Do you ever hold yourself back from love?
Keep a part of your heart hidden?
What if you opened that space?
What would happen?
I was always told I looked just like my mother. We both had dark hair, brown eyes and tanned well (as opposed to Dad who is English-Swedish-Norweigen and turns lobster red in the sun).
I remember mom cutting her bangs and doing the same. I loved being her mini Me. We’d bird watch together. She taught me about horses and llamas, how to play the guitar. She made me incredibly proud and, as a teenager, embarrassed too. Mom passed when I was 13.
Enter Mom #2
Dad was so miserable after Mom left. I worried about him growing old by himself so when mutual friends asked me if they could introduce him to Vivian, a woman they knew, I wholeheartedly said Yes. They married the summer I left for college. I felt like I was leaving him in good hands.
Vivian and I have always had a special relationship. Maybe it’s because I really missed Mom and wanted a loving mother in my life. Maybe it’s because we never had the history and drama of younger years together. I don’t know. We sit together and drink tea and have conversations about God and the universe, life purpose, gardening and raising kids. I’ve always considered her my 2nd mom.
My husband Tony says he knew he was going to marry me the moment he saw me. I didn’t feel that way. But I do remember loving his parents the moment we met. I knew Tony’s parents before I knew him (a story for another day). We met on the dance floor of my sister’s wedding.
Over the years we’ve gone wedding dress shopping, had dinner at their house almost weekly, when they moved to Hawaii, I missed them terribly. Diana came out for the birth of my first child Sage, although he decided to come late and she missed the actual birth. She was there when I moved to Hawai’i, the birth of Bodhi, my depression, my first woman’s circle. We’ve loved each other and disagreed and agreed to disagree. We’ve learned to speak our truth and honor our differences.
Over the years I’ve called my moms, Mom, Viv and Diana. Mom was reserved for Mom. It felt like a sacred name for me. At times I wished I could use it easily and give that name to Viv and Diana, but I couldn’t. Something was holding me back. I think it was a feeling of loyalty to Mom. Viv has been my mom almost 20 years. Diana has been my mom almost 15 years. Both longer than my time with Mom.
I decided it was time to pass the name to them.
So I took them out on a date. I bought them long stemmed red roses. We went out for Italian food. I took them to the park and I told them how much I loved them. How much they are moms for me. I told them from this day on, I’d like to call them Mom. We all cried. I gave them both Mom necklaces to remember our ceremony.
After our ceremony, I took them to the coffee shop. We got tea and Mexican Mochas. I gave them both watercolor journals, watercolors and pens and we painted our experience together.
As I was sitting there feeling so amazing and happy I realized,
This was always available to me. It was me holding myself back from receiving this love.
Yes, I honor my feelings of loyalty to my mom. And I see how I held Viv and Diana back. I didn’t let them into a space in my heart, a space I had reserved for Mom. The thing is, there is plenty of space for love. Plenty of space for all my moms.
The day before the ceremony I talked to Mom. I told her I was going to do the ceremony. She was so happy. She knew I was triple blessed. Now I do too.
Where are you holding yourself back from receiving love? What can you do today to open? Share below and let’s (finally) open.