On Mothers and Mothering (fierce love and nudging)

There is so much around the mother wound, the mother legacy that makes us who we are. Today I wish my own mother were here too so I could fold myself into her fleshy comforting embrace, but she comes to me in spirit and I can feel her presence as I write this. PIN to read later, or save to your journaling to heal page. 

When I was working with my wild women in my 7-Day Wild Woman Journaling Challenge last week (and still) I felt these nestlings in my group were finding their way. I felt overwhelming love and protection for them. And as the week progressed and the day's journaling questions got deeper and asked more of them, they so needed my encouragement and my ability to see them for the divine wild women they already are. And on the last day, when we wrote about what their personal vision of their own wild woman was, I knew these fledglings were ready to fly. I felt so proud of them for embracing their beautiful souls and seeing the possibilities. It was an exhausting process.I put so much of my heart into it.

And today I feel, it was as much for me as it was for them.

There is so much around the mother wound, the mother legacy that makes us who we are.

My mom in 1989, three years before her death...

My mom in 1989, three years before her death...

Today I wish my own mother were here too so I could fold myself into her fleshy comforting embrace, but she comes to me in spirit and I can feel her presence as I write this. I wish I had more pictures of my mother as she got older, but I didn’t take them, feeling as though she would always be there. And the ones I have, make me cringe a bit because my body is so like hers and some days I don’t want to face that truth.

I am my mother. Even though I chose not to be a biological mother, I mother. And I am learning that I can take the beautiful parts of my mother, use her medicine, and leave the rest behind.

Mother's Day 1992. We all gathered to share her last Mother's Day with us. My birthday always falls at the same time as Mother's Day, so it was extra special now. I organized everyone to buy her a family ring with all of our birthday's in it. I received it when she died and one day, it was gone... lost forever. 

Mother's Day 1992. We all gathered to share her last Mother's Day with us. My birthday always falls at the same time as Mother's Day, so it was extra special now. I organized everyone to buy her a family ring with all of our birthday's in it. I received it when she died and one day, it was gone... lost forever. 

My mother died far too young — filled with regret and shame. As much as I wish she were still here, it was her ultimate gift to show me that her way was not the path for me. I don’t have to be my mother in all ways. I am a wild woman in my heart and I am growing to accept all of my bits, bringing the shadow to the light and letting it go of it all. It is one of the steps in embracing the wholeness of me so that I can refine and re-envision who I want to be as a Wild Woman Crone.

Today is a day for gentleness… My heart is tender and wide open. Today I won’t stop the tears that want to fall. I have earned them.

Today I will mother myself.


kathy mercure profile

kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students to help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women in realizing their true identity as wild women, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)

 

The completely bearable lightness of be-ing

The completely bearable lightness of be-ing

My mind wants me to believe that I should be working, working, working to earn money in my business, but my soul was telling me to sit in front of the ocean and listen and feel and breathe. Thankfully, I indulged my soul instead of my mind.

Dancing in the Desert Stars

dancing in the desert stars

Part 2 of my journaling journey, which began with Coming to the Journal.


After my mother died in December 1992, I felt as though I was wrapped in cotton gauze. Everything was muffled and nothing was coming in or going out. If anything did make its way to my heart, the grief turned the volume down so low I could not comprehend. I did what I needed to do to get through the days; I went to work, visited my father on weekends, spent time with well-intentioned friends, but the pervasive numbness gripped me tightly.

As always, journaling helped. I'm sure if I were to read the journals I wrote at that time, the writings would be jumbled words that amounted to nothingness. But simply connecting pen to paper, helped. Journaling opened the doorway to my heart. I began to take creative writing classes and it felt good to let the creative me take over. Eventually I graduated to writing retreats, mostly on my own, smoking pot, listening to flamenco music, and writing whatever my heart had to tell me.

Then I enrolled in a dream journaling class and it began. It was always the same dream...

Dragonflies Night by Jimmy Lawlor (found on Pinterest). One day soon I will purchase a print of this...

Dragonflies Night by Jimmy Lawlor (found on Pinterest). One day soon I will purchase a print of this...

I am standing on a plateau of red rocks in the desert of the Southwestern U.S. as the sun is setting. In the dwindling light the saguaro cactus with their imposing shadows stand like sentries at the gate of some mysterious opening that I cannot pass through.The red rocks grow a deep rust, the same colour as the bloody foam that came from deep inside my mother's dying body. I feel something welling up inside of me that needs to come out and I fear if I don’t, I too will die without speaking my truth.

