This post is being republished with the permission of Urban Mom. I wrote this piece for them some time last year and totally forgot about it until I saw the new issue in Nurture Nook yesterday. Thanks Janice for allowing me to republish.
A Sacred Journey
Motherhood is a sacred spiritual journey, a path with our children as our guides. There are moments in motherhood that deepen your spirituality. These moments could happen naturally during mundane routines. While having merienda with your child, he turns and shares something so profound that it opens you up, and fills you with love and gratitude. Somehow, something inside clicks with a realization that there is something so much bigger, so much greater than all of us.
Then there are other moments. Moments you know which mark the passage of time-a milestone or life even that will have an impact on who you are or who you will become. These moments are expected, like graduation, the birth of a child, or the death of a loved one. These moments are sprinkled throughout our lives and they are proof that our God is a loving God. A caring God who gives us what we need, when we need it, whether we know it or not.
However, my spirituality doesn’t just involve God. It is multifaceted, and I dare say it begins with knowing and loving myself. Having that connection to myself and the love within is something that I can work on constantly with the help of my children.
I have always said that my children are my greatest teachers. My children hold a mirror to me like no one else can. The have even shown me sides of myself that I might not be ready to see at the moment. Fortunately, it is with their constant love that I can work through the “not so pretty” parts of introspection and fait and spirituality that I might not want to admit exist.
I have always said that I wanted to be “more.” Every learning experience, whether positive of negative should improve upon the person I am. Of course, we always try to show our children “our best selves.” We show our children the “Godly” parts of ourselves, the good parts of our personalities and the characteristics we wish our children to emulate. Showing this side of ourselves is equally as important as showing our flaws because our children will one day learn that we are not perfect. I am not perfect, but I will do my best to be the best that I can be, and that is because I need to do that for my kids.
But when I think about being a mom, and all the gifts that my children have given me, it’s easy to see how they improve upon my spirituality. It’s easy for me to recognize the wonderful gift that each child is to me. Even in challenging times, it is these situations that have deepened my faith and my belief what is good in this world, in others, and in our God.
I have heard it said before that having children is like having your heart walk outside of your body leaving you forever vulnerable in a world where we have very little control. Embracing parenthood, and that sense of vulnerability can leave a lump in your throat, your heart in your stomach, and your breath constricted as if waiting to exhale. You exalt in your child’s triumphs, you soothe the sting of disappointment, and assuage the fears of your child knowing fully well that you can shelter them for so long.
Through each of my children I have learned so many new things in life, in love and in relationships. I suppose, even more importantly, it is through each of my beautiful four gifts that I have been able to deepen my spiritual relationship with God and with myself; all of which not only make me a better mom, but a better person.