This article is about nurturing and those special people in our lives who nurture us.
Recently, I've been thoughtfully considering women. Now please bear with me; it's not what you may think. Maybe I should rephrase and say that I've been thinking of specific qualities - those loving, giving, affirming, nurturing qualities that we often associate with the feminine spirit, even though lots of men exhibit these same positive qualities. I strive to always be loving and giving and affirming and nurturing with my family and friends, my readers and other associates. But these qualities have been a focus of my recent thoughts.
There are several reasons that I've been thinking along these lines. My mother died six years ago this month, and she has been on my mind. Few have ever loved me so unconditionally or accepted me so completely. And one day this past week, I spoke with two different friends about their mothers. One, a woman close to my age, lost her mother to cancer one month ago. The other, a man, again about my age, was on his way to visit his mother, who has recently turned 96.
I assured the woman that the pain of loss will lessen with time, even though you will always miss your mother when she's gone. And it reminded me of a time from my early twenties. One day, I found my mother on her bed, softly crying. "Momma, what's wrong?" I asked. She looked up at me and said, " I miss my mother." My grandmother had been dead for years, and it never occurred to me that my mom would still be missing her mother so deeply, that it would still be so close to the surface.
And it struck me then that there is an invisible cord, tying us all together, stretching backward and forward through what we perceive as time, connecting us and making us kin. And this cord, to me, runs straight through the memory of those same qualities that speak to me of "mother" - of nurturing.
As I visited with the gentleman about his 96 year old mother, his eyes glistened the way eyes do when you feel that great rush of emotion. As he spoke about their connection and about his excitement in seeing her, his eyes literally glowed. And I talked to him about my mother and what she had meant and still means to me.
And then, I received an email from one of my readers that caused the continuation of my thoughtful consideration of those who nurture. Victoria shared kind words in her email about my happiness mission, and she also included a link to her website, www.FeminineLiving.com , which is all about nurturing. As I visited her site, several things occurred to me.
First, sometimes those (whether male or female), who are great at nurturing others, fail to nurture themselves. That is why taking the time to develop, improve, and celebrate yourself is so important. It's worthy work to nurture those around you, but it's even more important to nurture yourself, too.
Second, as I perused and considered her site, it occurred to me that while writing "7 Days Away From Powerfully Positive Living," at times I pictured myself directing my thoughts to someone like myself (male and middle-aged who had been through his share of ups and downs), but at other times I directed my thoughts to a feminine mind as I wrote. Whenever I compose anything, I picture an audience of one, and, as I worked on the book, my imaginary audience was, at times, female. That's a fresh revelation for me. But I'd really like to think that I held that picture in my heart because, as I mentioned earlier, those who give and nurture, whether male or female, often go without nurturing themselves. And we all need nurturing.
And finally, as I enjoyed discovering Victoria's site, it occurred to me how much great, helpful information is so close and accessible. I know that sometimes we all experience information overload. I know that sometimes we wonder if people sincerely want to help or if they're just trying to sell us something. But, let me assure you. I have a heart for people who are hurting and who need to discover their own innate greatness. And there are others, like my new friend Victoria, who are also just a mouse-click away, and we all sincerely want to help you develop and grow and to help you find your own happiness and peace. So please don't reject all offers of help, just because some of it may be suspect.
I'm always the first one up in the house every morning, and, after rising early this morning to put the final touches on this article, I walked into the kitchen to find the coffee maker already filled with water, a fresh filter in place, and just the right amount of my favorite blend. It had been prepared the night before, and all I had to do was flip the switch. This random, seemingly insignificant action by my loving wife reminds me that there are no small acts of nurturing. Even the everyday things, when lovingly offered, hold great importance.