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Famous authors and warrior Mums are taking back Mother’s Day

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Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee

Mother's Day means acknowledging what a Mum is.

Friend, counsellor, kick-up-the-ass-er. Parent. Wise woman. A teacher, both in how to move through the world and how not to move through the world. Someone who demonstrates strength and fragility, weakness and vulnerability. Someone who makes mistakes; who cannot get off the bathroom floor sometimes. Someone who has their own life but is always interested in the lives of their children. Someone who sets boundaries for themselves. Someone who has immovable values about what it means to be a human being but allows their children to form their own. Unconditional love. Hugs. Sideline cheerleader. Bus driver. Chaperone. Chef. Multi-tasking Demon Queen from Hell. A thousand other things.

It's also an acknowledgement of what might not be there, for some. I’m at an age now where I’m in the process of trying to forgive my parents for the things they never were. To acknowledge that they did the best they could, even when their best wasn’t enough.

I realised recently that I am lucky enough to have a collection of Mothers. There are a number of wise women in my life that offer me love, support, kindness, and the occasional kick up the ass. With gentle guidance, wise-cracking humour, and sometimes (because I’m old enough to drink) a decent amount of alcohol, they encourage me to sail free and provide safe harbour at the same time.

They are so important to me because they provide a safety and a certainty I didn’t have growing up. For me, I needed to go out and seek the people who became my family, both real and spiritual.

The spiritual contingent are a rag-tag collection of authors I consistently refer to in order to listen to the pitch of my heart against their words, much in the same manner as a tuning fork or a water diviner. Everyone, the ones in front of me and the ones speaking from the page, has a hand in keeping me on track. And they all call bull when they see it.

In December 2015, a group of people in the U.S. formed a group they called The Compassion Collective. The Compassion Collective contains some of these women, these giantess, Amazionian warrior women of mine, who come in all shapes and sizes and professions and continents, but share the same lioness heart.

The Compassion Collective is comprised of writers, actors, and researchers who are generally associated with whole-hearted living. Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat, Pray, Love fame, Rob Bell, Cheryl Strayed, who wrote Wild, Laverne Cox of Orange Is the New Black, and Brené Brown, to name a few.

Here’s the pitch. The Compassion Collective, in December 2015, put out a call without a great deal of fanfare. “Help us raise money for the refugees in Europe. We think it’s the right thing to do.”

They raised one million dollars in 31 hours.

They tapped into something that beats in all of us, and especially in the hearts of Mums. Compassion. For our own children. For other people’s children. For any child going without the love that should be their right, and too often isn’t.

This year, The Compassion Collective are taking back Mother’s Day and using it as a platform for activism at a grassroots level, to again help refugees, and homeless teens in the United States. There are no overheads. Every penny goes to the people that need it most. They are just doing the down and dirty work of seeing a need, and trying to fill it as best they can.

Full disclosure. I donated to The Compassion Collective today, in acknowledgement of the women who see me, guide me, and are there when I need them. In acknowledgement of my Mum, and the women who step in when she can’t be there. For the love I have in my life because of them. For that fact they saw my need, and tried to fill it.

I’m writing this for two reasons. Because I think the world isn’t big enough to have the luxury of saying “this isn’t my problem.”

And because wouldn’t it be great if, as well as Hallmark cards and breakfast in bed, we celebrate the essential role our Mums play by acknowledging, in whatever way makes sense, that although our Mums do so much, they can’t do it all?

I’m not a Mum, but as a daughter to many women, I know that a love shared makes all the difference in the world.

If you want to check it out: The Compassion Collective

Or, if you want to see what they’ve been doing:

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