Love Affair With Myself: Cherishing My Mother

Ever Patient at Thanksgiving
 This is about the woman who carried me inside her body. When you take the time to think of that intimacy, that intimacy that happens every day, it's astounding. You were growing--you grew--from the size of a pea and grew a human body, a brain, amazing organs, eyes, limbs, and even those genetic interiors of an ancient line of DNA.

A Divine Profile

She grew me. Her mother grew her. This love affair with myself does include my deep love for so many, but maybe above all and forever, the creature who carried you inside her is the deepest most intimate human connection. The umbilical cord invisible but magnetic.

Her Birthday Cake
Mothers fall in love with their babies. A love as strong--no, no--a love a million times stronger than her deepest most passionate romantic affairs. They never stop loving us. We never stop being their children. They are in love with us all of our lives. No matter how they weaken. No matter how old they get. No matter that their minds have lost sense of time and place and space.

My Grandparents Never Stopped Laughing
 My grandma stayed my mother's mother. My mother was her baby. Even as she lived into her nineties, the care and generosity was infinite and comforting and as strong and formidable as it had always been. Even in death, she left a thousand dollars in her room, found scattered in hiding places everywhere you can imagine.

Grandma Gerry at 102
 So this is to say, I can't have a love affair with myself without writing of my own greatest love, the woman who would go through the fires of hell for me, the woman who delights in the buttered toast I giver with such glee you'd think I'd presented her with the most glorious meal in the world. The woman who always told me I was perfect, just the way I was. That I didn't have to do a single thing to be perfect. I just was. All I had to do was be.

Finally, Her Own Cake
From small childhood even into college, to soothe me, she'd run hot water into a large bowl filled with peppermint castille soap, a clean washcloth in her hand. I'd lay on the couch with my head on a pillow, my feet on her legs, and she would clean them. Hot water for warming the tired muscles. A massage of the muscles and tendons. Peppermint soap to invigorate and awaken.

She Even Texts
Few things are more infinite than holding the feet of another, offering a massage, cleaning them, reviving them. She'd cleanse me from the inside out and we talked and talked and she was as happy to wash my feet as I was happy to receive such a sacred cleansing.

Flames of the Cake
So. As much as I ignored her, my mother taught me: I am beautiful and perfect just as I am; I am beautiful and perfect and all I have to do is simply BE; how to open my heart and mind to give and receive intimate and infinite affection and love without fear. She taught me how to love myself.

Mama Owning the Camera
Now. My journey and intention is to revive all that she taught me. To bring it into the light. To begin with myself.

The Child is Grown

So how shall I begin? Something like this?
  • Walk the beach and swim in the sea every day
  • Write love letters to myself
  • Wear beautiful clothes that make me happy
  • Buy myself flowers
  • Make my home a sanctuary
  • Ride my bike every day
  • Go out dancing and dancing and dancing
  • Make art dates, shopping dates, movie dates and dinner dates with myself
  • Make dates with my friends in town
  • Write letters and send packages to my friends out of  town
  • Follow some simple steps to keep my spirit afloat
  • Connect and never let go of my tight-knit best beloveds in town
  • Commit to a daily writing date as if my life depended on it
  • Practice yoga and meditation every day
  • Read voraciously
  • Be gentle with myself and care for my self as I would for one I loved

And since my love began with my mother, I'd like to share a beautiful missive of an old mother's love letter to her daughter.
My Dear Girl

Letter from a Mother to a Daughter:

“My dear girl, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep. When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a girl? When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way… remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day… the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionally lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant. Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked. When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared. With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling daughter.” {Letter and image courtesy of lynette {radion}: broadcasting my brain}

My mother did this for my grandmother. I wil do this for my mother, too. Part of a love affair with myself: loving the love that brought me into this wild and precious world. It is a circle, isn't it, after all?



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