Thursday, February 16, 2017

Zen and the Lost Art of Motherhood

A Simple Truth of the Way of Things[1]

It is a given that every child has a legitimate need to be noticed, understood, taken seriously, and respected by their mother. 
This is beautifully illustrated in one of Donald Winnicott’s images: the mother gazes at the baby in her arms and the baby gazes at his mother’s face and in the process finds himself therein. 
This is only possible provided his mother is really looking at the unique, small, helpless being in her arms and not projecting her own expectations, fears and plans for the child onto the child.  If she, is then the child will not find himself in his mother’s face, but rather his mother’s projections.
This child is left without a mirror of self. 
He or she needs their mother to reflect them back to themselves. 
If this does not happen, if the child is left without a mirror, then for the rest of their lives they will be seeking this mirror in vain. Thus we search in vain through our partnering to find the lost and missing reflection that was missed in childhood.

Extracted from Into The Light ... available on

[1] Adapted from Alice Millers Drama of the Gifted Child

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