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An open letter to my mom.

KateNorthrupMomBabyPhotoI was inspired to write this by Nisha Moodley and Linda Siversten who both posted beautiful tributes  to their mothers and to Mother’s Day at large this week.

(That’s my mom and me on the left.)

My mom recently told me about working with her lawyer regarding a course she was teaching called Lightening the Mother Load: Healing Strategies for Daughters. He was trying to grasp what it was about and she started with:

“Well, think about your wife and her mother”

He stopped her right there with: “Say no more!”

The mother-daughter relationship is so ripe with opportunity for loving the gifts of the feminine unabashedly, for honoring the Great Mother and Mother Earth, and for the celebration of being a woman.

Is it a complicated relationship? Ummm, yeah.

Is it hard? Yep, a lot of the time it is.

Does it have the potential to be one of the most healing relationships in your life? You betcha.

You know what they say:

If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.

The relationships or situations in our lives that are the most challenging are often the most fertile with opportunities for big love.

Our moms wouldn’t drive us so bonkers if we didn’t love them so fiercely. You were formed in your mother’s body. There’s no closer relationship on earth. You are, quite literally, her.

There are a lot of things that are easy to be grateful for about my mom (like how she always told Annie and I we could trust how we felt no matter what. This is the single biggest contributing factor to my being a sane, happy adult.) I’ve written her a private letter of gratitude that I’m giving her today that focuses on all the obviously amazing ways that she rocks as a mom.

But what about the gifts we’ve been given by our mother’s that, when we were given them, weren’t so obviously fabulous?

What if this Mother’s Day (that’s today) you decided to love your mom with vigor, unabashedly, as a way of not only celebrating her, but also as a way of shining some love on the parts of you that you have previously found unlovable?

I’ll start. Here’s a public letter to my mom to thank her for all the things she is or that I am that at some point in my life I have had a hard time loving.

It is not until we learn to love the hard to love parts that we really get what true love is.


KateNorthrupHobbitFeetThank you for the Hobbit Feet. I posted a picture of mine on Instagram yesterday and it sparked the most adorable conversation with someone else who’s whole family has them too. Even though I was embarrassed to wear flip flops as a teenager because I didn’t want people to see them, I get it now how awesome it is to be grounded like us. Thank you for that tap-root to Mother Earth. Thank you for my first chakra the size of Texas. Thank you for my wide, grounded, very much on the earth feet.

Thank you for laughing as loud as you want, no matter where you are or who is trying to shush you. I used to be mortified at the theater when the people in the row in front would turn around and glare at you to try and quiet you down. But now when I hear that same enthusiastic laugh come out of my mouth and people give me funny looks, I get it. I’m so grateful you never quieted down. Neither will I.

Thank you for not being like the other mothers. I so desperately wanted for us to be normal when I was a kid. And the truth is, it just wasn’t going to happen. Thank you for hanging out on the fringe, for doing ceremonies around the lunar calendar, for suggesting Imprint Removals and Divine Love Healings to clear up physical symptoms, and for believing in angels. Thank you for not wearing the matching Laura Ashley dresses with me and Annie even though we really wanted you too. Thank you for not caring what other people think. Thank you for being wacky and wonderful always.

Thank you for sticking up for me. I wanted to climb under a table and die when I found out you marched into my first grade class to set the teacher straight about telling the class we could only go to the bathroom at certain, pre-approved times. But it also engrained in me that I had a woman who would be there for me (and my bladder’s needs) no matter what. I knew I was safe. Thank you for letting me quit Junior Great Books. Thank you for letting me quit soccer and swimming and piano. Thank you for not letting anyone get in the way of me trusting myself and my body. 


Thank you for the very big shoes you’ve given Annie and me to fill. There are some days when I think it would beeasier if I didn’t have such a lofty legacy. Then I would be more comfortable with mediocrity. And life would be easier in certain ways, but oh so boring in others. Thank you for playing full out, saying things that others are too afraid to, and for being a pioneer. Thank you for setting the bar high in your career, and more importantly, in your life. I’ve seen you give up good for great many times. I shall continue to go for great in your honor (and in mine.)

You have been, and continue to be, the most perfect mother for me. Thank you for being all of you and for letting me be all of me.



It is not until we learn to love the hard to love parts that we really get what true love is. (Tweet it.)

What have you inherited from your mom that you used to not be happy about? How has it been a gift in the end?



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