Motherhood is a mirror.
Becoming and being a mother brings a dimension of personal need like no other. A need to face our own faults and flaws. Our deepest fears and our most repressed anger. Our silent hurt.
It's hard to be responsible for another little person. No matter how much your heart bursts with love for them. We put our own needs behind those of this little person who needs us more than we could ever have imagined before motherhood arrived. They come to us so small and vulnerable.
And then the day dawns when they are bigger and their bodies flow with energy and their intellect snaps with electricity and ideas. They run wild and free.
And they don't climb into our beds every single night anymore. Instead, sometimes we climb into theirs to linger on soft nuzzles. And they don't need us to make every choice for them, though we might feel like we still want them to.
In 1923 Kahlil Gibran wrote:
Your children are not your children.More than 90 years later, as my own children grow older I can see the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran more clearly than ever. I have always admired this quote. But now I also see that although I am not their destiny I am implicit in their growth in a way that I maybe didn't understand until now...
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
That my own being, my own essence (no matter how hidden it is beneath layers and whether I know they are there or not) is creating energy and spinning threads that impact upon my children - and yes, my work, my family, my community - in a deep myriad of ways.
And so, I sit in the knowledge that I must continue to work on myself. In recognition of the subtleties and mirrors at work.
Be honest with myself.
Embrace and let fall away.
I strive to be a good person. To be bold and brave, to act on my beliefs and stay strong even when I want to crumble. But still hold onto vulnerability and softness and compassion. To feel life and be life and at the same time to release.
These are big asks. It is a big journey. I hope I am woman enough.
Maybe you're on this journey too...? x