Embrace yourself. Love yourself. Mother yourself.
I know the wisest and the strongest woman that ever was and ever will be. I know that she never looked away from pain. I know that she knew how to be still and know the I AM. I know that she treasured all things in her heart. I know that her sacred tears cultivated paradise in her heart. I know that that when the sword pierced her heart, she chose to transform this wound into the gateway to salvation, and that she always opens the door to those who knock. I know that she is the first dawn of creation that birthed the first Light of lights. And I know that it was in the silence of her womb that she bore the Alpha and Omega and spoke the Word through birth.
It is she who teaches you and me how to maternally embrace our cross by letting perfect love cast out fear and overcome death. It is she who is the teacher in the school of love, the school in our hearts.
Our Blessed Mother Mary the Theotokos shows us her courage and strength as she stands at the foot of the cross and does not look away as she beholds her suffering child. In this same way she holds you and me as we face all of our daily deaths, our daily crosses that make our hearts so heavy that it’s painful to breathe.
And so, you in the mirror, be like this wise and brave woman, have compassion (Latin com = with pati = suffer) for yourself, suffer with yourself. Don’t look away from yourself. Embrace yourself. Love yourself. Mother yourself, and smile tenderly at your inner Child when you are hurt, when you are scared. Don’t rush yourself. Cuddle yourself. Wrap yourself in yourself. And then, and only then, will you be able to stand still in your thoughts, words and deeds and not do anything over there but simply be someone right here for you and for me.
You in the mirror. Stay with me. Please don’t look away. I know it’s not conformable to look me in the eyes. I know it’s not convenient to “be” someONE with me and hold my hands instead of putting my hands to work to “do” someTHING. But don’t forget that you are a human being and not a human doing, and doing is simply something that you do but being is who you are and being is what I need from you right now.
I know it’s painful to embrace me right now and that it’s easier to look away. I know you want to forget these scars and cover them up. I know that’s why you fill your day with making this for x, y, and z and moving that here and there over and over and over again. I know that you are scared and that’s why you fill your head with thoughts, your mouth with words, your tongue with tastes, your ears with sounds, your nose with smells, your hands with things, your feet with places, and your skin with touches. In your overstimulation, you are making yourself numb. And here I am trying to let you know that it’s okay to cry with me and that your wounds need the salt in your tears to heal.
So don’t look away. I don’t need you to do anything for me. I just need you to be with me. Will you be intimate and vulnerable with me? Can you be naked and unashamed with yourself?
The root of your happiness is learning how to embrace all of yourself, in what you consider the good side and the bad side, the beautiful and the ugly. Your happiness depends in you learning how be rooted within the permanence of your being as the impermanence of your doing and his and her and their and nature’s doings ceaselessly transition like a pendulum and transform from birth to death from something old into something new.
So don’t let your inner peace get swept away by the necessary movements of the laws of nature – when things go up, they must come down, comfort turns to discomfort, pleasure to pain, joy to grief, receiving to giving, winning to losing, criticism to praise, pride to shame, and vice versa. If your happiness lies in this chase of change, and you are trying to grasp at the sand that will seep through the hourglass, then you will never be content. But if you learn to embrace it all, to be while you do, then you can find the peace the world cannot give, the gift of peace.
So, you in the mirror, stay with me, just like the Mother stays with her Child.
At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her Son to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s pain untold?
For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:
She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:
Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:
By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;
Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.
Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
be Thy Mother my defense,
be Thy Cross my victory;
While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.