Behind Every Great Woman, There is Her Mother

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My mother is everything I am not. She is all practical, pragmatic, logical, rational, remarkably grounded in the material world, the realist. I am all about the transcendent, the ethereal, the spirit world, the other-worldly, the dreamer. I can't resist quoting Anais Nin here: 

“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvelous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in what I call a state of grace. I have days of illuminations and fevers. I have days when the music in my head stops. Then I mend socks, prune trees, can fruits, polish furniture. But while I am doing this I feel I am not living.” - Anais Nin

My mother is all passive, all-enduring, she accepts whatever life is throwing at her. I am the rebellious, the non-conformist. She is all domestic, content with small talks, the daily routine, order, the conventional existence. I yearn for adventures, living spontaneously, with no fixed routine. 

Sometimes I wonder if I were really her daughter, as we seem to come from completely different planets, speaking completely different languages. She is an earthling, I am an alien. 

She loves gardening, cooking, appreciating the simple things in life. The kitchen is her heaven. When she is the in the kitchen, she is naturally in the flow state (although she doesn't know about it). I wrote a poem about her in the kitchen (in my first poetry book Songs from the Soul): 

My mum is God.
When she's in the kitchen, 
creative recipes
come to her mind naturally.
Miracles begin to unfold,
delicious dishes manifest
one by one.

She is so absorbed
in the present moment.
Having an intimate
relationship with
all the pans and woks.

Singing praises to
all the vegetables, 
cooking her magic
with her heart and soul.
Adding spices of Passion,
pouring seasonings of
unconditional love
into the dishes. 

My mum is God
except she doesn't know.

 


She is the goddess of kitchen, the goddess of gardening, the goddess of domestication, the goddess of service, the goddess of devotion -  the Godess Sita. She is the perfect daughter-in-law any Chinese mother would want for her son, the perfect wife any busy man would want as his spouse.  

In traditional Indian society the Goddess Sita is regarded as the epitome of the perfect wife; a woman who accepts her husband’s opinion as final, who submits to his authority, who remains ‘pure’ until marriage, who keeps her vows and is sweet, obedient, faithful and chaste. Sita stands for tradition. She is a figurehead for all those who seek to sacrifice themselves in the name of love.

The Goddess Sita stands at the crossroads of love and suffering. She is beautiful, devoted and pure of heart even though her story is characterized by abandonment and misgiving. These aspects of her character can also be challenging because, as an archetypal of the divine feminine, she willingly submits herself to the will of divine masculine at the great personal cost to herself. 

The archetype of the Goddess Sita seems to fit my mother very well. She is unconditionally supportive of the divine masculine - when my father has numerous affairs, she accepts. When my father even had another family with another woman without divorcing, she accepts (of course, that woman was again later abandoned by my father). She is willing to sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of retaining the image of "a complete family".  

When it comes to spirit, I am perhaps more of a resemblance to my father, a dreamer, a creative, a free spirit. When I told her I would not become a lawyer and started my own business, she accepted, despite investing heavily in my education. When I told her I would abandon my business and go to India to stay at an ashram for a while, she accepted. When I told her I would become a yoga teacher, she accepted. When I told her I would become a poet, a writer, an artist, she accepted. When I told her I would not get married, she accepted. When I told her I may not even give birth in this lifetime and she should consider adopting if she wants grandchildren, she laughed and accepted. Now I just haven't told her I would become a tantra teacher. 


Sometimes I wonder if there is a limit to her acceptance. Sometimes I feel like making up crazy scenarios just to challenge her limit, but it seems she has no limits. She loves me unconditionally, supports me unconditionally. I'm eternally grateful for her kindness and generosity, and her infinite tolerance of all my craziness, fantasies, despite she doesn't understand what I am doing, and our vast differences.  

Without her generosity and support, I know it would be very difficult for me to follow my artistic pursuits and live the life I want to live, to roam the world freely, to learn the things I am most interested in. 

Sometimes I think the reason why she was so tolerant of me was also because when my father passed away eight years ago she was so concerned about my mental health that she said yes to me all the time. Also, perhaps because one time I told her many artists committed suicide because they could not bring out whatever that is within them, they did not have the opportunity to manifest their dreams. She looked shocked, concerned when I said that. 

The thing is I want to be an artist, not a neurotic, a failed artist. I want to live a bohemian life, but not shabby. I don't want to live like Van Gogh, I don't want to go mad and kill myself with poison, and like other artists who went mad. 

I want to be a happy, healthy and balanced artist. I believe in my capability to manifest whatever that is within me, to live the life I want to live, but I know it would require time, energy and patience to build it up. And until then, I am eternally grateful for my mother's unconditional support. I am grateful for the Divine to send a Goddess of Sita in my life, to love me and support me unconditionally.

Another reason why I don't want to settle easily in life is because I have tasted unconditional love from my mother. I know what true love, unconditional love is like, and so far I have not experienced unconditional love from a partner, so in this lifetime, I would not compromise for anything less than unconditional love.