Posted by: Beverly Davidson, LMSW | April 1, 2009

Hope in being mothered

So some say I might be masochistic, given the amount of sadness I see on a daily basis, given that I spent some free time today reading The National Geographic and an article about a journalist who was captured in Sudan. Since I work with special-needs and traumatized infants one might say I should be reading the latest edition of “Us” to relax. So they might be on to something….however, I must say, with all the trauma and torture this journalist went through during his capture, I was able to see some hope in his journey. He talked about his absolute fear, his torture in the jails, and the many people he encountered. One of whom was a Sudanese grandmother, an older woman who lived as a nomad and was trying desperately to escape the janjaweed. They both were held captive in a camp where food was incredibly sparse. This woman, who was also tortured beyond belief in her years, was able to find love in her soul and shared the miniscule bits of corn she had with this journalist, who had not eaten for days on end. Even though she never was able to look him in the eye, even though when he reached out to hold her hand she cringed and retreated in fear, even though she could not speak his language nor understand his words of gratitude – she was still able to sit with him for 3 days, share his space and share her food that she could have easily sold for money. And so this journalist, in his writings, talked so eloquently about how for those moments during his capture, he was healed by the power of being mothered. Healed by the power of another human being sacrificing herself for his needs. Healed by the power of the human spirit. How could a woman, who was so brutally tortured in her life, whose basic human needs were barely met, be so giving to another she did not even know?

It makes me wonder. Wonder about why there is such brutality, and wonder how there is also so much love in the world if we only allow ourselves to see it. It makes me know even more fully that “being mothered” is a powerful human force, and that “mothering” is a primitive, driving force in the world. It makes me have hope that even if you have been a battered soul you can still have the ability to love and connect. It makes me have hope that the babies I see can be loved and healed by being mothered and held by another.

We all have to find the threads of hope in our day. I found one today.

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