To all those who have mothered us ~
To those who have really seen us, and mirrored back what is true and beautiful about ourselves. So we might know our brilliance, our gifts, our hearts, so we might live them fully into the world. So we might know and become who we truly are.
To those who have reflected back to us our hidden wounds, our insecurities, our limitations - not to make us smaller, but so we might become more whole and more real. So we might see what needs our acceptance, our care, our healing.
To those who have loved us, not in spite of, but because of our vulnerabilities. Who see and honor both what is holy and what is human in us. What is fragile and eternal.
To those who value us for simply being ourselves, not for what we offer them or what we do, not for the advice we give or the work we perform, but for simply being the soul that we are.
To those who saw the seeds of potential in us, and helped water and care for them, so they might blossom and flourish. Who helped us let go of what needed to die. Who helped us to know things we already deep-down knew.
For those who helped contain our grief when we thought it might drown us, or our anger when it was sure to overcome us, or our pain when it seemed it would never end. Who somehow could reassure us that we ourselves might be okay, even when nothing was okay, and might never be.
To those who have been able to love and value our truth, even when it seemed to oppose theirs, even when they themselves were hurt or angry.
To those who, in their company, we learned how to better be alone with ourselves. Who helped us become better mothers to ourselves and to others. Who taught us how to love more and deeper.
Whether this was our actual mother, or a friend, a partner, a stranger, a lover, a mentor, a teacher, a man or a woman, or our very own selves…
By Leyla Aylin
Art by Roeqiya Fris