Mothering the Self
by Jo Jayson, author and illustrator of Self-Love through the Sacred Feminine: A Guide through the Paintings & Channelings of Jo Jayson
The Mother: a nurturer and caregiver who loves, feeds, and waters her children like they were little fragile seedlings, with gentle support and encouragement to grow into strong and secure bigger beings. A mother’s love is the most unconditional of all types of love. It is a love that embodies perpetual and unquestionable acceptance. This love can feed and fortify our root energy chakra and inner foundation, securing us a rooted and stable set up for the turbulence of life ahead. This love can be a forever refuge to come back to whenever we need it, to feel safe from the storms of life, to rest, and to feel comforted and cradled, no matter our age.
Maternal love is an aspect of the ‘Sacred Feminine’, the feminine aspect of the Divine.
In Hebrew, the female face of the Divine is called the Shekinah. In translation, it has its roots in the meaning of what can be translated as “A Shelter.” The Sacred Feminine aspects such as compassion, forgiveness, empathy, and nurturing are all ingredients of unconditional love, and unconditional love is required to be present within a space of shelter and protection.
What happens, however, if we do not receive this life-sustaining love from our mothers?
What happens if we didn’t have a mother present? Do we allow ourselves to fall into the unfortunate pile of the unloved and unwanted, forever searching outside of ourselves for something to fill that void, the hole in our blueprint that continually feels empty and hungry? For some, the hole feels so big and the feelings of hunger for it to be filled so strong, it becomes easier to find ways not to feel at all. Addiction and disconnection are paths many have taken as a result. Others try to fill the void by searching for love outside of themselves. Through all types of relationships, those who never felt their mother’s love can find themselves endlessly chasing their tails in a quest to find it from another, inevitably being disappointed and left even more hungry.
Some who experienced this lack try to make up for it in their parenting, fervently nurturing their own children; this can provide much healing for the parent. Others might be blessed to find this love from another adult or parent who made up for the loss of this birthright. Some will, unfortunately, echo their own void to their children as they are unable to access the examples of unconditional support and love that they didn’t receive themselves.
Self-love becomes vital in these situations to heal ourselves through a trauma inflicted by another. Learning to love the self — rather than searching for it outside of ourselves — becomes the life-saver in the everchanging currents of life. Self-Love, as I describe in my book Self-Love through the Sacred Feminine, is more than a new age catchword. It is rather a primary ingredient for living a healed and contented life in these modern times. In truth, Self-Love becomes the path that inevitably, at some point, we all need to venture toward.
The Mother is a mighty figure in human existence. She is the creator, the incubator, and the usherette of a new life. Without the mother, there is no life. It is not surprising then that throughout human history there have been a plethora of mother deities that humans have needed to imagine, believe, represent, worship, and honor.
The Mother Goddess is as old as time itself, stamped upon every ancient religion and culture that has ever been. The Mother Goddess was as essential as the human mother herself. For humans in centuries gone by, believing in and connecting with a Divine Mother figure was imperative and vital to feeling safe, secure, stable, and supported.
Over the last 3,000 years or so, within the main three dominant religions of our world, the mother aspect of the divine has been pushed aside, even underground, making way for a male-only paternal divinity. How this has shaped human consciousness is a subject discussed by many an author and theologian, but without a doubt, the absence of the Feminine within our religious faiths has caused a deficit in human consciousness much like the deficit experienced from one’s own absent mother. It has left our world and many of its inhabitants out in the proverbial cold: unbalanced, distorted, undernourished, unaccepted, and starved of a soft place to fall.
Over the past few decades, we have witnessed a resurgence of the “Sacred Feminine” into the consciousness of humanity — an awareness of a compassionate and forgiving element to our being, thinking, and behavior — which has been ignored and considered weak and irrelevant for centuries, yet is as vital and imperative to living as breath itself.
