Today was one of those mornings where I awoke exhausted, sipped my coffee and was completely unmotivated to accomplish anything on this given day. After piddling and procrastinating, I finally let my hair down and started to unravel before God. As I filled up a few pages in my journal, I began to see that my heart was in dire need of nurturing. I’ve been in a season where my adult responsibilities have piled up. Here I’ve barricaded myself in tasks and playing the roles of life. With a baby coming, moving, preparing to open The Anchor House, taking courses to receive my 300 hour Yoga Teacher Certification and continuing to teach, I’ve once again made little space for my heart to be nurtured. Yet as my anxiety levels continued to rise, I kept convincing myself that I was exceedingly more productive as long as I kept my head down and tackled my list. This could not be more of a lie.
When life speeds up, I shut down all avenues of direction except driving towards achievement. This has always been my defense mechanism. On the outside this makes me look incredibly productive and efficient, yet inside the playful and creative parts of myself start to wither if not attended too. Some of the adjectives for nurture is mother, parent, rear, raise, tend, support and foster. I’m struck by the uncanny parallel of my own needs and the role I’m embarking on. No matter our age, we never outgrow our need to be nurtured as a loving mother does so well. Many of us with a background of familial trauma may feel like this is a far off concept and if I am truly honest, many times I feel that same way. It appears risky to give into the longing for such. Yet, in this season of becoming a mother, I notice my own deep desire to tenderly support in only the ways a mother can.
Mothers anchor our hearts to create and play. They are meant to nurture our natural abilities and give us courage to be in our own skin. Mothers are the divine source of human life from the womb and after birth. A women’s body is created to create and sustain life. I did not always want to be a mother, and I share a little more about that in Redeeming Woman. I’ve witnessed God breathe life into my feminine soul, even going so far as to birth another inside me. Yet, no matter how far God takes your story into redemption, we are still people in process, our journey of restoration is never done.
Growing up with a chaotic and unpredictable mother, there was no trusting in a safe-base or secure attachment figure. Moments of tenderness could not be counted on. Instead, each day she was a completely different person. It’s maddening for a child to have a mother and still be un-mothered. Eventually a young girl’s heart loses hope, learns to care for herself, grows up and moves on. She becomes tough, and her heart sealed off to desire. Like many with similar stories, I’ve had many moments of leaving and telling my heart to forget the longing for care. As I’ve grown older, my eyes see clearly that we never outgrow such a need.
I’m wondering if any of you all have ever been in this analogous place? It’s much more strenuous to look at our faces with honesty, rather than continue the disingenuous facade.
Lately I’ve heard the voice of God kindly asking, “What do you want?” Each time I hear the lavish proposal I am caught off guard, often silent, and caught in my ambivalence to desire. This morning I was brave in my response and dared to admit the truth of desire, telling God my longings and believing he will certainly answer. I’m willing to step in, honor my heart and embrace this season as I anticipate hope.