Mother’s Day has always been my least favorite notionally declared day of celebration. Not necessarily because my mother died when I was so young, but because I usually feel like a complete fraud on this day of celebrating the beauty of womanhood!

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I know this feeling is not unique to me; this is a day that is emotionally tough for many women across the world… 

There are women who struggle because they don’t have mothers any longer on this earth; to them this day can be a day of loneliness… 

There are women who, for a myriad of reasons, have not been given the opportunity to be mothers; to them this day can be a day of sadness and despair… 

There are women who have lost their children to death, addictions, or rebellion; to them, this day can be a day of guilt and hopelessness…

There are women who are separated by their children, emotionally, physically, or spiritually; for them, this day is filled with regrets…

And there are women, who despite all the good that they do, cannot SEE the beauty they add to their little corner of the world; for them, this day can be a day where they count all the ways they have failed! 

This beautiful song by Michael Mclean captures beautifully the untapped understanding of what we do in our roles as women and mothers worldwide. 

Women are incredibly sensitive in so many ways. As a result, this day is often marked by loneliness, sadness, guilt, frustration, and doubts- definitely not the emotions intended for this beautiful day. It is easy for a woman to be blinded by her flaws so she cannot see her beauties. With all that I am, I believe this is darkness’s way to dim a woman’s goodness, actually, to dim her greatness; so she feels weakened under the pressure of her own self-torture. What women forget is that even the tiniest flicker of light washes away complete darkness. And as long as women hold even a glimmer of their own goodness, that collective glimmer will indeed flood the world with beauty and light! 
At a Peace Summit held in 2009 in Vancouver, the Dalai Lama spoke about the women of today’s world; he said, “The world will be saved by the western woman”… 

At this summit, he taught that the world needs an aggressive effort to promote the very basics of human compassion and human affection, suggesting that females have more sensitivity for the pain and suffering of those around them. It is through the gentle and humble compassion of women, the mother’s in this world, that the planet and her people will be cared for and nurtured! 
In reading about this summit, I found these words, 

“World-saving aside, women do what they do because it’s work that needs to be done. None of them do it with an eye toward winning a Nobel Peace Prize… Hopefully every woman who forwards these words will dig down deep enough to find the source of his inspiration and understand that he honors real women whose work continues day in, day out…regardless of whether they’re in the limelight or not.” 

Because I am traditionally one who is blinded by my flaws, this day consumes me with all, and more, of the emotions I’ve mentioned. I’ve begged my family to let this day go by with very little fan fare, asking usually for a picnic in the park. Well, this year, my doubts in my own mothering have been desperately dimmed by the circumstances of the past few weeks. Oh, how I have counted my shortcomings! I write today from Utah, where I rushed with barely a toothbrush in hand, to meet up with my college kiddos after a mothers most horrific nightmares became a living tragedy  and sent one child to the hospital. Tears and a flood of emotion have spilled uncontrollably from my heart and mind. 

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Amidst all of these feelings, I was flooded this morning with gratitude for the many women who have touched my life over the years. Women who come from all walks of life and family circumstances, who have added more joy and strength to who I am than they will ever truly know. This quote arrived in my mail box this morning, 
“A Mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary” Dorothy Canfield Fisher 
… there have been countless women in my life, as I’m sure there has been in yours, who have made ‘leaning unnecessary’; women who have cried with me, laughed with me, encouraged, guided, and walked with me. 
There are women who have silently prayed for me, influenced me, and lit my spark when I was to dim to shine. Only one woman gave birth to me, but countless women have given me life.

Today, as I sit alone in a room far from my home and children, I am thinking of a quote that I modified for my yoga classes months ago; 

Ocean liner, tugboat, or cruise ship- 
it does not matter the size of the boat, 
the lighthouse still shines. 
Often the lighthouse has no idea who has seen his light, 
who has been taken to safety, 
and who has been protected through the darkest storms.
The lighthouse does not go looking for boats to save, 
the lighthouse stands right where it is and shines!

Edmund Fitzgerald

Whether you see it or not, we as woman are our own very unique and brilliant lighthouse! You will never know who has seen your light, but I assure you that your light shines and many have been nourished and led by the brightness that is you. I assure you that regardless of your current circumstances, sorrows, doubts and fears; you are a mother. You feed the hungry, care for the pained, heal wounds, and light fires. Your smile, touch, and influence is broader than you’ll ever know. You will never do as much you think you can because your abilities are limitless. You will never know how much you do because your humility keeps you spreading your light forward. And you will never see the extent of your reach, because that is like counting the sands of the seas. 

Today, I celebrate you… 
You for who you are, what you do, and what you can’t see! 
I celebrate you… 
For who your goodness in this world, because no matter who you are, your light has filled my day with hope, with beauty, and with love! 

And with that, I can humbly say, 
The light within me recognizes and celebrates the light within you

Namaste

 

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