One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do…in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I was talking to my uncle the other day – my mother’s brother. This side of my family are oddly isolated. Each family member and their little family operates much like a satellite – spinning around in the atmosphere, occasionally bumping into each other and then bouncing off again on their solo journey. Even more oddly, many of us live in the same neighbourhood. I am no different – I love to bump satellites with them, but rarely go to the trouble of organising a proper get together. A shame really, because I really like them, this eclectic bunch of healers and artists.
So, anyway, here I am at this function and my uncle and I are chatting, as you do. I ask him how his daughters, my cousins were going – they are about 10 years younger than me and off doing young women’s things in the big city, much like I did when I was their age. He replied that they are growing up beautifully, and that he didn’t need to worry after all :). So we started talking about the fears that we have as parents, the worry and the hope, all mixed up in this unruly package of love. I made a joke:
And then my uncle said:
You know, our children choose us because they need what we have. The most important thing in being a parent is to just be yourself and love them, because that’s what they need from us.
I let his words percolate and settle within me, and felt a great sense of peace and relief (a sure sign that I have come across a truth). This wisdom has revisited me quite a few times over the past few days. One of the roads of thought it has taken me down is a reaffirmation that my style of mothering is perfect for my children – they chose me, they need me to be who I really am.
I am feisty, strict, demanding – and I will play board games and read stories for hours. I yearn for freedom, space and solitude – and I am reliable, I keep promises, turn up on time and know all their friends’ names. I am not sporty, crafty or good at dancing – but I play backyard cricket whenever my son wants me to, I make sure my kids always have art supplies and a place to create; and music, books, good food and beauty are always present in my home. Sometimes I shout, yell and curse, feel disappointed and am just plain old bad tempered – but I never blame anyone else for my moods and I apologise if I step too far out of line. I can be distracted and irritable – but I am always there when my kids really need me.
I am that I am and it is enough.
The other road I have travelled down when thinking about this wisdom is how women torment themselves because they do not fit into our society’s ideal mother image. Newsflash – no one does. This is not an image, it is a caricature, grossly deformed and completely unattainable. I see women quietening their loud voices, strapping down their wildness and modulating their laughter to squeeze themselves into an illusion. It breaks my heart, it really does.
None of it is real. The only thing that is real is you, the real you. Where do I find this real me? Look for it in your favourite places – and it doesn’t have to be the kitchen (although I like to cook, not everyone does and not everyone should). Look for it in your favourite things to do – and it doesn’t have to involve your family. Look for it in your favourite books, movies, music and art. What is it about these things that you like?
Your work then, is to uncover the real you (the clues are everywhere, always) and be true to her (or him). It’s called integrity. You may know it as being real, having a strong moral compass or being true to yourself. It’s the most important task you are to do here, and your children are here to help you.
And the Great Mother said:
Come my child and give me all that you are.
I am not afraid of your strength and darkness, of your fear and pain.
Give me your tears. They will be my rushing rivers and roaring oceans.
Give me your rage. It will
erupt into my molten volcanoes and rolling thunder.
Give me your tired spirit. I will lay it to rest in my soft meadows.
Give me your hopes and dreams. I will plant a field of sunflowers and arch rainbows in the sky.
You are not too much for me. My arms and heart welcome your true fullness.
There is room in my world for all of you, all that you are.
I will cradle you in the boughs of my ancient redwoods and the valleys of my gentle rolling hills.
My soft winds will sing you lullabies and soothe your burdened heart.
Release your deep pain.
You are not alone and you have never been alone.
~Linda Reuther, from Homecoming (via ShamanTube)
I love love LOVE your description of how you feel, right after witnessing a truth. Maybe everyone doesn’t experience it like that, but I definitely DO! I, too share the belief that we children all choose our parents for what they can offer us this time around. Many who are gifted with knowledge of the big picture say, we often come down to earth with those we’ve been in other lifetimes with. I’m not sure why this makes me so happy, but maybe it’s because I feel ENOUGH (the very title of your piece). ENOUGH for this time around, anyway. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been picked. You know? Maybe my Little folks NEED a disorganized, yet happy, free-spirited mom who doesn’t always remember to wash their underwear.
Who am I to say?
The more words I read of yours, the more I just adore you.
