Thoughts that Illuminate
What is Motherhood? Turning the definition right-side up
Before I became a mom, I must confess that I bought hook-line-and sinker, societies definition of
motherhood… We give birth, tend to the child’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs, teach them about
the world, and in return the child responds with smiles, laughter, love and obedience. The goal of
motherhood is realized when they become a loving, responsible, contributing member of society. It seemed
so simple and straightforward. That is until I became a mom. As many young mothers I often struggled
with the “right answer”, felt completely “out of my league” and had gone to bed many nights feeling like a
complete failure. How many of us feel as if we have been put in the driver’s seat of our kid’s lives without
so much as a map, a GPS system or an On-Star with a nice calm voice that will tell us exactly what to do in
all emergency situations? (At one point I have a recollection of actually saying to God “What were you
thinking? I have no idea what I’m doing!”) What I didn’t realize at the time is that what I suffered from was
my belief in how I saw myself as a mother and what constituted “success” or “failure” as defined by society
(and by me). If we are on a spiritual path (a walk toward remembering God and our Self) we must seek out
a more loving definition of motherhood that will free us from feelings of guilt, failure and lack. For it is
these very beliefs that block us from remembering who we really are.
Turning the definition right-side up:
The course states that our only purpose is to be healed and to heal. This is for both mother and child. If we
give our relationship for this purpose than a parent/child relationship becomes very holy ground.
Children as teachers:
The traditional understanding of the role of mother is one who teaches and guides children through the
maze of complexity in the world. Although this one aspect of our role; to give to someone who
temporarily has less, we must not lose sight of their role in our lives as our teachers.
Our children give to us the foundation necessary for all learning; a commitment and willingness to be
taught. Have you noticed that as moms we are determined to leave no stone unturned if in some way it
would be for the benefit of our kids? We will “leap tall buildings in a single bound” if it means finding an
answer. As we walk a spiritual path, we are being asked to turn this passion and determination inward. The
Holy Spirit wants to gently lead us to look at and release our false beliefs and our fears held within the
mind. It is because of our deep love for our kids and knowing that healing is shared, that we are willing to
stretch ourselves past our comfort zone, to go through barriers of fear, and explore all that we would
otherwise keep hidden from healing.
Another precious gift our children bring to us is the gift of reflection. Like a mirror, they reflect back to us
the places where we are attached to control, fear, lack of trust, and a belief in our own guilt. “A Course In
Miracles” states that the Holy Spirit cannot heal that which you won’t release to Him. If things stay in our
unconscious, then we are in essence limiting our healing. If we are willing to bring them to our conscious
mind (our awareness), the Holy Spirit can then shine the light of Truth on them and they will disappear.
Where else but in relationship to our children, do we have such an array of opportunities that show us
what we truly believe?
Although our children can be a source to reflect all of our false beliefs they can also be a reflection of our
holiness. We have taught ourselves that we are the personality, our surface traits, our experiences our
bodies, our roles etc. Here is the overall lesson we must learn; we are not who we think we are. Who are
we Really? We are “Spirit, a holy Son of God, free of all limits, safe and healed and whole” (W.#97). Our
children stand before us as a body. Is this who they are? Can we look past all that the ego would identify as
who they are and see a spirit whole and free? Imagine if we did, what a gift of reflection that would be for
us. As the greeting of Namaste implies; there is a place in all of us “where spirit lives where only love
abides, where peace is constant, where we are all equal, where we are one. The Holy Spirit can give us this
vision of our children and ourselves if we invite Him to do so. Although this can be the most challenging to
do with our children because we identify with our love for who they are in a body; it can also be the most
freeing. If we can see our children as equal Beings of love and holiness we will have very little trouble seeing
ourselves this way.
Mothers as teachers:
Now that we have seen what our children give to us for our healing, what do we give to them? Once we
commit the relationship with our children to our healing the rest is very simple. We are to love them on
their journey trusting that they are being lead to what is best for their healing. We are to teach by example
not to judge situations as good or bad but to view every situation and relationship as an opportunity to
release the blocks that keep us from knowing Who we really are. We are to help them learn how to listen
and trust the Voice within. We are to be a witness to their wholeness and the Christ within them so they
can begin to see it in themselves.
Our relationship is blessed with this new understanding. As we dedicate our relationship to our only
purpose; to be healed and to heal, our relationship becomes the holy ground on which we walk to God.
To all of the moms who read this, I wish for you a happy day of remembering that the role you play as
‘mom’ can be seen in a new light. One that is free of guilt, feelings of failure or fear. Let the Holy Spirit
lead you to healing through your relationship with your children. The greatest gift you can give your
children is to accept the truth of Who you are. In your demonstration they will begin to learn about who
they are and in this realization all pain and suffering is gone and only peace remains.
Written by: Patti Fields