There is a magical, almost ethereal connection between being a mother and spirituality. However, I am not talking about any specific religion or practice.
Motherhood is a journey that can ignite personal growth or transformation, and ultimately, help you find your purpose in life. Intrinsically, it can help you discover who you really are.
Being a mother is a selfless and often underappreciated vocation, and one where you’ll continually experience a raft of emotions and feelings, including joy, love, compassion, self-doubt and pain. Its demands are relentless, and change is the only constant.
Mothers have to continually reinvent themselves in order to keep up with their children, and their ever changing needs. It can feel like an uphill battle at times.
However, it is an experience that strengthens your inner voice and intuition.
“Most mothers are instinctive philosophers”.
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe
Isn’t it uncanny how mothers know if their children are in trouble or need help?
There is a definite spiritual link between mothers and children that is near impossible to untether or destroy.
So what are the key spiritual lessons that motherhood can teach you?
This is something children readily teach us. They live in the present, and so should we. We should never obsess about mistakes or regret the past; nor worry or fear the future. Instead, spend your energy on seeing the beauty in the everyday. Look at your children! They are the purest reflection of this simple philosophy. They enjoy getting their hands dirty, exploring the outdoors and they move freely. They don’t succumb readily to common sense, rationality and reason. They are free souls who listen intently to their hearts and see wonder in the world. Next time you play with your children, don’t abide by the rules or succumb to self-imposed restrictions, play freely without a single care in the world. Don’t be self-conscious and embrace each and every moment. It might not come again. Childhood is fleeting, and as older mothers often ruminate, it is gone in the blink of an eye.
Learning to let go of hurt, regret and pain is a formidable task. It is often much easier to wallow in negative feelings, than to forgive or to move on. But observe your children - they get angry, but this is soon forgotten. They get sad, but moments later, they are brimming with happiness and there are peals of laughter. Children never hold onto negative feelings. They let them go to dissipate into the ether. They don’t let negative emotions overwhelm them or hold them back. Instead, they try to seize every moment, and see their experiences for what it is.
As adults, we’ve lost our carefree ways, as we are bogged down by societal demands, commitments and responsibilities. Over time, we accumulate a lot of baggage, which can manifest as anxiety, anger or fear.
Being conscious of the fact that it is alright to have negative feelings, and that they do not define who you are as a spiritual, living being is a lesson children perpetually teach us. Being a mother involves loving unconditionally, and letting go. Isn’t that a form of spiritual awakening in itself?
Mothers are the default caregivers even amongst the most egalitarian couplings. They are constantly on the go, caring for their children, accommodating their demands, whilst dealing with conflict, juggling work and running a household. As singles, we all had the luxury of ‘me time’ where we could socialise with friends, catch up on a book or simply tune out. Motherhood put an abrupt end to that. But no matter how difficult it may be, it is imperative that you put self-care on the top of your to do list. Not only will it preserve your sanity; it will also enable you to preserve a sense of self; both of which are crucial for you to become the best mother and individual you can be. Set aside time to care for yourself every single day - even if it is just for a moment. Do readily accept any help available - even if you have to pay for it.
Women who are mothers are naturally strong because they have to be. In the face of daily challenges, they have to show their nerve and resolve to deal with new or varied situations. They often bear the physical scars of childbearing and child rearing, and the emotional traumas that motherhood brings. But somehow you manage it all. As a mother, you get stronger and stronger each day, as you discover your almost superhuman ability to undertake tasks, overcome difficult situations, and accomplish goals. At the same time, you develop oodles of patience, endurance and compassion - without even realising it. Bit by bit, by spending time caring for your children, you are growing yourself.
“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.”
~ Barbara Kingsolver
There is a dignity and purpose in caring for children. It provides a strong spiritual foundation in which to grow and to bring about powerful and meaningful changes. On an esoteric level, it enriches a woman’s life, though it does not solely define her. But it does make her stronger, helping her to see beyond the limitations she sets herself.
As the author of Enlightenment Through Motherhood Astra Niedra explains about the spiritual gifts motherhood brings, you don’t have to sit alone in a cave and meditate to experience spirit – you can also experience spirit by sitting in a park with your children and watching the delight on their faces as they play.
“Mother’s ways are higher than others, even when everyone rejects; mother accepts with her arms open and wide”.
~ Amit Ray
Motherhood is not for everyone, and like all spiritual paths, it is one an individual has to consciously choose. But like most spiritual practices, it leaves an indelible mark on the soul and the psyche, one that can never be erased.
Thanks for reading,