One of my spiritual mentors, Virginia Harris (CSB), was interviewed in this little book Life Messages for Moms. I thought I’d share some of what she had to say in this book about motherhood, to support all you moms out there on Mother’s Day. Like me, she is a mother of three…
• “I don’t think motherhood is so much of an event but more as a way of living each day, each moment. I really try to live my motherhood as the expression of God’s mothering of the world. I try to mother everyone in every situation. I try to bring the motherhood qualities to the boardroom or walking on the beach. I think it’s really important that those mothering qualities go out beyond the door and not just cling to the hearth.”
• “Unconditional love is love that remains love even if it doesn’t meet any response. It’s love without an object or an action to call it forth. … That love gives one an inner strength, a spiritual poise, a grace, a calm, a safety.”
• “I love to see my sons express their motherhood. I think to me as a mother the happiest moments have not just been when they won a football game, or the soccer game, or gotten A’s on their papers. I love it when they express their motherhood without any reservation or even stopping to think if it’s okay to hug someone, show sensitivity, or load or unload the dishwasher. To be there as that emotional caregiver as well as the physical and financial provider. It is a real joy to see them as men expressing that.”
• “Intuition is one of women’s greatest assets. We’ve been cultivating it for centuries, for millennia. I think we’ve been cultivating it because we haven’t been able to speak. It made us program ourselves to listen, listen, listen.
Women have developed a very keen sense of reading and knowing a situation. They have the ability to see and hear sometimes beyond what appears on the surface, to feel intuitively what is right or what’s the next thing to do before we see the facts and know the right things to do.
Our intuition, our maternal instinct, is that radar antenna that guides us, that knows when to move, knows when to do this or do that. It brings a sense of wisdom and poise and peace, but it has to be cultivated. We crowd it out if we don’t allow ourselves to have that mental space to truly listen. I make space every morning and every evening to just sit and be still because I feel that nurtures me and cultivates and develops spiritual listening. It’s when I stop talking, it’s when I stop mentally processing and reasoning and truly listen. Listen to the thought; listen to the angels that are whispering.
I used to feel that with the children. I would sometimes know things before they called. I often knew before they knew and they’d say, ‘Mother, how did you know that?’ ‘Oh, mother has eyes all over her head. Ears all over her face.’ They would laugh.
…Spiritual intuition… it’s something that is very, very precious, and it needs to be valued because it’s spiritual equipment that God has given us to get through the day.”
• “I have been both a working mom and a stay-at-home mom. … I think that every mother is a working mother. Every mother is an executive. Every mother is a manager. Every mother is a custodian. We’re all those things in one.”
• “Mary Baker Eddy says a mother is the strongest educator, and I think that’s true. She’s an educator of habits, attitudes, confidence, courage, and ways of approaching situations.”
• My mother and grandmother… set a wonderful standard of morality, spirituality, community responsibilities, love, and selflessness. After dinner I’d get to sit and visit with my grandmother. I learned so much from her in those conversations. Every night she’d say to me, ‘Is the world a better place tonight because of what you did today?’ That was an interesting concept to get my arms around… Each day I knew she was going to ask me that. It made me think about my day differently.”
• “I find that I’m always encouraging people, particularly as they get older, to have children or childlike qualities in their lives. … As I listen and watch my kids, I become more childlike. I’ve seen that they live in the moment. They don’t worry about yesterday. They are not thinking about tomorrow. … So the importance of the now and the fulness of each moment can be learned from children. I also learned to trust and not worry. Children trust that they will be cared for. They have such joy. They are so innocent and so powerful.”
• “I have a long list of mother figures. I love the Bible, and I look to that always to guide me in my daily life. I think of Moses as a wonderful mother. We think of Moses and Abraham as patriarchs, but they had wonderful mother qualities. Moses had patience. He overcame a lot of self-doubt and fear. He had an awesome responsibility leading these children, which is a mother’s job, out of bondage and into freedom. He listened to those ten commandments. I think Moses is a wonderful mother figure. Obviously Jesus is another – the selfless Christ qualities that he expressed, showing us that God’s love is truly all that God is. I love Ruth in the Bible. I think she was a great daughter-in-law, and as a daughter-in-law she expressed wonderful mothering qualities. I love the mothering qualities of Mary Magdalene.”
• “I have appreciated being both a mother and being a friend, and I’ve never seen it as difficult. I think I have achieved that by listening and being flexible, being humble. and setting aside my own preconceived ideas of how they should do something. To be a friend and a mother, you can’t go into a conversation about something thinking that you know what the answer is or where this conversation should come out. You need to respect your children as unique individuals, not treat them as little people with less knowledge. Respect their ability to know and come forward with intelligent answers and actions.”
• “I love my motherhood maturing because it has broadened my home and hearth in service to the community and the world. I so respect our foremothers who fought so hard to get through the doors of their homes… to mother the world.”
• “I often go back to a quote from Science and Health, by Mary Baker Eddy, who, as I’ve said is one of my great mentors. She says, “Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual creation.’”
Happy Mother’s Day!