I wish you loneliness…
This line appeared in a poem for my baby, written by my sister in law. She shared it at a Blessingway ceremony held in August – a gathering with a small circle of dear women to honor the transition in my life as I prepared to give birth to my second child.
The women brought blessings, poems, and prayers to share, written on sheets of origami paper. I planned to fold the papers into birds and place them around the house; I would be surrounded by their blessings while giving birth. My son arrived 12 days early, a little too soon to complete folding all of the birds, but some were scattered around and I have the gift of sitting with them as I fold them now, weeks later. But back to the poem… in its fullness, it quietly reads:
“I cannot wish you safety, because we learn through risk.
I cannot wish you peace because discomfort makes us radically creative.
I cannot wish you pure health, because the body contains multitudes, and strength comes from wrestling what seeks to unbalance you.
I can wish you love. I can wish you loneliness.
Mostly, I wish for you to live in the fullness of your humanity, whatever that may be, with as much curiosity about the messes as the miracles.”
Written by Kitt Healy
How to accept life’s messes
Ultimately, these origami blessings are destined for a picture box to hang on the wall, surrounding a photo of my newborn son. I’ve deliberated over leaving this one in the frame unfolded, it’s love and honesty open for reading and rereading. Part of me wants to fold it, to hide the words because my mother’s heart wants no sadness or hardship for this child. And while for me it will always be this way, I know, deeply, that a life of pure ease is not what he came for. He came to forget; forget that he is made of love and forget that he is one with everything. He came to relearn and remember these things as he ages. He came for the messes.
This is a good reminder for me, too. I’ve spent long hours feeling sad over pains in my life. Friendships and loves lost. Being hard on myself for those sadnesses, as if doing things a little bit different, a little bit better or more perfect could have protected me from painful moments. I sometimes get intensely anxious about making a decision, afraid that if I make the wrong one I will be hurt in the future.
But pain free living was never going to be possible, was it? Over these past months, during the loneliness invoked by COVID-19, I’ve started using a method for releasing old emotions called emotional frequency technique, or “tapping.” Events that I wish hadn’t happened – they’re transforming into old memories without painful associations. I’m learning to love my messy life, just as it is.
Our messes, illuminated
I can’t protect my children from the messes any more than I can protect myself. But I can show them a mother who loves her life, all the bumps and bruises and how they’ve shaped her, a mother who has learned to let go and forgive and love herself. Maybe that example can be a beacon of light that helps guide them back to themselves when their messes make them forget the way. These are my messes, illuminated.
I wish that for you, too. That you see your messes as part of your becoming. Becoming something brighter and more full and more in line with the heart of you. You are made of love and are part of everything. Even with the messes. Remember that.
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