Visceral loving

Just watched*  A Quiet Place and it spurred intuitive ideas about mothering and divine mothering, that is the archetype of motherhood. Beyond the physical and biological implications of motherhood I thought about the spiritual and emotional capacities. And that’s when I discovered my core gifts : love, security and guidance. Or in other words, nurturing, abundance and understanding. The 3 things I’ve lacked the most in my life. And things are more clear because it makes sense that if I was created with these qualities I had to lead a life of the polarities in order to grow and understand through that intense contrast. And that’s what it’s been for me in the past 13 years. Mothering myself. Trying to understand my empathetic and intuitive gifts. Learning in a highly unusual and heuristic way. Devoting myself to healing.

Just earlier I thought to myself that had I not surrendered to the countless trauma and suffering that’s been piled up back to back, I would remain stuck. It was my willingness to regroup, be introspective, be brutally honest about why I’m in this situation even if others did me wrong, and map things together intuitively that allowed me to be receptive to the divine wisdom. But then again, that’s why Allaah tested me to the extent that He did. He knew I would only become bolder under pressure and if I wasn’t so I wouldn’t be put through the high-pressure cooker that my adult life has been.

I’m just so grateful to come face to face with my core. I never thought this would happen.

 

* this was over 2 months ago and it’s been sitting in my drafts until now for no apparent reason 🙄

Ode to the crimson orchestra 

​Creativity isn’t a solo act. It’s an orchestra. It’s an arduous process where everything is happening *to* you…
You just have to let certain things bounce off you, others enter your core and stir things up. And wait. For what, you don’t know. 
It’s building castles in the sky, fumbling in the dark, and waiting. 
Lots of waiting. Anticipating. 
For what, you don’t know. 
As things build up, your being shifts a bit, annoys you. Things haven’t shifted completely, but enough for you to feel out of place. 
And it so happens that the one vital element that’d glue things together, missing. 
Stopped. Everything stops working. 
All the shifting, building, waiting, irritation…dead end. All the discomfort you were putting up with and putting off in favour of a desirable outcome — splash. Hits you. 
Pain. Wrenching. Wringing. Twisting. Stabbing. Writhing. Squirming.
And so begins the process of deconstructing. You look at it, at what you’ve been toiling away at all this time. Can you really destroy it?
But you must shed it off despite the acute ache. It’s an innate part of this orchestra. Letting go. 
So you begin, taking things down, tearing them apart, tearing up a whole lot in between sets. Oh gosh,why does it have to be so painful?
But you trudge on because you know that if you don’t move on, you’ll be buried in your bygone dreams. That you’ll lose out on a thousand more processes.
Deep breath. Relax. Lie down for a moment.
You stare at the ceiling, trying to transcend the pain. But how can you transcend something that envelopes you like the night? It washes over you, and you let it, and your body contorts in pain.
It dawns on you that the pain comes from the energy of the creative process trying to wriggle out of its host’s body. It’s going to haunt you, stick around, hinder you if you don’t start afresh. Give it a new home. 
Exhale. Sit up. Stretch. Take two ibuprofens. Your periods will soon be over.

miscarriage

Being a woman…is a lonely battle.
A close friend recently told me that she was a couple of months pregnant. I was so elated, about to cry, but then I was upset that she had waited so many weeks to tell me. She said she didn’t tell me because ‘you’re supposed to keep it a secret for the first 3 months because the risk of miscarriage is so high, and I didn’t want to tell people in case it didn’t work out.’
Bullshit, I told her. If the pregnancy terminates does that mean it didn’t count? A baby can be stillborn after 9 months – should the entire pregnancy be kept secret too, ‘ in case it doesn’t work out’.
But I understood her.I’m not a mother, and I can’t fathom what that entails. But I’ve seen what mothers go through.

