My paternal grandmother, who was the most unconditionally loving woman I ever met, said to me one day,
Never have children Rachel, they’ll break your heart.”
I thought that was a terrible thing to say! I didn’t understand it- she loved her children so much!
Now that I’m a mum, I get it. My heart breaks daily to notice the small ways in which my babe is growing up. She’s already too big + too curious to be carried in the same wraps I use to wear. She doesn’t like to be on my chest anymore, there’s too much to see. She’s longer + bigger + heavier. She talks a lot too- attempting to mimmic me.
And I’m already trying to go back and remember her– each of those moments I want to have forever etched in my mind, yet that are already fading. I wish for super-powers to time travel and live it again. To see her for the first time, to hold her for the first time, to relish every moment, but the thing is- I did relish every moment, the best I could; and it still passed and life moves on, and so I know that this motherhood thing will just be a series of letting go…
An experience of ever-expanding awareness of what it is to accept change, and to let the being that once came of me and from me, to be her own person in the world. No matter what she chooses, whether to move far away, or never talk to me again, I’ll love her unconditionally until my dying breath and beyond. It’s in this way that I now understand what my grandma was saying- to have a child is to have my heart broken from the day that she was pushed forth from my body and into the world- now she is no longer mine to keep, nor was she ever anyway, and each day I witness her grow ever further away from me.
I’ve always been someone who didn’t believe in having regrets, and now motherhood is a series of self-questioning, and a deep reflection of my perfectionism, and a lesson in my monkey mind and ego that so desperately tries to cling…to that day, that way, that memory, that experience…and so I hold hope that each new unfolding day will bring a new Sophia to me, and I’ll discover her being and her soul and her personality and we’ll get to engage more and play more, and though I’ll always ache for my little babe, the squirmy little love muffin of joy and yumminess, I have to let go and let God…I guess Kahlil said it best…
Your children are not your children.
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.
And so whether you’re a mother or not, or whether you have children or not, there are deep lessons here for all of us. Life is about letting go. And so, we get to feel it, and heal it, and have our say and then we let our mind let it go.
Sometimes, to really let go, we have to give our minds permission to let it rest. The way we can run over things again and again, wondering how we could have done it better or different...actually just relaxing into that we can let it rest will allow us to get the guidance and ah-has that we’re looking for, in fact, we’ll get them faster if we just let it go.
Then, there’s the lesson in just knowing that everything of this life is passing. And all we can truly count on is change. We don’t get to keep these forms, or this material wealth.
So, cultivate your connection to your inner world, to the part of you that is eternal. Have faith in that ever-expanding, undying aspect of you- your soul, for that is unchanging and yours to keep.
Life is a series of heart aches. For if we are open and vulnerable enough to love, then we will ache and hurt. The more gracefully we can accept that and allow our hands to go limp to that which we cling, the easier time of it we’ll have.
Let the seasons pass as they must, and put your attention, just a bit, on that inner part of you. Smile in knowing that’ll be a constant amongst a world that seems to change too fast, too soon.
All my love,