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Abandonment, Healing, and a New Perspective of Mother’s Day


My natural mother disappeared from my life when I was about seven years old. One day she was home with my sister and me. The next day she wasn’t. I didn’t know what happened to her, where she was, why she left, or whether she was dead or alive.


Naturally, each year as we approach Mother’s Day, I think about the experience I’ve had with my natural mother. I saw myself as abandoned for many years. As a result, I believed I was unworthy and I had a negative self-concept. Because of how I felt inwardly, despite my outer success, I engaged in a self-destructive lifestyle.


Many years later, I discovered the New Thought Ancient Wisdom Teachings, of which Spiritual Life Center is a part. I learned that how we view or see a particular situation determines what it is for us. Our interpretation and what we choose to place our attention on colors what our experience will be. When I began to look for the positive experiences I had with my mother, my whole outlook changed, and a new way of seeing my relationship with my mother emerged. So here’s a story with my mother that I remembered which helped me do that:


One summer I was in our backyard and I noticed a beehive. Being the mischievous child, I took the nearby stick and poked the nest. The bees came flying out, and I ran away and escaped their attack. I came back a second time and stirred up the nest. The bees once again came out, and I ran away. I went back the third time to strike the nest again. But this time, the bees were ready. As soon as I raised the stick, and before I could lower my arm, the bees flew out in a formation that would put the Blue Angels to shame. They came right at me. I ended up getting bee stings all over my head and neck. I swelled up with welts all over that part of my body. I’m sure I looked like one of those aliens with the lumpy heads on Star Wars.


But what I remember more than all the pain was my mother holding me and caressing the swelling and welts that sprung out on me. She did it with much love and affection. The singular and most searing memory I have of my childhood surfaced in my mind. I kept the vision of that memory in the forefront of my awareness. So even though she was not physically present, she was always with me because of that memorable moment.


One of my favorite scriptural phrases is from Philippians 4:8,“whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” When we see our world through that lens, our world reflects what we see.


Many people were not mothered appropriately, and there is pain or a significant deficit in that aspect of their lives.


However, we can forgive those who mothered us or did not mother us along the way. When we do, we unhook our attention from how we thought it should have been. The moment we forgive, we’ve released the past and unhooked our attention from our perceptions and interpretations that do not serve us. We don't deny the impact the facts may have had on our lives. But by releasing our attention, we achieve a level of dominion over our awareness, and unhook the past from how we thought it should be.


Moreover, no matter how our earthly mothers have raised us, we always have a loving and supportive presence – the Spirit of the Living God. It is a presence that is with us always.


And before I forget, I want you to know that nearly thirty years after my mother stopped being in my life, she reappeared, and we have developed an excellent relationship (that's a whole other story). I’m grateful that even during the many years she was not physically present, the essence and energy of her love were always there.


Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.


James

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