For me motherhood has been the gateway through which I have been initiated into my womanhood. Each one of my children has birthed me more deeply into my own being, each asking of me a greater capacity of presence and attunement to how it is that I bring myself to bare in this life. Each child of my womb, fruit of the love that blooms, has asked of me in their pregnancies and birthings, a unique awakening to aspects of myself that might otherwise have dwelt unformed and unlived within me. Each one has asked of me in the particular qualities of their on-going care, to dig and delve and find those parts of myself that are shrouded in my own wounding, demanding of me that I bring more of myself to account, demanding that I heal in order to be more present to my love for them.
And I find again and again I must stop and bow down to this sacred work of motherhood, relentless and unseen. And though I struggle at times with this asking, to be so deeply and completely invested in the lives of others, with the giving over of myself so mercilessly to this service, it is also the very thing that I owe my self-hood to. My children have taught me what it is to love, what it is to stay in the asking of what it is that we are needing to receive in order to feel safe and awake and held.
Having children has birthed me ever deeper into the arms of our Great Mother, who holds the beseeching heart of my own flawed and fallible, passionate and earnest motherhood in her hands so tenderly. That vast feminine power that soothes and offers forgiveness to the one within that is sometimes not good enough, when I see through the impotent eyes of my own pain and wounding, when I rage and withhold and sometimes fail the tender cargo of my care, when I respond as one who is yet awakening to love. Still I feel the energy of the Primordial Mother walking with me, guiding my hand with the ever-present returning to the knowing that I am after all enough to shepherd these precious souls into this world. She opens my heart to see and to learn the ways in which they so diligently present to me, what it is that I must become in order to be more true.
My children are my teachers and my becoming, my love for them is the balm that eases the contractions of my own birthing of self, that I may become the one who is truly worthy of walking with the divine and awesome unfolding of love incarnating on the Earth, of flesh and blood and bone made from nothing but the union of love, gestated in the awesome power of a woman's body to manifest life.
As a people do we truly see the magnitude of this miracle and the great responsibility for care that this miracle bestows. There are times when I long for a more socially sanctioned and financially lucrative endeavor, one with a knock off time and recognition for accomplishments, but my deepest heart knows that there is restitution in offering the tenderness of my own unknowing to these exquisitely sensitive and beseeching souls. It is in the very act of relinquishing myself to the holding of that which I have created that I will come to know myself most truly. No other path could so baldly confront me with my own shortcomings, no other accomplishment lead me so deeply and relentlessly into the forest of my own heart, as I carry the at times excruciating, at times heartbreakingly beautiful responsibility, of holding this process of incarnation of life on the Earth, in the world we have made, lives founded in as much integrity and truth as I can muster, awake to feeling and compassion, awake to love and to beauty and to goodness and to forgiveness. To fully feel just how safe and respected and cherished a child deserves to be.
They ask me to remember myself, as she who cares, she who understands how to respond from love, she who is big enough to hold all of who it is that we might be when we express ourselves fully, beyond the cultural maskings of shame and restraint and apology. Rising to the challenge of baring witness rather than shutting down, feeling uncomfortable rather than suppressing, learning to be kind and to care for that which is hurting, stilling and going slow rather than running away, not knowing rather than pretending to know.
And again and again I must remind myself that this is the work my spirit has most deeply chosen to enact in this life. That I must cease the poison of comparison, and come to fully and powerfully own that although my culture does not always value this task, I know it to be of profound value. That it is the weaving of strands into the warp and weft of the universe. It is a sending forth of tendrils of tentative life into an unknown future and that it is a reconfiguring of our taproots deep into the Earth, the work of coming to know again what it is to be bonded to and nurtured by our Mother, to come home, deeply, powerfully, poignantly home to that sacred and vastly loving body, the Earth. The work of protecting what is innocent and pure, holding reverence for life, because it is of itself holy, not because we can ourselves benefit from it, but because it is the deeply sacred mystery of life becoming itself, of love giving itself eyes with which to see, ears with which to hear itself, a reflection in which to know itself.
Lucy Pierce © 2013
Lucy Pierce © 2013