I remember hearing my mother give birth to my youngest brother at home during childhood. She went through a 12 hour labour, so I was fully aware of the effort required for childbirth. It is an essential part of nature, but its not until you experience it yourself you know how truly powerful it is. During my first pregnancy it was then I realized that life would never be the same again.
I will never forget the first time my children were placed in my arms and I looked into their tiny faces with the overwhelming realization that I had created a human and a new life. This feeling returned once again when I become a Grandmother as my child created new humans and lives.
Motherhood can be a spiritual path in itself as this article explains:
“Many a woman has said ‘I never knew I could love someone so much’ upon becoming a mother. There is an intensity to maternal love that can catch us off guard. Our whole body – and our subtle body – is ready to sacrifice on our child’s behalf. We may be torn by this, exhausted, even resentful, as we long for sleep and solitude, while at the same time we want nothing more than to hold our child. A torrent of emotions is released. And in the best moments there is this tender love, captured in Klimt’s beautiful portrait, this closeness and bond that we feel can never be sundered. There is a vulnerability too – as Elizabeth Stone puts it in her oft-quoted statement, making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around “outside your body.”
There is a fullness too, that comes with motherhood, and a fierce protectiveness. Early Hindu mother goddesses hold a child in one hand and sword in the other. We quickly learn that there is a part of us that would do anything to protect our child. Working with this intense tribal feeling – tribal in that it is focused on our child, our world, even at the expense of others – is perhaps one of the greatest spiritual challenges of motherhood. It is easy to be consumed by wanting only what is best for our own children, with little thought as to how it impacts others. Unchecked this can drive us to push our children, or push others away in judgement or from fear (think ‘mommy wars’.) This is the spiritual calling of motherhood then – how to allow the opening of our heart to expand rather than contract our world view and understanding.
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