Two weeks before our epic annual trip to France and Hong Kong/China, my little one got rather sick. She had flu, chest infection and high fever, followed by an allergic reaction to her antibiotics. I didn’t have much sleep during those two weeks because of all the pre-trip work I’ve planned and her illness unplanned.
Despite all the physical and emotional exhaustion (48+ hours road trip from our home in Sydney to our home in France), I felt there is tremendous strength in a mother’s heart. We rise as superwoman, pulling through all the hurdles in order to help our loved ones to get better and get through the challenges together as a family.
The whole experience reminded me of an article I’ve written some time ago but didn’t release. It is about the “Mothers of the World”. As I’ve become a mother myself, I understand what “unconditional love” really means. When you watch your child suffer, there is no remedy for the mother’s worry or fear, but we find the strength we need to care for them.
Unconditional love leads to immeasurable strength. If we harness this strength for our loved ones, and perhaps for the future generations to come, it will be a tremendously powerful force to reckon with.
As I was writing the chapter of Demeter in my book Goddess with Many Faces, I felt called to expand on this archetype based on the current social climate and observations I have among women. Demeter in Greek mythology is the Goddess of Grains. She symbolizes fertility and earthly harvest. As an archetype, she represents women who have a natural inclination to nurture, to provide and to take care of others. She is the so-called Mother Archetype.
In my research in myths and psychology, she is mostly described as the caretaker and nurturer, in which it is definitely a strong part of her character. However, as I become a mother myself, not only I sense the influence of Demeter grows on me as I experience the unconditional love I have for my daughter, I also become more responsive towards negative news in the media about other children in the world and the environment. As though my protective instinct for my child has expanded outwards into the world we live in.
Just like how a lioness protects her cubs and their natural habitat, I see other Demeter and Artemis women speaking up and taking actions as the urgency grows with what is happening today with children of the world and the environment in which we live in. Demeter women are no longer just about making a hearty meal or looking after people individually, but it is about thinking collectively and acting on a greater scale. They become the mothers of the world.
So often we see the tendency to buy into the fear of what is happening in the world. We get concerned about what is going to happen to our future generations with the rate of natural degradation, divided political views and amount of social unrest. So how do we turn on the light when the dark seems looming?
Educate and Activate
Inaction cultivates anxiety. Identifies what concerns you and affect you emotionally then learn more about the facts and situations related to your concerns. I remember reading about appeals for children in Syria and felt deeply saddened by how many of them are trapped in areas where medical aids are hard to deliver but bombing are frequent. It was part of my instinct to find out as much as I can about the situation and what can I do to help. I know every little individual effort count where so often we pause and get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the situation.
What I’ve learned is that if we only marinate our minds with what triggers us but do nothing about it, our nervous system and emotional body will react negatively eventually. The abolition of slavery or women voting rights didn’t happen because the majority of people agree to change it. it is always a small group who started to say, this is not right and something got to change. If you hear the call and feel drawn to it, echo the call. This is the only way to get rid of our social anxiety and bring about positive change.
As Gandhi famously said, be the change you wish to see. Embrace what you care about and act on it with integrity.
Hope is something we are born with but need to cultivate and strengthen over time. What is happening around us may persuade us to lose hope, sometimes it feels almost easier to give in and give up, but we must not. If Viktor Frankl lost his hope in the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp, he would not have survived or published his highly influential work Man’s Search For Meaning after WWII.
This Austrian psychiatrist is the true embodiment of what hope can do for a man. He believed it is vitally important to find meaning in life in all forms of existence, even the most brutal ones, thus a reason for living. I find having hope and finding our meaning in life goes hand in hand. When we see our purpose in life, there is a force growing within us that fuel the hope, and hope is like the light within us, illuminating our paths ahead.
Being a mother brings deeper meaning and higher purpose in my life, and it lights the path for me to advocate what I believe is important, to empower others to live authentically with integrity. It may bring different purpose for you, but one thing is for sure, finding our purpose and cultivating hope is vital in bringing about positive change or stability in the chaos of the world in which we live in.
Please share with me what calls you, what moves you?
Do you have a sense of what is the meaning and purpose in your life?
What brings you hope and a sense of peace?
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