The love I always needed... that I never knew I wanted.
Tonight, I realized what one of my most powerful lessons in life will be.
The art of loving through motherhood.
This is because I did not have a good mother.
It's not simply that I did not have a good relationship with her.
It's the fact that I truly did not have a good mother — she was so hurt from the events in her own life that I became a loathsome object who she could direct her energies towards.
My aunt and my mother, though separated in their youth and raised by two different families and now living in two different countries, look exactly alike.
They are not twins.
But from the back, when I spent time with the two of them together, I could not tell which one was my mother and which one was my aunt.
The Universal joke is that my aunt needles her daughters in the same vein as the way my mother does to her own children and yet, there is an undercurrent of love in my aunt's words that is cut through by resentment in my mother's.
In fact, when I was spending time with the both of them, one of my friends happened to be with me, visiting his own family in Taiwan.
One afternoon, he turned to me and said, "Man, your mom is REALLY hard on you."
So, motherhood for me is bittersweet.
I am constantly showing up in ways that I wish I was mothered.
And, perhaps, my own daughter may not love my style, but what I've been studying about Highly Sensitive Children, she seems to have all the markings of a being who is thriving.
Tonight, I lay beside her in her toddler bed, my knees bent in ways to cram my full adult-sized figure beside her tiny one.
She hasn't been feeling well and was having a hard time getting to sleep, so I lay beside her and caressed her head.
And over again.
I have done that for myself.
Lying in my bed in Santa Monica, wondering when I would ever meet my partner, giving myself the gentle caresses I wish I was adorned with.
I may not perfect all kinds of love. Like the kind for strong friendships or intimate partnerships. I know I'll always have ways to grow and truly, who doesn't?
But when it comes to motherhood, I feel that the Divine has gifted me a most profound act of forgiveness.
That through my loving my daughter and showing up in motherhood of all the ways I wish I had for myself, I will somehow be healed in the Light of this Love.
And I will be filled up.
The way that my soul has hungered to find in so many directions.
I whispered to my daughter tonight, "Perhaps you're having a hard time sleeping, because you're picking up on my energy. You don't have to take on my stuff."
Her eyelids heavy, she whispered to me, "Yes, I feel all the energy. I have so much energy."
Then, she turned her head in the other direction, away from me, and whispered more, "If you want, you can have some of my energy. I have so much to give."
This. Is. My. Daughter.