I went to a yoga class this morning for the first time since I was pregnant. Laying on the floor before class started with my hands resting on my abdomen, I remembered the feeling of being home to the strange guest who would be my daughter, now fourteen months old.
I also remembered the anxiety of the first trimester. Having held space for women who had experienced miscarriage, I was consumed by an anxiety that I would miscarry and felt that if I could make the ten week mark, I would be okay. Laying there, I thought back to myself and wished that the woman I was could have just fully rested in the uncertainty, the mystery of the experience. I wish for myself–and all others–presence with gratitude even if we are sharing our bodies with a new being for just a short amount of time (which in truth, we are).
So many pregnant women and their partners are consumed by the ‘what ifs.’ After all, we hear them constantly when we voice our choices to do anything outside of strict convention.
And yet, what if this moment is all I have? We have? What kind of presence do I want to bring, even as I sit with complex emotions, with pain?
How perfect that the yoga teacher opened the class with a brief conversation about the tension between anxiety and faith. She offered a mantra that she uses: Let go. Stand empty. Welcome truth.
Let go. Stand empty. Welcome truth. Let go. Stand empty. Welcome truth.
Yesterday I watched my daughter run off and play with the big kids–toddlers and small children exploring the riverside park where the Exeter Farmer’s Market is held each Thursday. She is so confident, so bold. She runs without looking back. She is absorbed by the ducks, the children on their bicycles, the feel of rough bark and soft soil. I called to her and she ignored me. I realized with such bittersweetness that the symbiosis of our time together in her infancy is fading. That my heart beats in her is an illusion–it’s my heart. It’s her heart. Let go. Stand empty. Welcome truth.
Our time together is far from over, God willing, but this awareness allows me to cherish moments that I might otherwise take for granted or resent (co-sleeping being a perfect example), to direct my full attention to her discoveries, and to celebrate our closeness.
And as this thread between us gets longer and longer with her coming into her own world, I return to mine and my own shifted sense of identity as a mother but also as my self. She will go, and I am here. Who is this I that I am becoming?