The miscarriages that are mentioned in passing, void of importance, the post partum depression suffered in complete isolation.
When a woman falls pregnant, it’s not like an oven you pop dough in and wait for it to turn into bread.
As the embryo is growing, the woman’s body is flooded with hormones and her entire being is in fluctuation. Her body doesn’t belong to her anymore, another human in the making is draining her.
And yet, in between the terrible waves of sickness that strikes most women and the bloating and swelling and crying spells, she’s helping the baby grow by sending it thoughts of love and hope. For those first months before the bump appears, the miracle in making is a secret between her and the baby. They communicate by feelings and morning sickness and pregnancy cravings.
Her life flashes before her eyes. She will now and forever be in second place. Will it be a healthy baby? Will I be able to be a good mum?What if I fail?
So imagine all those questions, feelings, hope, – and the sad news:
“I’m sorry, but there’s no heartbeat. You’ve lost the baby.”
The hearts that were beating in tandem – abruptly returns to be a solo act. And what a heart wrenching song.
And because she never told anyone, she has to mourn in secret, continue with her daily life, greet her neighbours with a smile that never reaches the eyes, and walk past mothers with their strollers in the grocery store without breaking down in tears.
And if she did tell people, then her wounds will be ripped open over and over again:
– Oh it’s nothing. You’ll get pregnant soon enough
– OMG what did you do? Did you carry anything heavy?
– You have to be careful! What were you thinking?
– At least you didn’t go full term. Imagine if it was still born?
Darling, I don’t know what you felt in those scarring moments you lost your child. But your child mattered, your pregnancy counts. You will always and forever be a mother – even if your child doesn’t remain with you throughout your life. They will remain in your heart. You lost those first steps you envisioned, their 3 year birthday party, their high school graduation… I think sometimes the mourning no one can relate to or feel is the worst…So be your own best friend, and allow yourself to cry and grieve for as long as you are emotionally pregnant.

The Infallible Mother

Few escape the feeling that mothers are to be honored, or the awareness that mothers are too often taken for granted, their sacrifices unappreciated. Yet many of us are secretly (or not so secretly) unsatisfied with what we got from our mothers, resentful that—whether their fault or not—they failed to provide important aspects of what we needed. And we’re paying the price.

These are sensitive issues—sensitive for mothers and sensitive for all of us.

Some, in a need to make mothers off-limits from criticism, become critical of those who are unsatisfied, blaming us for blaming our mothers, as if we are unfairly passing off the responsibility for our suffering. While I don’t deny that some may use blame as a distraction and fail to take responsibility for the arduous task of healing, what I see more often as a therapist is the enormous guilt and resistance people have to work through to stop protecting their mothers. It is as if, even within the privacy of our own minds, we are afraid to criticize her. We are protecting the image of mother inside, protecting our fragile relationship with her by denying anything that might unsettle it, and protecting ourselves from the disappointment, anger, and pain that we’ve kept out of consciousness. As I will explain in the chapters that follow, many don’t dare to uncover the painful truth of what was missing in their mothers because they are unprepared to deal with what this would mean.

Any relationship as complex as that between mother and child is going to include both love and hate. Most young children feel moments of hatred when their needs or wishes are frustrated, although many children wouldn’t dare express this, their bond with Mommy far too fragile. And virtually all children feel love for Mother, even when that love is buried or walled off. As Robert Karen eloquently reported in his compilation of research on attachment:

” […] children, love their parents. It’s built into the nature of being a child. They may be hurt, disappointed, caught in destructive modes of being that ward off any possibility of getting the love they yearn for, but to be attached, even anxiously attached, is to be in love. Each year the love may become a little more difficult to access; each year the child may disavow his wish for connection more firmly; he may even swear off his parents and deny that he has any love for them at all; but the love is there, as is the longing to actively express it and to have it returned, hidden like a burning sun.

Excerpt From: “The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-Healing and Getting the Love You Missed” by Jasmin Lee Cori.

Motherhood is a choice, not a chore

Many women have lamented losing themselves in mothering and in being partners. Yet if a woman isn’t ready, at least for a period of her life, to attend to the needs of others, she really isn’t ready for the task of mothering.

There are many legitimate reasons a woman may be unable to fully take on the enormous task of mothering, yet unfortunately women have often not been given (or not felt) a choice about this. Because of either unintentional pregnancy or social expectations , women may slide into motherhood without really choosing it. Often such women have not yet grown into full adults themselves.They are ill equipped for what lies in front of them.

It is not easy to give of yourself if you still have many unmet needs. Yet mothering requires constant giving. A good mother shares the warmth of her body when her child is cold, the milk from her breast when her child needs nourishment. She gives both the unborn child and the nursing child calcium from her bones. This is a very basic level of giving of oneself. No wonder ‘Mother’ is a symbol of sacrifice!

Mommy is what we are made of.


Cori, Jasmin Lee. “Mothering: Mother as the Tree of Life.” The Emotionally Absent Mother: A Guide to Self-healing and Getting the Love You Missed. New York: Experiment, 2010. 24. Print.

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