What the Dalai Lama said about motherhood

On Friday, I joined 11,000 of my brothers and sisters to enjoy being in the presence and wisdom of his holiness the Dalai Lama. Since he declared me his sister and repeatedly reminded us that we are all of the same essence, I will dispense with the “his holiness” part, with no disrespect.

This is my second mother’s day without my mum. Duncan said to me yesterday, “I’m sorry you won’t have your mom for mother’s day,” which somehow makes the whole thing sadder. He’s promised me my bi-yearly kiss today (birthday and mother’s day) as he no longer gives me kisses. I will relish the moment and keep up with the cuddles as long as he’ll let me.

So, the Dalai Lama. I’m sure different parts of his talk will stick with different people. It all depends on what resonates with us as well as what we want to hear. Adam heard the clip on the radio about how, as a boy, his mother carried him on her shoulders and he’d pull on her ears to steer her. He said that he never saw the face of anger in his mother. (Privately, I wonder if either his mother was a saint or if he was just a good kid.)

Perhaps the kids won’t grow up to become spiritual leaders, or they will in spite my occasional face of anger/frustration/exasperation. 😉 But I did take to heart the notion of showing our children affection and compassion. Our kids are well loved.

I felt well loved as a small child, too. I remember a time when I was delightful to the adults around me, when I was cherished and adored. That ended after my parents divorced and parenting time got screwy–instead I became annoying, whiny and not very wanted. Fortunately, I’m back to being loved now, as well as constantly needed (except when I’m not) and very much cherished.

I didn’t have children so that there would be someone who would always love me. But they do. It’s an amazing blessing.

Which brings me to my mum.

There were times in her mothering when she was far from perfect. I didn’t see just the face of anger–but of neglect, when she wasn’t around at all. She left me on my own too much, at too young an age. But she did love me.

My regret now is that I was never able to fully resolve my feelings about my upbringing and let that continue to affect my relationship with my mum. Letting go of old relationship dynamics and moving into new ways of being with someone is hard. I regret I wasn’t able to truly do that with my mum. Old resentments lingered.

I will always be grateful that her last words to me were, “I love you.” That as I played my CD for her and told her that we loved her and would miss her, but it was OK for her to go whenever she was ready–that she went.

I mourn her still. And the knowledge that I will continue for all my life is a heavy knowing.

Yet I see myself become her–hopefully in the good ways–and I see aspects of her in Berry, and I know she continues on.

And on mother’s day, I will be the best mum I can to my kids. I will cherish and love them, show them affection and continue to debate with them who loves who more, even though it’s completely impossible to determine. I think that’s why they call it a love beyond measure.


One thought on “What the Dalai Lama said about motherhood

  1. I only figured it out at the end too, and that’s my fault, not hers. Obviously we weren’t responsible for her choices when we were kids, but i was an adult for the last 20 years of her life and couldn’t sort it out. Would never have believed it could hurt so much. Thought i’d turned a corner one night in October, but no, the tears are still plentiful.

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