Parenting is by far the hardest and most rewarding experience of my life, and I’ve had a lot of experiences. Being a mother to my son is full of paradoxes and shakes my self-confidence. My son is in fact not My son, the universe unfolds for him exactly as it should, just as it does for the rest of us. As they say in Arkansas “God doesn’t have any grandchildren”.
I have an instinctual need to protect our son, this soul who has chosen to come surrender himself to my care for this lifetime. Deep in my belly, as if from the place that he came through, I have a need to hold him tight and shield him from all that hurts. I must allow the ache of needing to protect him go un-soothed because holding on too tight is just as irresponsible as dropping him from the tree like a baby bird not ready to fly. Irresponsible and un-mother like because it is an action that comes from my own desire, not what I know to be right for a soul growing in this world. These paradoxes of responsibility and surrender, hold on and let go require the kind of self-observation and humility only available to me through the 12 steps of Recovery and Yoga. The nights when I’m sure I have no idea what I’m doing, I remember that I don’t have to have all of the answers, because what is unbreakable is my love and my open heart.
Becoming a mother has opened places inside of me that were closed. I probably could have continued living a spiritually fulfilled, vibrant life, with these spaces of my heart closed. As this life grew inside of me and I fell in love with a person I had not even met yet, my heart cracked open. To hold on and let go, to ignore my own desires for his greater good, to let him have the last piece of pie when I really want it, I must have a heart open enough to let go without closing. A heart open and courageous enough to defend and protect him without cutting him off. I must live in this world as his backyard, committed to being the best person I can be, so he can have the best mother available.