I used to think that the most spiritual people out there were the ones who renounced the world – great sages and mystics and seekers who gave up everything to sit in meditation for hours each day.
But what if each of us are meant to do this on our own way?
This is my truth:
Show me a mother, and I’ll show you someone who talks to God.
After a tantrum so intense we had to pull the car over last night (who has seen a screaming toddler make their way out of a tightly secured car seat without even unbuckling the straps?)
I stood in the street and tilted my head back to look at the sky.
I have moments like that where, suddenly, everything just stops. The universe takes a breath and the intensity of motherhood opens up a space wide enough for me to catch it. I don’t need to climb a mountain. I don’t need another book. I have everything I need for this journey and it’s here in the shape of a blue eyed, messy haired 3-year old.
To every woman out there who has ever wrangled a hysterical child into a car seat: you are doing the work.
You are not “just a mom” and there is not some other version of your life out there of you that could have lived a more spiritual life.
The seeker in you chose this path.
There is nothing you can do to further your growth more than what you are already doing in this moment.
Like mandalas in the sand, God is in the crumbles on the kitchen counter that continue to show up, no matter how many times we wipe it clean.
God is in the patience it takes to let tiny unknowing fingers try and tie their own shoes – even though we know they can’t, they’re not even close – and in the space that’s created when even though we are in a rush, we let them try to do it anyway. God is in that first morning greeting; in sweet morning breath and sleepy arms wrapped around our neck. God is in the diaper change, in the bedtime struggle, in the halving of grapes, in the “one more bite” and in every drawing displayed on the refrigerator door.
God is in our children’s eyes and also, in the image of ourselves we see reflected back our way.
I keep thinking about everything that had to align – every moment in my life, and the lives lived before this one – that had to come together just perfectly for us to find each other. My daughter chose me to be her mother and I could not be more honored. This kid is so funny, so sweet, so much of a reflection of me and Dennis but with her own little personality too. Where would we be without her?
I keep having these moments, in the midst of the hardest times, holding down a screaming toddler’s flailing arms, when I experience utter, total recognition.
I see myself in her.
When she is having a meltdown and nothing can help her, nothing can soothe her, my whole being just goes – me too darling. Me too. The moment I just see her – the moment I stop trying to fix what’s wrong and I just allow her to be exactly the way she is – the tantrum ends.
She collapses in my arms and she is crying and shaking and holding me so tightly and for the longest time we just stand there, holding each other, remembering every lifetime that had to be for us to make our way to each other’s arms right in this moment.
The ups and downs of parenthood are wild.
It is truly a spiritual practice to maintain while your three year old is literally CLIMBING OUT OF HER CAR SEAT, without unbuckling the straps. Who does this? The duality of the highs and lows is such a lesson. I learn from her every day, and I see myself reflected back. Dear God I love this child SO much, even though she has been pushing buttons I didn’t even know existed on this trip.
As we wrap up our time here in Costa Rica, I am starting to question if my daughter is three or 13? One thousand percent a threenager, and aside from the fussiness and the tantrums, we have heard the funniest things come out of her mouth (as well as have multiple instances where I just didn’t know what to do anymore):
“You look beautiful! Did you dress up for me?” (To about 20 random strangers dressed in festival gear.)
“What are you DOING??” (To a guy who had just lit a joint, trying to have a quiet moment on the grass by himself.) Followed by “Can I blow some smoke too please? My mom said I could.” The guy nearly fell backwards laughing, and I most definitely did NOT.
“This is my special wind gift. My daddy bought it for me.” (When I asked her where she got the little fan that she was walking around with. It later turned out she had stolen it from someone, found it on the ground – it’s all still very unclear.)
“You smell funny. Did you shower today?” (To a group of people who very obviously had not.)
“I don’t like this. FUCKER!” (Told very loudly to a toy she didn’t want to play with in the kids zone surrounded by many many children and their parents. I have never been so embarrassed and so close to peeing my pants with laughter at the same time in my life.)
“I have a baby in my belly and when I get older it’s going to come out of my VAGINE.” (Told to a nice lady who asked her if she was having a nice day.)
“I like it but I need a nap and a snack now.” (When I asked her what she thought about the festival.)
I ask again, is she 3 or 13?!
The images of myself I see in her, and the amount of love I feel for her is truly divine.
It is inexplicable how much I love this child.
The feeling is infinite, beyond measure, beyond conscious comprehension. The feeling of the divine embodied, shining out through her ocean eyes. God is in our children’s eyes and also, in the image of ourselves we see reflected back our way.
For all the mothers, you are doing divine work. This is my truth, and the truth about motherhood.