Monday, December 15, 2014

Become Yourself

"So, hasn't motherhood changed you?", many people ask, expecting me to say that it has indeed.  In fact, I don't really think it's that easy to change oneself.  Certainly, dealing with a  baby is a different kind of experience from any other, but it brings out what already existed, unused, within me.  Things that lay hidden and latent have surfaced, and old memories of my babyhood sometimes come to mind (especially at trying times, when I remember how patient my mother was with me).

Of course, all new experiences carry with them the potential for growth and change, and I do feel I have grown in certain ways over this past year.

My physical and mental resilience has increased.  I am called upon to wake up at odd hours to comfort or feed my baby.  To leave whatever I have begun if he is excessively restless at moments.  To curtail my phone calls and end suddenly with, "Oh, I have to leave now," and hope that friends understand.  To walk, walk and walk - this is of course because both baby and I like to do so, but I would be happier if I didn't have to do it at 3 a.m.!

The strength for all this comes not so much from physical sources but from my spirit.  The more I draw upon this inner strength and align myself with what is fundamentally "me", the easier and happier all my tasks become (in fact I don't really view them as tasks any more).  This requires a certain mental vigilance and confidence in myself.  It also requires an ability to listen but not necessarily act upon the tons of advice or opinions one gets from well wishers.  It's hard because, after all, I'm a novice parent, but this is what seems to work best for me.

And so I have learnt to accept my own way as the best way for myself; the baby (who doesn't have an option!) doesn't seem to mind.  I have learnt to allow myself to grow (almost!) fearlessly in whatever direction my innermost thoughts and feelings tell me.  To listen and observe, and allow my baby to direct his and my own growth.

As the year comes to a close, I wish my readers a happy new year and hope that the coming year brings peace, joy and self discovery (of a happy kind!) for each of you.  I end with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's hauntingly beautiful song,' Teach Your Children'.

"You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye"
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