Most people have that special spot in their heart for moms. Even if you've had difficulty in your relationship the icon of the loving mother still lurks within, to inspire love and nurturing care. The Dalai Lama calls on that image in meditation to inspire kindness and cultivate positive feelings in his book "How to Expand LOVE: Widening the Circle of Loving Relationships". Urging us all to find the place where we have been nurturing to others and when we have received that nurturing, to help us open our hearts to all of our relationships.
It is May, the time of year that we do a little something special to honour the moms in our lives. A time we can reflect on the positive influence the feminine has had on us. For all of us mothers out there it is gratifying to have that moment when we realize that our hard work, blood, sweat and tough love is acknowledged: meaningful. It is what keeps us going through the tough times. But sometimes it is hard to acknowledge it in ourselves. How do we learn to give ourselves that nurturing and love when those around us are busy living their lives, fighting their battles and moving on, not worrying about us, since it is us who worries about them?
For some it is a life-long struggle. What if we didn't learn the lesson of self-love when we were a child, because those around us did not have it in them to give? And for those who have lost a child or lost a mother, this time of year may be unbearable. But it is these struggles that can bring us to a new courage and a new depth of being. Anyone can love when it is easily given. But have you learned to love through pain? I often hear from clients "How do you learn self-love if you've never felt worthy?" It is the desperate plea of those that have lived through the trauma of not being important to those around them.
We can take a lesson from the Dalai Lama and use meditation or prayer to awaken our feelings of love for ourselves and others. To begin find a comfortable, safe place where you may sit uninterrupted for up to 20 mins, as you are able. Sitting in a posture that is relaxing, but you will not fall asleep, close your eyes and imagine a child before you. Feel the need of this child, the vulnerability. And imagine yourself extending love and kindness, gentleness. If the child needs a hug, embrace the child. Notice your feelings. Get to know the child and its needs in a daily practice of imagining this child. You may be able to sustain 5 minutes at first and work towards 20 minutes. When you are ready you may wish to substitute yourself as a child, as the child you are coming to know. And as you work through your feelings for others you may wish to put others in that place, learning to love anyone in your life for the child that they have been and still carry within them. In this way we cultivate love in our communities and the world around us. - I wish you love in your life and relationships - Gillian Strange-Dell.
For more information on self-love and healing feel free to book a free consultation with Gillian Strange-Dell, Psychotherapist and Emotional Health Director at Clarington's Wellness Path. Durham's largest Holistic Health Centre.