01 May 2011

Compassion and Courage: Mother Bears are Strong, Protective, and Not Self-Conscious

Mother's Day must be coming up. Last week, I talked about phoning my mom, and this week I've realized I'm feeling like a mother bear. (Note to self: get Mother's Day card in the mail tomorrow!)

Yup, I'm a Mother Bear. You know her reputation. She'll stop at nothing to protect her cubs from danger. As Edmonton's Mother Bear Journey to Healing explains, "In a state of self-awareness, our instincts — like those of the mother bear — drive us to nurture and care for one another...."

I've been railing lately against election rhetoric that doesn't mention children (thank you, Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, for remembering the young ones and the future ones). I've been writing searing responses that I never send to friends who just don't grasp the seriousness of the climate change emergency. I've been hopping mad and deeply saddened by ignorant (or evil?) denialist nincompoops who continue to spew the most egregious lies about global warming and climate change. (If I read one more blogger or commenter saying it can't be happening because there's snow in his backyard ... grrrrrrr.)

At the same time, my husband keeps reminding me that the public "know not what they do" because they have been lied to and misinformed by both sides. That I must take pity on them.

Plus, I had no fewer than four girlfriends this past week suggest that I should be taking care of myself first. That is a foreign concept to me ... how can I put myself first when 2 billion children in the world — this Mother Bear's children — face a chaotic future of failed agriculture and famines, floods and water shortages, heat waves and dangerous storms?

The one gift I give myself each week is a Thursday evening event called Spirit Moves: Meditation in Motion. It's a lovely, quiet time to dance, move to music, pray, meditate, stretch, read tarot cards. Last week, I pulled Athena from a deck called Messages from Your Angels (I figure tarot cards tell us what we aren't open to hearing from our own hearts). Here's the message I received:
"It is safe for you to be powerful. You know how to be powerful in a loving way that benefits others as well as yourself."
On the way home, I mused to myself, "Mother Bear never cares what other people think of her. She just does what she needs to do to protect her children."

So, with "loving" being a relative term these days (as in "tough love"), I've decided that the way for me to find and hold onto my courage (the compassion comes easily) is to be a Mother Bear on behalf of all the children — of all species — and I am going to use tough love on people who aren't thinking through the climate change issue rationally or taking the time to deeply learn about it.

"Make of yourself a light," the Buddha suggested. "Make of yourself a Mother Bear," I suggest to all the women in the world!

Thanks to Shirley Reade and Makiko for the artwork.

1 comment:

  1. From one Momma Bear to another- I thank-you for these words. Since day one, my instincts to protect my children have been so very strong. But it is only now that I am using this power outside of my family- to speak up- with my voice and my art. All too often we are afraid of ruffling other people's feathers, even in the name of the greater good. I like Athena's message. Momma Bears Unite! And roar and growl in the name of compassion, empathy and loving protection for all.


I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?