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Discovering True Motherhood
as seen on Spirituality.com All around me in my childhood were nothing but weak and inhibited women. Everywhere you looked in my hometown in the Middle East, it was the same story. There was always a weak woman trotting behind a strong and fierce looking man.

Sadly, this even applied to my own mother. I adored her�she was nothing but love�but I also hated her weakness. She couldn't stand up for us when our father beat us. Often we stood up to him to protect her, but it never stopped us getting it also. We used to beg her to leave him, but in the same breath we knew he was our meal ticket�she would never have been able to support us in that country. Her weakness made me treat her harshly, as less than worthy to be my mother.

My sister and I used to daydream that one day we would find out that we were adopted. Our real parents would be a strong mother and a gentle father. Alas, there was no chance of that. We were the spitting image of our mother, and we sure had our father's strong personality�with plenty of oomph!

We also dreamt about the day we could leave our hometown and go west. My father was favorably impressed with the Christian missionaries he met, so he thought a Christian country would be filled with people just like them. He consented to my leaving home to study overseas. Little did he know what would happen when my feet hit the streets in London.

Boy, did I live it up!

I was learning fast to be an emancipated woman. No more weak, feeble women for me, thank you! But after the novelty wore off, the wounds that had been bleeding deep down in my subconscious cried out for healing.

I searched for God everywhere�in books, churches, spirituality centers, convents�you name it, I looked into it.

Then I learned about another woman. She too was born weak. She was a victim of her circumstances, region and time period. She was in an even worse situation than I was. She was brought up in a regimented household, and her health and the mores of her time kept her from pursuing a formal education. She was weak and sickly all the time. She was pregnant when her beloved husband died, and she was stranded far from home with no money or property, with few rights and fewer opportunities to survive on her own.

This woman was Mary Baker Eddy. My! how her story wrenched my heart. But her story took an amazing turn. Deeply spiritual, she went on to discover the deep truth of the Bible, and developed a system of spiritual healing that became a worldwide movement. She wrote a book that changed millions of lives�Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

This book changed my life also. Reading it was the end of my search, but the beginning of my spiritual journey.

You know, I said earlier that I had wished I were adopted? Well, I learned that God had been my Mother all the time. I read in Eddy's book this definition: "MOTHER. God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love." I cried and laughed, all at the same time. This was my breakthrough! With God as my Mother, what couldn't I have that I didn't inherit from my Mother already?

I looked around me and began to see potential in the very women I had despised. I didn't see them as weak any more. I raised my own self-image up a notch toward the full image of my Mother God. I saw I had the ability right within myself to tap into this divine energy I embodied.

And, from that time, I saw the real strength my mother had. I saw that it was her love for us that had made her meek so that we could be cared for. Though she had no education and couldn't have provided for us, she knew my father would see to it that we got somewhere. I suddenly saw the gentleness of God's love had never stopped being expressed to us through my mother.

I had always adored her, but now for the first time in my life I respected her. I saw God was her Mother, too, and she had access to the same strength and gusto I did. When I spoke to her on the phone or when she came to visit, I started speaking to her differently also. I wasn't treating her with disdain, but with respect.

It turned out she had always been scared of me. When I found this out, I realised she hadn't only been abused by her husband, but also by me her daughter. How humbling this discovery was. In repentance, I resolved never to treat her that way again.

As I changed my attitude towards my mother, she changed as well. She gained the confidence to stand up to my father and to make decisions for herself. She doesn't speak or read much English, but she, too, reads Science and Health. Mary Baker Eddy's life touched my mother's also and made a difference to her.

Now relocated to New York City to be near my sister, my mother walks all over town and takes herself to exercise and art classes. It may seem simple, but she never would have done things like this before. Now, when I visit her, she takes my hand like a strong woman and shows me sights I would never have found on my own. I look up to her with wonderment. Yes, God is her Mother, too.

I now can see that God's mothering love has nothing to do with outward appearances or manner. Love dwells in the soul. My mother's inner strength was revealed by her gentle nature and tender heart. And Mother God has taught me how to find my strength in gentleness.

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