that if I didn’t have something “important, helpful, positive or wise” to offer then I had no value personally and professionally. I was not taught that my presence was enough. Very few women are. Instead we are taught that our value is connected to how much we can do and how much we can give of ourselves. Does this feel true for you?
This explains why in times of stress and challenge my default pattern has been to retreat. If I couldn’t offer a smile, a positive attitude, a sliver of hope, my time, my energy then I would slowly and silently fade into the background. I didn’t dare burden another with my emotions or my needs. I was taught that personal strength meant how well I could hold it all together. The tighter I held, the more I contained, the stronger I felt.
I’m not alone. This is a pattern that I hear from just about every woman I’ve worked with. At the core I believe it’s connected to the false belief that women are imprinted with at birth in a patriarchal culture: I am not enough as I am.
This leaves girls and women starving for worthiness and trying to earn love, validation and approval. It leads girls and women to repress parts of themselves that they deem ‘bad’. Often these are the very things that make us human….needs, emotions, sexuality, intuition and desire.
It can be hard to disconnect from these patterns when they are dominant in the culture.
This is where MOTHER work comes in.
The gift of re-mothering is no longer having to prove you are enough and remembering that your simple presence is a gift.
If you had mentioned self-mothering or re-mothering to me even ten years ago, I would’ve recoiled. My skin would’ve crawled. At that point in my life I held pretty tightly to an identity that said, “I don’t need to be mothered. I don’t need anyone. I don’t have needs. I don’t need anyone to take care of me. I take care of others.” These beliefs are how I coped with my childhood.
Meanwhile in the shadows of my life I felt deeply unsupported and resentful (especially after becoming a mother). I got really good at showing up for everyone but me.
It wasn’t until I became a mother and began to attend to my daughter’s every need that I saw how deeply I had been programmed to neglect my own needs. So (with a lot of resistance) my journey of re-mothering began. This week’s permission slip is all about remembrance & reclamation of your worth.
If it feels nourishing, write these words somewhere you will see all week (try printing out the permission slip below and writing them there!).
Let yourself soak them in.
I am enough because I exist.
My presence is a gift.
I am worthy of all the love I want and need.
I am enough just as I am.
I don’t need to change myself in any way to be loved.
When I am tired or hurting, I am worthy of more love (not less).
My presence is enough.
I am enough.
Wishing you a week full of love, nourishment and ease.