Yesterday, I ended my evening in tears, not feeling a single thing in my body except for aches, and a level of anguish. In fact, I had that breaking moment two or three times yesterday, and nearly every day this week.
Tomorrow is Mothers Day, and I am truly grateful and tenderly pleased to be a mother.
Yet, this very thing (innocuously lovingly referred to as ‘motherhood and apple pie’) has the ability to overpower me like a tsunami, crushing me into the ground, eating away all my willpower… by ten in the morning. By the end of the day, I’m in pieces, feeling deeply alone in the path. When I’m in this state, I think about all the mothers in the world, including my own, and the unspeakable despair they must have each felt in those moments, and feel commiseration for them. I think of my friends and sisters who are currently agonizing over their children’s well being while keeping their marriages steady, and trying to ‘hold it together’. I recognize that I’m in a much better position out of most mothers in the world – with access to food, water, safety, medicines, support from my dear husband… I have all the material comforts. I have various sisters, mothers and fathers supporting me from my family and community. And yet, I’m done. Decimated.
Whenever I see (mostly male) gurus talk about spiritual growth and inner peace, I want to hand them a baby or two, and say, “Here you go – tell me about enlightenment after all of this!”
Try an “endless crying baby” meditation. See how that feels on your nerves, and find deep acceptance of the moment.
Try a “get toddler cereal and snacks every five minutes for the next three hours” mindful practice, and see how that affects your ability to feel compassion and a sense of ease.
Try a “ten minute lying down Savasana pose” and get into a comfortable position for your aching back, feeling a sense of relief and delight… only to be jolted by a baby screaming for attention.
Try practicing deep oneness with your body, while birthing a child through a small opening in your body, the size of your anus, wondering if you’ll ever make it out alive?
Try constantly fussing about another human being’s stomach, while your own is rumbling like a hornet’s nest.
Try having your bowels and urinary tract hang, experiencing high fatigue, aching wrists and back, depression and anxiety, lack of sleep, for two to six months after a baby is born.
Try having to ‘keep it all together’, so that the people around you can’t see the pain deep inside.
Yesterday I chanced upon a conservative man’s article about how to spot a liberal. To start off with, a liberal man is a feminist.
To this blogger, the biggest betrayal by our (mostly male) lawmakers in our society was allowing women to vote. After all, women are illogical, emotional beings, in charge of a house, how on earth can they meaningfully contribute to socio-political decision-making? I continued to read his post, somewhat agreeing with his assertion that I am beyond the point of logic in the traditional sense. How can you even think, when you are stumbling around, taking care of rambunctious children in a booby-trapped home, like a warrior lost in a dense jungle in the night? I laughed to myself.
Initially, I wanted to give this man a piece of my mind, yet there was a part of me that could feel this man’s sense of protectiveness of our society, and a sense of hurt about the current gender dynamics – however misplaced I believe his thinking is. I felt a sense of sorrow for the lost connection and how different our worldviews are. Somehow, a part of me wanted to reach out to him, and listen to him deeply, understanding him better, feeling compassion, hugging him – like a mother to her son.
There are countless moments in my day, that I start to soften up, and begin to feel a deep sense of joy, especially when my three year old delights in some ice cream I give her, insists on dressing like a goddess, or simply wants to pretend that we’re puppies, cuddling with each other. Or when my baby gurgles and smiles as she stares at me adoringly. Or when my husband gives me a secret smile, seeing me in my flurried activity, letting me know through his eyes that I’m his queen.
I do love feeling of having a mini fan club 🙂
I see myself growing tremendously – my compassion, kindness, sense of equanimity especially in times of discomfort… I sometimes marvel at how efficient, strong and resilient I am, and how I handle complicated things with such grace and love – jumping through many hoops to solve new problems every moment.
Sometimes I have moments of deep clarity – ‘ahas’ about how life really works outside of our constructed reality.
My prayers feel more sincere, and my creativity is being channeled in my writing, even if I have just a few moments here and there.
My thinking lies beyond reason and logic, and I get to experience the divine communion of my head, hearts and hands, every day.
I feel like a magician, sorceress, wise old woman, the divine mother, warrior, lover, a giant oak tree… all in one.
Years ago, I prayed to God about how I can live my life in love and service – to reach a point of no self, no ego. I got what I asked for.
Although now my ego and soul pushes for recognition every once in a while, being witnessed in this endless battle to remain sane while providing comfort and care to my loved ones. Especially in my superhuman moments (of which, there are many!).
So dear mothers (and those who are mothers for others – or men who are mothers), I witness you, I see you, I hold your hand and commiserate with you. I see how deeply intelligent, talented and beautiful you are. I see you in your strength, and also in your vulnerability. I am holding you in your breakdowns, and am the wind beneath your wings when you’re soaring.
I pray for your well-being, your happiness and that you are enveloped in abundance and love.
You are a rose – the ecstatic fragrance, the splendidly colored petals, the strong and resilient stem, the protective thorns, the roots to the ground… and all. You are that. 🌹