Lis, reading your comment has just given me the biggest smile – partly because you always say such beautiful things, but mostly because there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who feels like she is enough, whatever she is doing. The energy of that ‘enough-ness’ radiates out from you across the oceans, through the ether and into my heart. I definitely believe in soul families, and there is a sense of comfort from that – that we’ve been connected before this lifetime, and we still will be after this one has finished. How could you not be comforted by that? xxx
Reblogged this on Tales from the Motherland and commented:
On this day, when I am not writing, I was lucky to read Sara’s latest post. I’ve followed Sara for a while and I love what she writes. We live very different lives, a long, long way from each other. Me in the Pacific NW and Sara in a beautiful spot in Australia. But we have chatted and shared, and this post really hit the spot today. Wise, well written, and touching. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Thank you Dawn ♥
Sara, this post really touched me today. I’ve just reblogged it on Tales From the Motherland (http://talesfromthemotherland.me/). While I’ve written a similar post recently, about the value of “enough,” I love the unique way that you share this thought, and the beauty of the satellite imagery. I think, some days, some posts, that we are sisters from another mother. 😉
PS) I generally avoid putting my link on other people’s blogs, but it seemed right in this case. Hope you don’t mind?
Of course I don’t mind :). Thank you for your kind words, Dawn. Sometimes I am lucky enough to stumble upon a Universal truth and then be able to communicate it so that the reader can see themselves in my words. It’s a good feeling, and reminds me of why I do this. The other wonderful thing about blogging is the sisterhood that develops. All of a sudden I have connections that stretch across the world! xxx
And if you ever want to travel, your sister has a guest room. 😉
I promise if i am ever in your neck of the woods, I will take you up on that 🙂
Followed talesfromthemotherland’s blog recommendation to read this and am so happy I did! I can identify with much of what you wrote, Sara. I especially like the poem and am going to post this on my FB page now. The cartoon about the first 40 years of parenting is so great! Connects to another similar one that has a caption “the first five days after the week-end are the hardest”.
LOL some weeks are like that, right? I am glad you came for a visit and liked what you read.
Universal truth. That’s what this is. It rings true on every level. I also believe that our children will benefit from the whole mommy package that we have to offer and that they choose us. I love the poem/ story at the end. Wonderful. Great post, Sara.
Thank you Lisa, I really appreciate you coming for a visit, and I am totally soaking in your praise too…it means a lot when someone who writes words I love to read likes the words I write too!
I don’t know why I stopped getting notifications for you so I signed up again. I think you and I are always on the same wave length and share the same beliefs. I should be over here all the time. hope it works this time.
Have a great weekend, Sara!
What a wonderful post 🙂
I love how one sentence from someone is all we need to hear at times – your uncle’s gem touched me today! (via you)
This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I’m so glad I asked about the “shoulds” and I’m so glad you directed me to this post.
There is so much doubt we struggle with as parents. We take, perhaps, too much responsibility and carry that weight unevenly – some days we feel born to motherhood and other days we wonder how we can manage another hour without causing some kind of irreparable damage to the children we love so deeply. We are always looking for the illusive “balance” that experts promise us is out there … somewhere.
And really, all the while, our best course of action is simply to be ourselves – to give the gifts that come naturally and share the good life as we know and love it. What a relief to think that our children choose us because we already have what they need.
Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts. I’m smiling now. 🙂
Me too 🙂 One, because you liked my writing and it was helpful – and two because you felt exactly the same relief that I did 🙂 Oh, you mean that I DON”T have to be (insert – earth mother, crafty mother, ambitious mother, uber organised mother) I can just be me? And that’s what is needed more than anything? Yippee 🙂 Thanks Jamie, so much.
From beginning to end, what an encouragement and what strength all of us moms can find from this–from those whose children are playing cricket to the ones still at peek-a-boo. Beautiful Sara, simply beautiful.
Sasha, thank you so much. I felt momentarily unsure as to whether to post the link on your comments section: often such a thing can be so crass, but that wasn’t how I meant it. I am so glad you understood my intention 🙂
Oh no, I was only thrilled to read it!! I am so happy to have connected with you Sara!
[…] Fellow inspired mom and blogger Sara of The Practical Mystic writes: “Your work then, is to uncover the real you (the clues are everywhere, always) and be true to her (or him). It’s called integrity. You may know it as being real, having a strong moral compass or being true to yourself. It’s the most important task you are to do here, and your children are here to help you.” (read her wonderful post You Are Enough.) […]