So, here’s a weird thing to admit.
Although I’ve read articles that advise people who come across a fawn alone in the woods to leave it be and not assume that the mother has abandoned it, each spring I still feel a little worried about the babies.
And even though the articles tell readers that the mama deer need to leave their little ones so they can eat and then return to nurse them, I’ve still never been completely comfortable with the situation. According to what I’ve read, the mothers often leave their babies for many hours, and this is bothersome to me.
But here’s what’s even weirder… whenever I then see a doe in the springtime on my morning walks, not only do I feel a little concerned about her baby who might have been left on its own in the woods, but I also feel a little judgey about the mother’s decision to leave her baby in the first place. Like, there are coyotes in the area, and so the woods are no place for a newborn to be left alone!
Bananas, I know, and I just recently realized that I was having these thoughts!
Well, I decided to bring this up because I think it shows how we can have subconscious beliefs that don’t make any sense to our conscious mind but can truly impact our life and relationships.
I mean, I clearly have some underlying expectations about motherhood, and possibly about women in general, right?
So, I decided to read more about mother deer and their babies, and it turns out that the moms do need to go away to feed so they can nurse their babies (obv).
But I also learned that it’s in their offspring’s best interest for the mothers to keep their distance.
Apparently, newborn deer have no scent, and they camouflage well in the springtime foliage, making it difficult for predators to detect them. It’s actually much safer for them to be alone than to be with their mothers for too long.
Amazing! Once again, Mother Nature has it all figured out!
What I found interesting though was this explanation made me feel better about the whole situation. But then, I wondered why? And I didn’t really like what I discovered about myself.
See, I think I was judging the mother deer for spending time nourishing herself, as if eating were a selfish thing to do! But once I learned that it was in her baby’s best interest for her to do so, I then felt better about her choices.
In my Shine On group, we recently had a discussion about the cultural expectation of “selflessness” for women.
It came into my awareness after a distant relative passed away, and a few sentences in her obituary caught my attention. She was being celebrated as “selfless”. It said she was someone who always gave and never accepted help, put everyone’s needs before hers, and didn’t even tell others she had cancer for fear of being the “center of attention”.
Although I didn’t know this relative well, I found her obituary disheartening. She was described by those who loved her as an “angel on earth”, as if putting her “self” aside for the needs of others is the most sacred virtue a woman can embrace.
In her book, Untamed, Glennon Doyle, talks about this topic at length.
“Mothers have martyred themselves in their children’s names since the beginning of time. We have lived as if she who disappears the most, loves the most. We have been conditioned to prove our love by slowly ceasing to exist.”
And this is so conditioned into many of us that we often don’t even realize this is what we are striving for.
Glennon Doyle goes on to say:
“When women lose themselves, the world loses its way. We do not need more selfless women. What we need right now is more women who have detoxed themselves so completely from the world’s expectations that they are full of nothing but themselves. What we need are women who are full of themselves.”
I couldn’t agree more!
Not only will the world benefit from all of us showing up fully and completely, but we deserve time to develop our unique talents and activate our dreams.
And so, I’m wondering…
Do you take pride in being selfless?
Are there parts of yourself that you are denying?
How would your family, friends, and the world benefit from you putting yourself first?
I hope you reflect on your answers and make some changes if you are noticing your “self” slipping away. You were meant to live a life full of inspiration, not obligation.
Sister, the world needs you to shine!
Imagine the example you will provide if you embrace this belief – for your daughters, your sisters, your friends, your own mother!
But mostly, do this for YOU.
Please, please, please BE FULL OF YOURSELF!
And for goodness sakes, don’t follow my judgey example. Let’s lift each other up!
Let’s encourage the women in our lives to nourish themselves, cultivate their gifts and grow… no judgement!
And this includes the mama deer… especially the mama deer. I am now officially a fan!