We are all soul-mamas, kindred spirits, joined together through our shared experience of motherhood. It doesn’t matter what we believe, or how we parent. It doesn’t matter how we got here – whether it was our dream to raise a big family or the Universe pointing us in a direction we had not considered. It may have come easy to some, like a perfectly aligned calling. The parts and pieces all fit together as they should. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and adjusting to baby come naturally, and things run smoothly. Motherhood appears to suit us.
For some, it may not have been so easy – maybe your dream of becoming a mother was tested – over and over. Maybe the pieces didn’t fit, and you had to adjust your belief of what the process looks like. If breastfeeding was painful or didn’t work at all, you probably wondered why – and what was wrong with you. Maybe you became a mom by total and complete accident – you were plodding along on your life path just fine until the Universe gave you a little reminder that you’re not in charge. So whether you believe it’s destiny, your life’s purpose, or just what people do (we make babies), the point is we are all in the same spot. How we arrived here is irrelevant. Likewise, how we choose to answer this pursuit is different for all of us.
Obviously, mothering is hard – and not hard like manual labor or building a rocket ship. Hard like gut-wrenching, ego-testing, soul-seeking, hard. The culmination of events and emotions that pour forth during motherhood, especially the early years, is quite extraordinary. I’ve never experienced something that is equal parts beauty and messiness all at the same time. The despair a mom feels when she can’t get her baby to stop crying is substantial. The relief she feels when the baby finally falls asleep is equally palpable – and then quickly overshadowed by the fear of the baby waking up.
So here we all are, moving through motherhood as best we can, in this moment that was given to us. And we feel alone. Even surrounded by family members, friends, and helpers, we feel completely and utterly alone – more alone than we’ve ever felt. We forget about our soul-mamas – the ones who came before us and the ones who are here with us now. We forget that they understand, even if they can’t articulate it in the right way. We compare and judge and make ourselves separate instead of one. We cling to the belief that our baby is different, our situation is different, if only they were in my shoes, they would understand. We either beat ourselves up for not being good enough, or we hold ourselves in high regard, gratifying our blessings and pitying those who are less fortunate.
Our desire to be special will destroy us. We are not special – we are all the same, and yet we are all extraordinary. Our humanness makes us think we need to do everything “right”, which leads to debates, comparisons, and ultimately, separateness. Our divinity reminds us that we are all one – that the practice of motherhood is what binds us together, regardless of individual belief or behavior. Much like yoga, motherhood grows and evolves with you, but only when you surrender to the practice – the doing and the being instead of the illusion. This means we can all have our individual practice, and be on our own path, while still recognizing that we are part of the whole. If reading a bunch of books on how to be a mom was all that was required, we would all be experts – and the women without access to books or computers would all suck at it. Obviously, this is not the case, nor has it ever been. Even in dire life circumstances, women are mothers. There is no checklist or pre-requisites – you already are.
The best resource we have is each other. There is great power in community, and in coming together to support our common mission. We can reach out, speak up, say our truths, and learn from one another, instead of hiding inside our bubbles – our convenient illusion that we are unique.
Honor the motherly spirit inside you – it’s already in there, and it doesn’t require anything of you except that you show up. Every day, through the joy and exhaustion and uncertainty, you pursue your practice. Whether in your heart during a middle of the night feeding, or laughing with you over morning coffee, remember that your soul-mamas are with you. When we acknowledge that we are all one, we open ourselves to feel love instead of judgment. When we realize it’s not about perfection, but about the practice, we allow ourselves to be free.