11 May 2012

To Birth a Soul

Today I will write about one of my favorite days of the year........

Mother's Day.

And I will attempt to do my feelings on this subject justice. 

I have not yet been able to birth another soul, but in the process of learning how to be at peace with this experience and many others, I have birthed my own soul. There is nothing more miraculous that I have done in my whole life.

Right now I am sitting in my friend's home while her children are sleeping and she is at the movie theater with her husband. I just heard a little cough from her sleeping, curly haired daughter and it sounded oh so cute. My friend is a super mom of two. I just raided her cupboards for a bite to eat, like a 14-year old babysitter, and saw labels on shelves: "baking supplies", "snacks", "spices & condiments". This place is the tightest ship I've seen. And yet her world is not feeling so tight these days.

After many years of trying to have a 3rd child, she just got diagnosed with breast cancer. We are all stunned. She's my age. And she couldn't have a healthier lifestyle. Her surgery is soon and tonight was the last night they could fit in for a date night.

Her situation reminds me of the tragedies that we all face - in various forms. It's amazing how none of us are immune. Things seem to pop up all around us.

I can't help but think of what power these tragedies have in our lives.

I am reminded why my own tragedies got carved down from being the worst experiences of my whole life, into something so beautiful that I can hardly even describe it.

And it began because I wanted to be a mother. 

Not being able to get pregnant that first year, so long ago, started me on a journey that hasn't wavered in the 7 years that have followed. I began deliberately living my life in a better way out of love for the children that I hoped to have.

There is great beauty in mothering and caring for a life. And while giving birth to a child could be the greatest physical miracle, I think giving birth to your own soul could be one of the greatest spiritual miracles.

To all of you who are mothers and all who are not - may your tragedies and challenges become opportunities for you to begin caring for yourselves. May they be the kindling you need to start staring at life in the face and deciding that you want to be at peace with it, just as it is.  

May your tragedies inspire you to love in a way that maybe you've never loved before: by doing the work to heal yourself. Do it out of love for others, so that you can offer the best of yourself to your children (born or unborn), your spouse, & every person that is ever in touch with you. This is the greatest offering of love I can think of - there is no greater gift to the world than this level of love.  

May you let your tragedies be a reason to decide to pursue a virtue as you face them (forgiveness, patience, kindness, hope, love, etc.). There is no greater happiness & liberation found than in the pursuit of virtues...and it's a pursuit we all can choose no matter what we are faced with.  It is the key to choosing (& having) the most long-term, have-at-any-moment, best-ever-in-the world kind of happiness.

And ultimately, may your tragedies lead to the greatest birth you could ever have - the birth of your own soul.

As I celebrate Mother's Day as a symbol of what my desire for motherhood has done to me, if you need a reason to celebrate this day, may you...

Celebrate the beauty of beginning a journey to heal yourself out of love for your children. Celebrate the beauty of the challenge of motherhood and the amazing lessons & transformations available to you because of it. Celebrate the beauty of waiting for a child and the time that you will have to heal yourself before you even become a mother. Celebrate the beauty of the preparation, excitement, and hope of having a child or of meeting your future spouse & companion.  

Hold your head high and celebrate birth, in all it's forms, as we transform and become the best women & mothers we can be.

Sending much love and honor to all of you,


P.S.  In case you'd like to read it, I edited an old post of mine called "Mother's Day for an Infertile Woman" and it was just published on the Equals Record.  

P.P.S.  Favorite snack of the night: Freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe's. Haha. So good.  :)  

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  1. That was beautiful. Thank you. :)

  2. Thanks Mara. I'm still struggling to make peace with my infertility, but it's been quite transformative and I can appreciate that. I really appreciate your perspective and hope I can get to where you are someday.

    1. Dear Angie - you'll get there, my dear! Just your desire to do so will help so much. Sending you encouragement and love. -M

  3. There is no doubt that birth is lifes most incredible gift. The gift of creation. I am now in the middle of my own lifes great rebirth. Painfully difficult but the outcome is miraculous!

    Something has changed and for the first time in my life I feel worthy. Worthy for all the love and joys that I have been given. This is the birth of my soul.

    Beautifully put. Thanks.

    1. E.M.S. - ohhh....You're amazing. This made me so happy. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to hear you're doing the work. It is the hardest but most rewarding thing anyone could do. So yay for you!

  4. Thank you Mara - that was absolutely beautiful and healing for a mother struggling with a wayward child...

    1. oh good - so glad to hear it. And thanks for writing in. Happy Mother's Day to you!

  5. Thank you for this wonderful message. I needed to hear it today. I honestly haven't really ever considered the concept of birthing my own soul, but it goes along really nicely with some things I've been thinking about lately. I especially like how you mention healing yourself out of love for your children. I also experience infertility but have a daughter and have been feeling particularly inadequate as a mother lately, because of struggles that are going on in other areas of my life. It's all connected, and it has to start with me taking care of me.

    Thank you so much for all you do.

