Journey to Nurturing

Nurturing is a state of consciousness.  We cultivate nurturing when we care for others who need our support.  This may be our children, our parents, the poor, the elderly, the handicapped, or those with life threatening illnesses.  Nurturing others is an expression of the Divine Mother energy of unconditional love, acceptance, and support.  Even in the animal kingdom, mothers put the needs of their offspring above their own needs.  They feed their children and protect them from predators.  They are gentle with their offspring, but fierce with those who would hurt them or compromise their safety.

Opposite States of Consciousness:  Not nurturing, Selfishness, Putting our own needs in front of those of our children or others who are vulnerable and need our support and protection.  Being emotionally distant, unable to express caring or affection, abandoning or betraying those we have a responsibility to love and protect.

The Teaching

Nurturing is the primary attribute of the Divine Mother Energy.  Mother cares for her children above all else and will even sacrifice herself to protect them or save their lives.   Her love is unconditional and steadfast.  There is never a time when she puts her own needs above the needs of the vulnerable ones she is here to support and protect.
     All of us embody the Mother energy to some degree.  We all have the capacity to nurture others.  We do this by creating a safe environment in which others can grow and thrive.  We learn to set healthy boundaries to prevent that safety from being compromised. 
     In the womb the child is nurtured and protected by the woman’s body.  Even when the baby is born, that nurturing and protection continue.  The child needs a safe place to explore the world.  It needs someone who pays close attention to it and is committed to meeting its needs. 
     When the mother’s love is strong and committed the child thrives.  When the mother is ill, incompetent or preoccupied with meeting her own needs, the child’s needs are neglected.  Abandonment or betrayal can result, leaving lasting trauma.
     Of course, those who are incapable of nurturing others were very likely neglected or abandoned by their own mothers.  They did not have a safe place to grow up in and so they do not know how to create safety for themselves or their children.  In addition, boundaries may have been absent or insufficient and they may have been abused by strangers or other family members.  
      One of the great lessons of becoming parents is that we always re-create on some level the neglect or abuse we experienced in our own childhood.   Or we may seek to compensate for our childhood experience by going to the other extreme.  So if we were not protected as children, we may be over-protective of our own children.  This results in a different type of wounding.
     Ideally, we are nurtured and protected in healthy ways.  We are given what we need, not more or less.   That enables us to grow up and move gradually toward independence.   When we are given too much mothering, we become co-dependent and have trouble individuating.  On the other hand, when we are given too little nurturing, we individuate too soon before our physical and  emotional needs have been met. 
       Being a good mother is not as easy as some might think.  Before having children, we may bask in the romantic glow, but the process of giving birth and caring for a baby 24/7 brings us back to reality pretty quickly. 
     This brings up the important question “How can we nurture others if we ourselves have not received healthy mothering, and never learned how to nurture ourselves?  The answer, of course, is we can’t.  We have to learn how to do it.
    Self-nurturing is necessary if we are going to learn how to nurture others. We have to learn how to create a safe environment for ourselves, how to set boundaries with people we can’t trust, how to commune with the little boy or girl inside who never grew up. 
     We have to become the loving and accepting mommy we did not have.   We have to show up for ourselves, learn to meet our own needs, and give ourselves the caring and affection that were missing from our childhood.   Obviously, this is a huge task and it cannot be accomplished overnight.  It is the work of many years of healing and reconciliation.   Right now, we have to be content to take the first few baby steps.

The Practice

Today, be aware of your mommy wound and see how it makes it difficult for you to give and receive love.  Use every opportunity today to open your heart and bring unconditional love to yourself and others.
     Today notice when you are creating safety for yourself and others and when you are not.  As soon as you realize that you do not feel safe, stop what you are saying or doing.  Take a time out to nurture yourself, to bring love to your inner child, and to set boundaries with others.  Say “I am feeling overwhelmed right now.  I need to take some time for myself.”  Go for a walk in the woods or on the beach.  Or just go to your bedroom, close the door, and give yourself some love.
     When you see that others who are weak or vulnerable are being bullied or shamed by others, speak up and support them.  When you see that others have needs you can meet, offer your help and encouragement.  When your love is needed give it gladly.
      Today be the nurturing mommy to yourself and to others.   Understand that your love can make a huge difference in the lives of others.  A simple hug or a few words of encouragement can change the course of someone’s day.  And it will have a ripple effect, touching others.  Because love is the greatest power in the universe and when it is given unconditionally, without strings attached, it has the power to lift up those who have fallen, and to redeem those who feel judged or betrayed.  
     Today, be the voice of Divine Mother who loves all of her children, without exception.  Be her hands reaching out to those who need support, encouragement, or protection.  And bring that love, not just to others, but to yourself, as well.  For all beings are worthy of love.  And if you do not take time to receive love, you are not able to bring that love forward into the world.

Journaling Questions

Where do you need to bring more nurturing to yourself or to others? Are you able to embrace the nurturing that is offered to you? 

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