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  • Writer's picturePatricia Ballentine

A Mother's Worry

This post is dedicated to my Sacred Sisters who are these Mothers.

I’ve been thinking about the word “Worry” lately and have settled upon the belief that it is a sacred experience owned by women……most specifically Mothers.

And we need to pay attention to the Worry (capitalized intentionally) of Mothers in this world of ours.

It took some soul searching for me to come to this belief. I had to look into my own past which I’ve harvested over many years for deeper understanding of why I walk in the world like I do. I’ve taken the seeds from my earlier life experiences and re-planted into a life that I believe is better for the self-reflection and honest consideration. When folks like me come through early childhood trauma that ends up feeding attachment issues, worry is something that may have to be rewoven into the canvas of our lives. If you think about that….it makes sense. If we have experienced challenges with attachment, relationships, and boundaries, worry relates to our capacity for caring. (That reweaving is extra difficult to do when our culture pushes a dismissal of worry and tells us to “be happy” instead.)

Now, I understand the definitions of both the words worry and caring: “Worry is fear-based. It is a projection of negative energy. Caring, on the other hand, is a projection of positive energy.”


The origin of the word worry is rooted in the Old English work “wyrgen” which means to strangle, and like often happens, the meaning has shifted and been reduced to a negative emotion tied to anxiety. Again, those phrases like “don’t worry, be happy” and “don’t be a worrywart” come to mind.

So here is my point.

I am witnessing the depth of the Worry of Mothers today in a way that reflects the existential crisis we are collectively facing. And I believe that because Mothers have birthed every human on this planet many have a deeper inherent Worry about the existence and future of not just their own children but all children.

A Mother’s Worry is not trivial or wasted energy. It is something that is coming from their very wombs and runs deep from the past for the future. It is something that is seeing the present through the lives of their children and recognizes terror and danger ahead for all children if changes aren’t made. A Mother’s Worry is what we should all be listening to….witnessing as a Sacred Knowing. It is a Seeing.

It is a heavy weight these Mothers carry. Like being perpetually pregnant with all human life on this planet.

We need to hold and recognize this for what it is. And, if we are close enough to those who carry this weight that they share their hearts, fears, pain, and wisdom with us, we need to take heed, recognize the Sacred in our presence and allow their Worry to direct our own attention and actions.

It is humbling to know that I am not that Mother. And that is all the more reason for me, as a mother and a woman, to recognize and support those who are.

Image: 221434947 © State Library and Archives Florida |


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