    1. Bec - so glad this was helpful to you today. I always love when a post helps someone specifically on a certain day. Good luck in all that you do. And thanks a million for your kind words.
      Happy Mother's Day! xo

  6. Absolutely beautiful Mara... Being a single mother that was lovely to read... Thank you!

    1. Sindee - Thank you so much. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. And your daughter is just darling!! Happy Mother's Day to you! xo

  7. loved it. so beautifully written.

  8. My mom passed away some years ago and I am not yet a mother myself -struggling also with infertility problems. But as I grow older, I realize more and more of all the things she has done for us and all the things and other dreams and projects she did not pursue in our behalf. And she has a great career and was incredibly active in every possible way. But as time goes by, I am more and more aware of how she devoted her life to loving us and others. How amazing she was. And although I did express all my love to her, I regret that I didn't understand it even better back then. I hope that if I may ever be able to birth a soul, I can be a great mom and person as she was too.
    I would like to thank you for your beautiful message and for reminding us to birth our own souls....
    I think that motherhood is not only about raising a child. I think you have been a great "mother" and Danny a great "father" to many of us by helping us with your blog. And caring with such a lovely heart to all of us unknown people, helping us think and act differently, guiding somehow some of us through different trials, enhancing our self worth and love lifes (in every possible sense of love). You are being a great mom here, I hope you know it.

    So happy mother's day Mara! If this soul you've been waiting for, manages to come, she/he will be so fortunate,she/he has no idea! Truth is, if babies are lining up in heaven waiting to come, you must be giving a hard time to God I am sure babies up there, must be all wishing to be your child.... :)

    Ilove you both!

    1. Anon - I can't thank you enough for writing in. I love what you wrote about your mother - it sounds like she was an amazing woman & how wonderful it will be for you to carry on her beautiful legacy.

      And thanks for all your kindness. It really means the world.
      Much love to you - and may your weekend be full of lovely memories of your dear mother. xo

  9. stunning. a perfect mother's day post. thank you.

  10. Mara as always you have so perfectly described the CHOICES we all can make. My divorce was just that for me. I was determined - no, HELL BENT - on not letting that tragic occurrance bring me down. Which I not only thought it WOULD, but thought that it was all out of my control. It truly was the beginning of my new path, my new ME and a chapter in which I grew up so much and found my own voice. Thank you so much.xo

  11. Hugs, Mara, and thank you for putting this so beautifully. It describes a process I've been going through in a couple of different ways--learning how to "birth" teenagers into adulthood, and recovering my sense of self (I guess that's one way to put it) after a fire a few months ago that took everything I owned. You are so right that we ALL suffer at one time or another and it's so important to realize that it's universal (and that it can be transformative) so that we avoid the trap of (too much) self-pity.

  12. wow, what a beautiful perspective. Especially loved this line:

    "And while giving birth to a child could be the greatest physical miracle, I think giving birth to your own soul could be one of the greatest spiritual miracles."

    As, always, I leave here inspired!

  13. I think this is my favorite post you've ever written, Mara. Happy Mother's Day to a great woman and "mother" to my children. xo

  14. beautiful. thank you. And sending my prayers to your dear friend with breast cancer. I hope her journey can be swift and hopeful like mine.

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  16. Mara,

    I am wishing you a wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow.

    This holiday is a very tough one for my mom... she was pregnant 4 different times... delivered 4 babies between 21-32 weeks. 3 sons and one daughter. 2 were stillborn... 2 were live births (one lived for a day and the other about a week). 4 times she left the hospital without a baby in her arms, planning funeral services instead.

    While this could have destroyed her, my mother is one of the strongest women I know... her story is unlike any I have ever heard and yet, she is the most incredible and happy woman I know. She is living proof that time can heal even the deepest of wounds and that you can overcome whatever trials you experience... and you can be happy still.

    Thank you for sharing this. Our trials are all different, but the message is always the same... we can and will overcome...


    *didn't mean to delete above comment... sorry...

  17. love this, my dear old friend. happy mother's day!

  18. like others, i really appreciate your perspective, if only to give me hope that i can pull through this! thank you for sharing so freely.

  19. You're a wonderful woman & I just know that you will be blessed with children! Your story reminds me of a dear friend who after seven years, with the help of in vitro, was able to conceive twins. Because of her condition that limited her ability to get pregnant on her own also limited her ability to carry her twins to term. They arrived early, really early; 24 weeks. Today these baby girls are strong, active beautiful little girls. It's because they had a strong Mama that wanted to be a Mother more than anything. That kind of love produces miracles! That's the kind of love that emulates every time you talk about becoming a Mama!

  20. Dear Mara,
    Thank you for this perfectly written post. As somebody 'joyfully living' with infertility, I've never known quite how to explain why/how I've used this trial to be a better + stronger woman than ever before. In the future when asked, I will direct people to this post. The idea of giving birth to my own soul explains it exactly. Your words rang very true to me.


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