In front of me I am watching the colours of the sky turn from orange to red, to purple. I begin to dance, whirling and twirling to the most hauntingly beautiful melody ringing in my ears. I spin faster and faster as the sky turns to indigo tinged with the deepening fire of the disappearing sun. Suddenly, I am no longer bound to Earth. I am whirling and twirling higher up into the sky; I am a whirling dervish of ecstatic motion. My clothes fall away and I am naked. The feel of the midnight blue sky on my bare skin is magnificent. I am skinny-dipping among the stars. I've never felt so free. I rise higher and higher and the stars become a gossamer gown of sparkling light. Then I become the stars and I disappear among them.

It was a wondrous dream. Soon after, I began to see the colours of the desert everywhere, and was wildly attracted to them. By the third time I had this dream, each time more vivid, there could be no doubting it — the desert was calling me. In those dreams I became my truest self. I was returning to life.

Sometimes we need to die to be reborn

In February of 1993, I was walloped by a terrible bronchitis that kept me in bed for an entire week. I felt alone, a lost orphan. When I was sick, it was the one time I had my mom all to myself and I missed her terribly. In my delirium, I felt the soothing of her gently cooling hand on my forehead. Night and day blended into nothingness in my darkened room. The fireplace in the bedroom of my apartment became the setting sun as my dream of the desert turned dark. The saguaro sentries stood towering over me, blocking me from seeing the desert sunset, and bound me to the earth. I could not dance, nor twirl, nor rise above them to join the stars as I longed to do. I awoke, soaked in my own sweat, sobbing inconsolably.

By Friday of that week I was finally able to sit up. The weak Vancouver sun was peeking through the clouds. I noticed birds were singing. I needed to be outside and feel its glorious warmth on my face. I called my friend Penny, a writer who worked from home. She was always up for a coffee and we met at our usual spot. It was warm enough to sit outside and although I had used all my energy on a shower and getting there, I felt alive for the first time in a very long time.

I told Penny I had the dream again and as I bathed in the sun, we began to weave a story of adventure with me as Thelma and she Louise. We would ride into the desert in the van we slept in, letting nothing stop us on our quest for me to meet and bed the famous flamenco guitarist and she the writer on writing, who both lived in the Southwest.

 

HERE’S WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE

Sometimes we need to die to be reborn…

My mother’s death when I was 31, propelled me into action. It gave me the courage to accept that I did not want to lead my life in the stress-filled position of production manager in the advertising business. I knew if I stayed I would never pursue my dreams of being a promotional writer. I was creative and I wanted to do work that made my heart happy and had meaning. I did not want my life to depend on a half-percent rise or fall in the market share of a brand of toilet paper. 

I gave myself a year to prepare. I sold everything that no longer served me as I readied myself to travel to the southwestern United States. I wanted to believe that my friend Penny would be coming with me because it helped me to keep moving toward my dreams. But, when my job ended and I moved into her place until it was time to go, she finally told me she wasn’t coming. And so, gathering all of my courage, I loaded up my car and set off to the border. It took two tries, but I finally got across. My adventure had begun.

To this day, I have never returned to live in Vancouver, but that solo trip gave me the courage to be the writer I was meant to be, live in new places, and meet the man I was meant to marry. Imagine all the the things that had to happen to bring me to the life I live now. It still astounds me when I think about it!

While she was living, my mother never pressured me to settle down or have children. That wasn’t the life she wanted for herself and I think she saw a different life for me too. And her dying gave me the courage to see the life I was living was not the life I wanted. She gave me permission to begin my life as hers ended.

Journaling has helped me to see this. It’s what I call Turning the Prism, and what Byron Katie calls the Turnaround. I will not be so presumptuous to say that my mother gave up her life so I could be reborn, but honestly, it feels that way. It feels like it was our Soul Contract (the agreements we make with our soul family before we were born into this life), because her dying made me discover my own life, my unique strengths and finally become the explorer I've always been meant to be.


Next time I'll share about journaling my way through the Four Corner states of the U.S. and how it led to the next chapter of my life journey. 


kathy mercure profile

kathy mercure is a storyhealer, storylistener, and storyteller. Her life’s work is to gently draw stories from her students to help them unblock their writing, find their voice, and heal their lives. Her passion is to support women in realizing their true identity as wild women, claiming their passions, and speaking their truth as they become their most authentic selves. (Photo by EagleSpirit Soul Shots)