I loved my mum very very much and these days are filled with thoughts and memories about her. In my grieving it will help me to share some of these with you all. And maybe you will find something in my stories that resonates with you and your own journeys.
In this post I want to talk a little bit about all the little gifts I received from Mama as a child and the biggest gift she gave me in my twens, probably the gift that has had the most impact on my life.
My mum and I had a very intense relationship. I was four years old when my father left and she became a single parent mother. Although in retrospect I do understand how hard things were I feel that when I was a child she did not, could not give me as much time and attention as I would have needed. So my childhood and teens were not carefree and golden, and I somehow developed two ambivalent feelings about myself. On the one hand, deep deep inside despite all our difficulties, fights and blaming games, an unconscious part of me never doubted that essentially she did love me. On the other hand I did not really trust in love, believing that in the end I was not worthy of being loved (which, again in retrospect, probably had more to do with my father, but that's a different story). Growing up with my mum, I often felt I was too much, too dreamy, too emotional, too a lot of things, that in order for her to love me in a nutshell I had to be different. I did not really feel safe in my family.
As a sort of grown up I think the first time I consciously understood and really believed that my mum did love me, was when at the age of 19 I went and lived with a family in Ireland. I loved it there. And my mum came and visited me there. This might sound like nothing, but she hated travelling on her own. She was always scared she would miss an announcement or not find the right gate at airports. But her desire to see me and spend time with me in my happiness in Ireland was stronger than her fear. So she travelled across half of Germany to Frankfurt, got on to the plane to Dublin and then got a connecting flight to Cork, just for me.
My mum wrote me many beautiful letters full of love to Ireland and at that time also got connected to the internet. So I received loads of messages in which she expressed her love for me. But still despite me now beginning to believe her, things continued to be difficult between us, me feeling she was not really seeing me at all and giving me no chance to breathe.
So what about the gifts now?
Our relationship changed profoundly when I was in my mid-twenties. All my life my mum had given me gifts which have shaped me, some intentionally, some unintentionally. She was a very intelligent woman who did not buy any patriarchal lies. At a very early age she told me that the christian churches were a very patriarchal institution that desired to control women, and that I as a girl was no less than a boy in any way ever. She was also a passionate gardener and in that way taught me about the cycles of nature. She also taught me to love my body and not be shamed of my moon time. Mama had a soul full of beauty and loved all things beautiful, be it flowers, music, languages or art. She gave me a book once of Native American Poetry, which I love until today, which is full of love for nature and of how everything is connected. She took me to see exhibitions as a child and when looking at paintings of classical mythologies would explain to me who all the Goddesses and Gods were. I remember very clearly one day being in the bathroom when I was small, I can't remember the circumstances, only that it was in the bathroom, and my mum saying, „They like to speak of „the Lord“, but they are all men, talking about the „Lord“, to imply that a male person should be in power over everyone. But nobody has ever seen God, so nobody knows if God is not in fact a woman.“ My mum had never heard about any kind of Goddess movement, she had had a classical education and was a feminist. So she did not intend to set me onto a particular Goddess path, she just shared her thoughts with me and I never forgot this view on the Divine. I am very very sure that all these things she taught me were stepping stones on my way to Goddess. All my life my mum worked the switches on my course towards becoming Her priestess, not being aware of what she did at at all. When I was 13, I read The Mists of Avalon and finally knew where I belonged. When I was 24 I began my training in Glastonbury.
Entering the priestess training has changed my life for the better because it has had a HUGE impact on my healing journey. My mum was very open minded and curious about it, and very surprised when I told her how I felt connections between all she had shared with me, mostly just living by example, and my spiritual life. She did not deny the truth of this, it just had never occurred to her, how she had influence me.
My mum had adviced me on several occasions to see a counsellor, when I was struggling with matters of self-esteem, self-acceptance and more things beginning with self. When I was twenty-five, after the end of my first serious relationship, I heeded her advice and counselling was another gift I received from her. I believe the combination of working with a conventional counsellor and with priestess teachers and healers simultaneously was what I needed. One witohut the other would not have gone as deep. Some real healing began for me.
From that day on our relationship changed and became very beautiful. We were indeed meeting as equals. My conventional counsellor helped me to accept that my mum was a human being full of faults and weaknesses and helped me to do the same for her: to not make her struggles and woundings about me, but to see her for the woman she was.
I can't remember exactly when this afternoon in her living room happened, I probably was 26 years old. I am 34 years old now. So I have had 8 years of a very close relationship to my mum, of expressing our love for each other and being able to receive love and support. We would still fight and rage at each other like banshees but the difference was that we knew now that we were coming from a common ground of love for each other, and there was no longer any need for blaming or manipulating. It was still intense because we were now experiencing the force of this love between mother and daughter.
The biggest gift I have ever received from my mum, was experiencing that things really can change. Our relationship went from painful, strained and unhappy, to loving, happy, nurturing and empowering. No matter how many wonderful healing sessions, transformative ceremonies and deep retreats I attend, no matter how many affirmations I practice, the greatest gift I have ever received in my life, was not only witnessing change happening, but experiencing it. Experiencing that something difficult can become something good, and really experiencing that this change is substantial and not a temporary thing, that it is real, not just a hope. This has had a huge impact on my life. My deepest beliefs about myself and about love that were engraved in my bones and cells have been rewritten. I am now happily married to a beautiful soul and very handsome man, living love everyday and being grounded in a very happy family. I would not be able to have tihs kind of relationship, had I not experienced the deep healing and nurturing power of love.There are still many areas in my life where I lack trust, but I do trust my family. And I am forever grateful to my mum, for this moment of true greatness when she overcame her own wounding, to hold me in mine, so I could allow change to happen and begin to feel safe within my family and create my own little sanctuary of happiness.