In honor of the recent Mother’s Day Holiday, I want to send blessings, love and support to all mothers everywhere! A day just isn’t enough for what you do.
September 2020… My neighbor’s cat had it’s 5th litter in my backyard. We’ve lived here for almost 3 years.
The first three litters, I didn’t know about until kittens began emerging from under our deck, we didn’t yet know momma kitty and she was hiding. The fourth litter, I watched Momma roaming in the cold rain, big and pregnant looking for a safe place.
She’s an “outside” cat and her family backyard has two german shepherds… not an ideal environment for giving birth and raising kittens. So, we fixed up a big box and towels for her in our shed, she had her kittens and a week or so later the neighbor kids came knocking on the door asking for them. I happily handed over the box and asked them to please have her and the kittens fixed. Thank goodness THAT’s over. Ha!
Fast forward to September… 5th litter, 5 more kittens… the teenagers from her last litter still running around all over the neighborhood, we knew we had to get involved. This was not my idea of a good time. I’ve never owned a cat and certainly hadn’t planned on raising kittens. But, the idea of 5 more cats running around motivated me to action. I moved through the initial “don’t wants” and came to a place of more ease around what needed to be done. We would care for the kittens and get them adopted when the time came.
As I came to this decision and began to support this sweet little mother cat, that really had no choice in her life but to have these kittens and take care of them the best she can…. I had a really profound thought. What if I gave her all the love and conscious support… not PERFECT support, but the best and most “aware” support I can provide? Ok. Let’s do this.
She got food, shelter from the cold and rain, and lots of love. It always amazed me how she’d leave the food to receive the love. As I sat and loved on her I thought about the love and support I didn’t receive when I was a young pregnant mother. Though married, I got pregnant at 19 and felt embarrassed and ashamed. I didn’t feel as though I deserved help. I had “made my bed” so to speak and didn’t allow myself to ask for or expect the help and support I really needed.
What if, I thought. What if I gave this little momma cat the sweet, tender, loving kindness and support I needed? What if I just do the things I can do without needing to do everything and perfectly?
I think of mothers everywhere that take much of the responsibility, and get most of the blame, having only and ever done the best they could at the time.
Can you find a similar situation in your life, that you could offer yourself, through action toward another, all that you needed but didn’t receive? Oftentimes we feel we don’t have these things to give but actually, offering what you always needed heals those tender places in ourselves that need the attention.
Realizing and embracing the idea that no mother can do it all, and we all need help, is paramount to our thriving. Also understand that we have always had what we needed, or thought we were lacking, in some form or other. If you think you don’t have your keys but they’re actually in the pocket of the pants you wore yesterday, do you really NOT have your keys? Or are you just not looking in the right place?
Though our children (pets, projects, relationships), every one of our insecurities are able to play out right before our eyes. Our outer, physical, right now reality, is a perfect reflection of our inner struggles. So being aware of this information can help you relax and soften around anything you might currently feel bad about.
ALERT – Unsolicited Parenting Advice!
What I’ve learned is this, take it or leave it. We’re supposed to love, support, teach and enjoy our children to the best of our (human) ability and then set them free to live the life they came here to live, regardless of what we’ve hoped and envisioned for them. And our perfection or being far from it has nothing to do with the success or perceived failures of our children. We all (as individual mind-body-spirit complexes) came here to do what we do, not do what someone else wants or thinks we should do. So, if you’re judging yourself based on what your child has or hasn’t accomplished, you’re missing your own point. And on the other end of that, if your child is judging you for parenting mistakes, they haven’t grown up enough to recognize these truths for themselves. So bless all of our hearts! Let everyone, including yourself, off the hook. We all came here to experience what we’re experiencing and this “choose your own adventure” is just that. You get to choose and so does everyone else.
Not knowing where this “kitten raising road” was going when it started… nearing the end I could see how this, as everything, was a lesson in letting go. (of old stories, ideas, energy, people, places or things that no longer serve us)
How to let go and when to let go have been recurring struggles I’ve created/experienced in my life.
From this level of consciousness I let myself feel my way through it without judgment or rush. “I’ll know when I know”… is what I tell myself. Because, as I have often experienced, there always comes a time when I’ve had enough and I am ready, willing and able to go through whatever I have to go through, to get where I want to be.
Support for Mothers
We, as women and mothers (and of course some men), love our children, spouses, family and friends so much that we’ll give it all, everything we have, to someone unwilling or unable to give us what we need in return.
If you find yourself there, just BE there. Don’t struggle. Relax. Breathe. Right where you are. Feel what it feels like physically in your body to experience what you’re experiencing. Don’t think about anything. Stop and breathe. Whatever it is. It can shift.
If we let “what is” BE, and turn our attention to a subject (or object, such as my neighbors cat and her 5 kittens) that is pleasing, relaxing, playful, fun, sweet… we can let things shift. That doesn’t mean we’re not attending to what needs attending to, it means that we’re creating our reality by selectively focusing on things that please and ease us in moments of frustration about another subject. And from the knowing/understanding of “you get what you focus on”, that’s a darn good tactic.
The name of the game is relaxation. If you are relaxed about something, you’ll not struggle against it and it can more easily turn out how you want, or in such a way that you’re easily able to flow with. We wanted our neighbors to have their cat fixed but we didn’t want to approach it from a place of frustration or judgement. Great!
How can you relax about what’s happening or “could” happen? (Is the cat pregnant again!? NO!) Keep breathing and feel through the sensations of the emotions surrounding the upset.
Can you catch yourself in a moment when you’re wanting something good to happen but are actually PLANNING on something bad happening? Just being aware that you’re doing this begins to shift your perception of what’s actually happening.
The kittens have been adopted, yes! And here I sit feeling the familiar painful feeling of letting go. Knowing this is the way. The natural way of things. Heartbroken, but full of hope for these sweet babes to have happy lives. We did the work, physically, emotionally and energetically/ vibrationally. It wasn’t necessarily easy, but knowing what we know, totally worth it.
Fast forward 8 months, Momma kitty got pregnant again, and had her 6th and final litter in our shed. This time though, when the neighbor kids came knocking on our door and I carried Gracie (we finally learned her name) and her 4 fat and healthy kitties next door and deposited them in our neighbors home, we were thanked so sweetly for caring for them and assured she would be fixed. YES, please and thank you. What a blessing.
We walked home filled with love and bursting with joy at the way we allowed this scenario to play out. Our sweet neighbor kids get to have the experience of raising these kittens and taking responsibility for them. It was a beautiful interaction.
So, for me, the big movement around some really tender, personal, old pain and upset in regard to my own young parenting experience was played out through the journey from irritation, upset and judgment around caring for my neighbors cat into understanding, acceptance and appreciation for each experience, mine and hers.
When we can withhold judgment and just allow ourselves to experience what’s in front of us magical things can happen. Life is happily exposing us to our limiting beliefs for our own benefit. It’s our own free will choice to take it or leave it.
Happy Friday, my friends.
I myself, will take it.
All my love,