Gina Murdock: How can we all mother this moment?
Lead with Love
I have been thinking a lot lately about motherhood and the qualities of mothering that are required for ourselves, our children, our planet and our society to heal.
The old view of mother as martyr is not what I am talking about. It is the Divine Mother, the qualities of care, warmth, tenderness, presence and connection that feel necessary for us to heal and thrive as a society.
I know so many mothers, including my own, who embody these characteristics. I am inspired by these women, and many men as well, who are caretakers and healers in their everyday actions and words.
A friend of mine, Bob Chapman, who is a brilliant and successful CEO, says he thinks of all of his employees as someone’s precious child. Each person is that, even an orphan is a precious child of God, and I think all children deserve our love, care and respect. If you are in conflict with another, it may help to just imagine that person as a child who needs love.
Renowned author and psychologist Gerry Jampolsky writes in “Love is Letting Go of Fear” that there are really only two emotions in life: fear and love. Fear, he says, is someone who is reaching out for love. Some people are more capable than others to choose love in a situation. If someone around you is unable to make that choice, you can still choose love and create a miraculous shift. That is love in action. That is the Divine Mother who can soothe even the most petulant toddler (or man child) without being personally offended or upset.
“Fear and Love can never be experienced at the same time. It is always our choice as to which of these emotions we want. By choosing Love more consistently than fear, we can change the nature and quality of our relationships,” Jampolsky writes in “Love Is Letting Go of Fear.”
It’s liberating to start to witness someone else’s, or our own, upset, anger or fear as a call for help. The Divine Mother is not under the delusion she will fix or change someone; she recognizes the call to be seen and heard, but she is no enabler. She is an incredibly effective and fierce advocate who comes from a place of knowing that love trumps hate and fear.
In my life I’ve been drawn to helping kids who are abandoned and abused by their caregivers. I’ve yet to have children of my own and I’ve felt the yearning for something I didn’t have create a deep ache inside; I often imagined that ache must be so much more profound when it is a child yearning for a mother.
I couldn’t do this work without turning my yearning for an unmet need into action by redefining motherhood and whose children are “mine,” and by turning my judgment for those who neglect children into compassion. Only then could my energy be spent on healing and solutions vs proving people or situations are wrong or bad.
We have over 400,000 orphans in our country in the U.S. Foster Care system (and more than 140 million orphans worldwide). I am calling on all mothers out there to just know and be aware of these facts.
While so many of us can tenderly mother those in our own family, how often do we raise our gaze to see all of God’s children as our own? What if we cared for everyone we met — child, adult or the elderly — as somebody’s precious child? Could the wounds that person is expressing be soothed by the kindness of a stranger? It’s a worthwhile experiment.
This week at Lead with Love we felt the call to honor the health care workers who are mothering all of us through this pandemic. If you have not been brought to tears by their heroism, you are not paying attention. We all deserve love and praise, care and comfort.
Let’s come together to give some appreciation to those who serve on the front lines and to honor mothers of all kinds who tenderly care for people, planet and the “good society” we know we are capable of creating by courageously leading with love. Join us at noon Dec. 9 on Zoom.
Gina Murdock is the founder of the Aspen-based nonprofit Lead with Love. She writes a monthly column for The Aspen Times about causes and actions people can take that are highlighted in their newest offering Love in Action, a Zoom work session every other Wednesday for more information, go to ileadwithlove.org.
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