Welcome to my Book of Mirrors



This is my spiritual journey. I am looking for the truth of who I am and who God is, unfettered by the traditions prescribed by my family, church and culture.

25 February 2008

'I found God in myself and I loved her fiercely.'

Ntozake Shange

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Heaven Sent

Gazing at my baby girl
Watching her sleep
I realised I had once been so perfect
I had been so precious
And I knew, as every mother knows,
This fact could not be changed
As my daughter would always be
So was I
And then I whispered in her ear
"What's it like in Heaven?"
And added with a little sob "I've forgotten."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Enlightenment for a Stay at Home Mom?

What I really want to know is, has any woman with four children aged six and under, ever achieved enlightenment?

I'm sorry to be blasphemous, but the prince who meditated under a tree to find enlightenment had to leave his wife and child to do it. As a woman and now a mother, I have never been impressed with that story.

And Jesus, well he had no children at all.

I can't go to the bathroom with the door shut. I live in my place of work. And it doesn't help that we live on the exact opposite side of the world from both sets of grandparents. No babysitters, no helpers at all!

I am not even impressed when I hear a story of a person who has one child. I always say, and I am sorry if this offends you, that having one child is like having no children, compared to having two. (So there, Martha Stewart!)

Of course when I had only one child I felt totally overwhelmed. But looking back, I can't believe the things I was able to do! The biggest jump is two. After that, you might as well keep on going...

But I digress.

Yes it was my choice to have children, but I wasn't on any real spiritual search until after I had them. And now, when I need it most, I can't escape to meditate in a cave, not for fifteen minutes!

I am aware of the resistance in me towards people who do not have children. It is my own issue, my own excuses. My husband, who is so much more dedicated than me, and can spend hours a day meditating, even if it means getting up extra early. He always says to me, you make the time.

But sleep deprivation is an awful thing. And hard to recover from. And many times when I sit to quiet my mind (after the baby's down- late night) I fall asleep.

Another experience for me... to learn compassion??!!

I know that this time does not last forever, that it will pass, but in the meantime my children live with a stressed out ogre. And I have four voices screaming and demanding (five if you include my DH) all day and night. Well that's not completely true. But not having agreed upon work hours, I can't plan anything. I do not have evenings and weekends off. What snatches of time I do have, I end up here! And this is so therapeutic. But still...

Sometimes I envy prison inmates. With nothing to think of but themselves. So much solitary time. A person could easily become enlightened in jail!

But even if I did manage to get myself committed (insane asylum or jail, both look rather appealing from here!) would the excuses end? Or would I find more?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Choose Life

It has taken me many years to be able to recall my first experience of childbirth with any positive emotion at all, let alone gratitude. However, life is how one chooses to look at it, and I choose Life.

Reason for gratitude # 1: My husband was there, the father of all my children. He was there for all eighteen hours and beyond. He physically held me up when none of the midwives could do it. He held me even as I was tearing the flesh from his arms with my nails. At the time, and for years after, I felt as though I had been abandoned by god. But I was not alone. I was never alone.

Reason #2: Sutures. It took me half an hour to push my child out, and half an hour for them to stitch me up. I lost so much blood that days later I had difficulty breathing and walking at the same time. Had this been a hundred years ago, or in a developing country, I probably would have died. I don't want to sound dramatic, because childbirth mortality has been so greatly reduced in developing countries it's not something we even think about. But it is still, a near-death experience for women. (And did I have post-natal depression? Oh yes).

Reason #3: My son was nearly nine pounds, strong, beautiful (as every mother will tell you about her own child) and perfectly healthy. Within minutes of birth he was trying to lift his head to look around. He is now tall for his age, still strong and beautiful (well, I tell him handsome).

I had no pain relief. I have given birth four times and I have never had pain relief. (Excepting a little gas and air). I can't say I'm grateful about that, but at least I am neutral. Which is better than being bitter.

I have to laugh at myself, because I know there are worse stories than mine. I had no interventions, no emergency c-section. But before this I didn't know what pain was. I had never had a stitch, broken a bone.

But I am grateful. Grateful to join the common experience of womankind. What good would I be to a world that suffers pain, if I had no understanding of pain?

All is well in my world.