I made a writing commitment to an author friend to write every day for a week on here. Today is the last day, and this is my first post. I have nothing to blame for my coming up short to my goal issues with writing, the only thing I have is emptiness.
I couldn't put a pin in it what is was, until I read this amazing post here: about embracing femininity and the divine role of motherhood in a modern age. Everything she said hit the bullseye of my heart.
I remember as a young mother watching Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya sisterhood, (a must watch for all mothers imho), and literally bawling my eyes out. When she runs away and confesses to the priest she just wants to be free of her husband, kids and responsibilities and be famous. I hardly ever felt like any mother, other than my shameful self, felt that.
The key point was that scenes like that in movies, and posts like this and studying human behavior, ego and our diving paths back to Godhood help me realize how NORMAL it is to feel trapped. To feel that aching longing for what used to be, for what could be, and all of those possibilities that are lost once you have children is something NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT. And if they did tell you, they never tell you that it is completely rational and expected of your egoic self to have a epic hissy fit tantrum and want to escape motherhood and adult responsibility when things get hard.
No one talks about this excruciating pain. They also don't talk about the growth that comes from truly acknowledging your divine job, and doing it. Even when it gets difficult. Especially when it gets difficult. I have the pride in my heart of making it through weeks of stomach flu with everyone in the house needing me while I feverishly crawl down the hallway to change a diaper. Of keeping my cool when my kids have been hurt by a friend, or need me to hold them after a bee sting. Or of staying positive and peaceful when the Christmas tree dies 4 day before Christmas and during the night I take all of the ornaments and lights off, bring in a new tree, and redecorate it right away, happily, (especially because I could arrange the ornaments myself this time).
But for the rest of the drudgery? It's so freaking hard.
Crippling even. I've always loved this painting by Brian Kershisnik, of Women Holding Houses.
Our society today wants us to think you can do it all. That all your attention, endeavors, achievements , goals and manifesting should be around a career or entrepreneurial adventures, and by the way, all the parenting stuff just works out no matter what. Just assign out household duties with your husband, and voila, it's done. We only give social value now to a mother who is working part time, selling things on the side, achieving something, anything outside of the mundane and soul crushing duties at home. This is a serious problem. We have swung too much from one end to the other, without realizing it's only in the middle where we can have both sides (that have their right views) connect. We glorify working moms so much that we've even created multiple figure incomes by just SHARING what we do as mothers on social media, which ends up being a job all in itself, with all of the pressures, downfalls and time attention as anything else.
From my experience, everything is a sacrifice, and we each have our own Job like task of choosing what we could lose, and give to God to become better. I have no clue what your sacrifice needs to be, and I don't really care. I've found that just diving into my own abyss of my heart, wants, needs and desires is enough work on its own.
When I created a dance studio from scratch, almost all on my own (with help from friends and family), I stood back and looked at it. I had accomplished something amazing. I had literally manifested it from my imagination and desires. And...I realized two things:
1. I had an emptiness inside me. I now know it was because I manifested from my ego state of pride. Manifesting the studio took effort, strive, contention, confusion and drama. Did I still create it? Yes. Was there a large price to pay? Yes.
2.The more I learned about manifesting, I knew that if I could build and run an entire studio on my own, my other righteous desires that I had hidden deep below my surface, could actually be possible. I now believed that anything, if aligned with God's will, would be possible. ANYTHING.
That's actually our family scripture for the year on our wall, Luke 1:37.
"With God, NOTHING shall be impossible."
And what were my righteous desires? To welcome the possibility of more children in our family, and to be home and present more as the holder of our house.
The first one was much simpler, and easier than the second actually. Being parents and welcoming children with God into our family is something my husband and I enjoy and desire. Humbling myself enough to look at the reasons I didn't want to have more children were all ego based and simple problems in the long run, helped a lot. I do blame Jordan B. Peterson for me willing to take the risk to open again to pregnancy after the miscarriage due to his chapter on sacrificing now, for something of greater good in the future. As he states,
"Do what is meaningful, NOT expedient."
What was expedient in my mind that kept me from allowing a baby? I wanted my body to be in the best shape possible, I wanted our finances to be in better shape, I wanted our home to be organized and perfect and ready. All of these were expedient to me: (convenient, advantageous, in one's own interests, to one's own advantage,) but not meaningful to God or our family. I know from experience that children grow up much quicker than you think. That the sleepless nights end, that all bodies can get back into shape, that a surgeon can fix my boobs and make them look amazing again (yes, all things are possible) ;), that everything over time with my attention and dedication is possible. All of the reasons I had to not try again, were extremely selfish and easy for me to let go. And when I did let go? A baby miraculously entered into my womb and my heart. I do not take this gift of life for granted for one.single.second. It came without effort, strife or manipulating. Just surrender.
The second desire I had, of choosing to be home more, focus on my parenting, focus on organizing, cleaning and beautifying our home? Oi vey, so difficult for me. My petulant teenager wanted to, and still does want to, run away at full speed. Instead of focusing on painting the doors and baseboard that need it, I want to plan an international travel trip before baby comes. Instead of re-dedicating to 10 minute time (which has flown out the window with school and the heat), I want to daydream about having perfect children instead of what we have, humans, I don't wan to face the habits that I let happen, I don't want to face the disrespect that I let fill our home like oxygen. I don't want to look at the consequences of my actions and OWN UP TO THEM. I want to run away to Greece for a month.
Or, I'd rather work. I'd rather post on social media. I'd rather watch Netflix. I'd rather do what is expedient, not meaningful. Somehow truly deviating from my desires the second after I recognize them. Like an ADD foxhound on the hunt that gets distracted by another scent two seconds into the chase. Somehow feeling that the next best thing will fill the need better than what doing the work to show up for work for my desire to lovingly hold our home and my children in my heart with love.
The hardest part? Surrendering. Letting go of how I want to be and letting God direct it all. I just need to show up every day with my priorities in check and get to work. I do know that my energy levels are less than par these days, and I honor it. I need lots of naps, I need lots of putting my feet up after cleaning, I need time with friends at lunch and pursing my hobbies (writing duh). I still have my needs and frivolous things that bring me joy that when ignored turn me into a complete a#$hole. It's not like living as a monk to be a successful holder of a home.
It's in doing what is meaningful, and not expedient at all times. Sometimes that's getting a pedicure. Sometimes it is saying NO to a screaming child. Sometimes it is saying YES to more time alone.
And all the time it is knowing that the longing for more freedom, less responsibility, and an easier path MEANS I AM DOING THE RIGHT THING.