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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • May 2018
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A mother’s love: The gift of presence

“Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved” —Erich Fromm

I was helping my youngest son with his bath when he said quite out of the blue, “Mom, I know your secret.” I laughed, “You do, what’s my secret?” He smiled his crooked smile and said, “Love.” Love. Love is the secret he could sense and feel within me. He was right, love was my secret at that moment. When he sensed this in me, I had just been quietly accepting him while doing my part in helping him to stay clean. I was loving him by being with him and not lost in my own thoughts about the dinner that I needed to prepare, the laundry I needed to start or the work email I forgot to send that morning. I was showing up in the moment with him as if it was all that was happening in the world. I was giving him the gift of my presence. The gift of love.

When we refer so reverently to a mother’s love, we are really talking about their unconditional acceptance, nurturing and presence. We freely accept that our children need this kind of love from us and that it is part of a parent’s responsibility to give it to them. We are right. They do and it is. Yet, is it only our own children who we are meant to love in this way? What about the young one that lives down the street who seems to always be on his own? Or the little girl who is hungry each time she comes over to play with your children? You can see she is hungry for both your food and your attention. We know that children who feel loved have a much greater chance of growing into strong, happy and healthy adults. These kinds of adults become the leaders of industry and government. They go on to change the world.

What if we loved whatever child with whom we were with as if they were our own? Could patterns of addiction, abuse and neglect be broken by the love you give to another mother’s child? Of course we can’t take all the world’s children into our homes, but we can certainly take them into our hearts. When we are with them we can show up with all of ourselves. We can be interested in them and see their beauty. We can silently acknowledge the soul that lies beyond their body and the strength and wisdom that soul contains.

Perhaps a decision to love every child with a mother’s love is the answer to many of our worldly problems. The call to love is universal and the healing it can bring is also universal. This mother’s day, my prayer is for the eyes to see every child as my child and the heart to love them as such.


Lydia Singleton

Lydia Singleton is the Spiritual Leader/Director for Unity of Appleton - A Community for Spiritual Growth located at 1366 Appleton Road, Menasha. Sunday service weekly at 10 a.m.

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