I can easily, genuinely, and profoundly thank my mother for giving birth to me. I can go way further than that. I can thank her from the bottom of my heart for loving me, caring for me, teaching me, holding me, guiding me on and on. Not everyone can say that about their mother. I am fortunate. Exceedingly fortunate. My relationship with my mother offered me much to learn from not the least of which was patience as well as the power of looking deeper into another human being and understanding that her pain and growth places affected mine. No matter what my learning was that my mother’s parenting offered me, bottom line she was kind, I was cherished, and I was well cared for. Not every child can say that of their parent. I can say that about two parents. I have been divinely gifted.
However, there are plenty of sadly and badly abused adults whose abuse came from their mother sometimes even before birth. I hold in my heart stories of desperation that no one should have to tolerate, much less a child. How do we find kindness in our heart for enemies, abusers, those who kill, rape, maim? For our own preservation and evolution, we must rise above the violence and madness into a higher sacred self and to go under the abuse and understand what has caused a person to be so evil.
A new member of the meditation class shared a visualization exercise she had experienced in response to the pain some group members had trying to grasp feeling kindly toward a mother who did not want them and let them know that in many unjust ways. The visualization is about imagining the parent as an infant beside you and think about them, feel them. Notice them, pray for them. Then have the infant slowly became a toddler, a young child, a teen and on and on. Imagine what went on in their life, who they were, what they may have had to face that informed and shaped them. Just do the exercise and do not judge, simply a child whose history you know something about and what their life was probably like for the purpose of understanding who they were and how that affected who they have become.
We are all responsible for how we decide to respond to what has happened to us in life. A mother who abuses her child because she knows no better, is mentally ill, or is thoughtless or uninformed has to learn and change sometime. Maybe not this life time but in some lifetime. In no way do I minimize the trauma many, many children go through. Maybe it is impossible to find kindness for someone who has caused so much pain. But the truth is we all made it to adulthood. Here we are. And we wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t given birth to us. If not kind, it certainly is the gift of life that gives us an opportunity to learn and find our way toward healing as best we are able to do.
This is a work in progress. I do not know at this moment what I think about evil. I do know that almost always I believe parents do the best they know how under the circumstances as they see them. A big leap from child abuse to the death of my partner. I did feel abandoned by her dying way before me. Being 21 years older than she was, I fully intended to be ushered into my dotage with pizzazz and Clo by my side. My better self, 2 years post her death, can see the kindness she showed me by rather than helping me die, instead giving me the gift of helping her pass into her next life, as well as giving me the gift of her confidence that I could do my own last 20 or 30 years in a remarkably healthy and happy manner. Thank you for your kindness Clo. You did leave me in a world with love safely surrounding me, and I can still feel your faith and knowing that I can do it all on my own.