As the world shifts, changes, and journeys through the chaos of a new way, we as humans must remember our true essence. Our essence is that of a Divine light energy existing in a dimension of unconditional love that chose to experience this dense yet magical journey as a human being. As I say in my book, our souls are made up of both the masculine and feminine aspects of the Divine. All of us have the ability to tap into our hearts and access the feminine aspects of compassion, empathy, wisdom, and comfort, just as we are all able to tap into our more masculine aspects of analytical thinking and doing, strategy, logic, and responsibility.
In my book, I speak of the cup-full of source™, the vessel of the soul that rests in the heart space of all humans. It is within the heart itself that we find our true home, our own source and soul, our place of love and connection. For those whose childhood setup was one of an absent or unloving mother figure, turning to the Mother Goddess archetypes for a connection of support and comfort can bring much solace. In the Hindu, Pagan, and Native indigenous religions, there are many mother deities to connect and relate with; within the Catholic/Christian religion we have Mary the Mother who very much took on this role for those Pagan converts whose faith needed a feminine influence.
However, it would serve us all well to be able to go within to find our own mother self, man and woman alike. We all have within us this capacity to show another compassion and empathy, to care, nourish, nurture, support, comfort, and shelter another soul. Would it not be prudent to also offer these precious gifts to ourselves, so that we can fill our own well with all that we need at any given moment?
Of course, there will be times when we need to reach out to someone else for help and comfort. We will absolutely need to occasionally depend on others for their support and encouragement. However, knowing how to healthfully self-soothe ourselves is as vital for an adult as it is for a child. Our mothering aspect lies within us permanently, like an imprint of the Divine, waiting to be accessed and put to loving use.
We must listen to our own self-talk! When we berate ourselves rather than championing ourselves, we hold shame that craves the same compassion and forgiveness we offer to others. There is much within us that would be healed and soothed by our own mothering self; we can always go within our hearts and create our own soft place to fall.
These turbulent times cry out for the mothering of humanity. We see pain, anguish, suffering, and injustice and we can’t help but yearn for our broken world to be wrapped up in a comforting blanket of unconditional love, healing us back to wholeness. In our personal lives, we long to experience this wholeness once again, and the rise of this feminine energy within us all begs us to offer it back to ourselves so that we can be ‘full-filled’ vessels of love, able to freely gift this to our nearest and dearest and strangers alike.
Our hearts have been broken with the state of the world. Our compassion has been activated. The gift of feminine mothering is within each and every one of us, only awaiting our intention to use it.
On this Mother’s Day, give your self the gift of a loving thought, an encouraging word, and a compassionate choice. Let yourself fully feel unconditional love so that it overflows from within you to heal those who need it.
© Jo Jayson 2020
An internationally acclaimed intuitive artist, teacher and author, Jo Jayson was born and educated in the UK and began her artistic career as a muralist. Painting and drawing from an early age, Jo left her Fine Arts degree at the end of the first year, after feeling disappointed and uninspired with the lack of traditional training and teaching in her college. She worked in advertising and media and then as a picture librarian at the National Portrait Gallery in London but loyal to her calling to paint and with a natural talent for decorative finishes, composition and technique, she returned to painting and moved into the decorative arts world and became a faux finisher and muralist, working in London, Sydney and New York.
In 2008, she began painting for herself, completing her much-loved “Goddess Chakra” series. In 2011, she unveiled the beginning of her “Sacred Feminine” series of paintings, unfolding a body of work that took six years to complete, containing thirteen feminine energies each with their own teachings and wisdom. This work was later compiled into her award-winning book “Self-Love through the Sacred Feminine”, the companion to her oracle deck of thirteen guidance and inspirational cards.
Jo has emerged as an internationally intuitive artist and spiritual teacher, helping women all over the world find empowerment, healing, and inspiration. She has spent many years teaching children and adults drawing and painting in her community and seven years teaching workshops and online courses for healing and self-development in and around the United States. Her paintings, prints, meditation kits, and CDs for physical and emotional wellness and empowerment are sought after and respected by her large following here in the US, Europe, and around the world.