Mother Love Liberates

My mother often didn’t understand me, but she still let me be me. And that is the gift that she gave me. She did not try to define me. She let me define myself.

Imagine a small child riding her tricycle as fast as she could down the steep driveway straight into the street until a passerby stopped his car to let her mother know what she was doing. Imagine a slightly older child defending her slightly older sister by saying to the bully “I have something for you,” and then mashing a snowball in his face and running like hell. An older girl, crying to her teacher and saying that no, she couldn’t kill insects and stick them on pins for science class. A teenager hopping the bus to NYC with her friends to attend wild concerts. A young woman moving miles away and then more miles away for school, for love, for work, to find her own destiny.

Independent or willful? Overactive or energetic? Passionate or overly emotional? Spirited or reckless? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I was. My mother admired my spirit, but it scared her too. She wasn’t sure where it would take me….perhaps to places she wouldn’t go. But she let me go anyway. She encouraged me to follow my star by stepping out of the way.

I am thinking about my mother, and myself as a mother, on this prelude to Mother’s Day. No other relationship starts in the womb closer than close, but often ends with many miles apart. We grow them, and then we let them grow.

My mother is gone 5 years now. We loved each other, but we didn’t always get each other. And when I look at my own children, I try to embrace her view. I may not always understand their choices, but I recognize that they are theirs to make. They are already journeying away from me to become more of themselves. And I remember Maya Angelou’s words on how a mother’s love liberates:

“Love liberates, It doesn’t just hold – that’s just ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.”


Be in Love, But Don’t Lose Your “I”

“You’re in love with love.” That’s what my mom used to say to me. And she was right. I was in love with love. I still am. How could I not be? Emotion is my thing. And there is no greater emotional high than romantic love.

When your super power is being able to feel what someone else feels, and your beloved loves and desires you, it is intoxicating. And when you are in your lover’s embrace, you let them in completely. You share your emotions completely. You are open. You can feel the warmth and power of shared emotion literally emanating from your heart chakra and spreading out throughout your body. It is the best kind of intense as you intertwine and release all of your emotions.

So yes, I love being in love. But I’ve also learned not to lose my “I.” Because that emotional high of connecting with your beloved is so wonderful, it is easy to lose your sense of self. Is is easy for us to get absorbed into another. Your lover’s light is shining with your love. You see it and it makes you happy. But be careful. Share your light, but don’t give it away. Empaths and sensitive souls will love greatly. But always remember to love yourself greatly too.

Most of us have to learn this the hard way. Young love can be cruel to an empath. It is exciting and new and we give our love and light away without even realizing the impact of what we are doing. Then the break up …. and we are crushed. Because our lover is gone AND it seems our light is gone. It takes a long time to recover. Lots of kindling to build up our inner light again.

But we learn from this experience. We love love. So we love again. We share our light. But we watch to make sure that our light is being nourished too. We don’t give it all away. We ask for some give and take. We keep our “I” by keeping some Independence. We keep our “I” by keeping some Individuality. We keep our “I” by keeping some Interest in our friends, families, careers, pursuits.

Yes, we are natural givers. Yes, we love deeply. Yes, we love love. We just need to remember to love ourselves too.