Changing Woman by Ruth Zachary
Hola dearest Goddess,
I’m always surprised at how long healing takes.
Here I am, a couple of months since admitting mama-burnout.
And I’m still not healed.
Things are getting better, yes.
But fully healed? Not at all.
I’m still aching. Still finding out how to balance my life. Still understanding what is happening with my body, my hormones, my life, my mind.
This week, I saw this picture of Changing Woman.
In her, I see myself. I see how my own face has shifted from full round maiden face into a thinner, stronger mama’s face. It’s taking some getting used to.
I thought it was just me. Just me who did this wild, hard initiation into mamahood.
But seeing that photo gave me a healing, a reassurance, a medicine.
That this was the natural order of things. Of life, of womanhood, of growth, of change.
I am becoming all goddesses.
I’ve been a maiden. And baby, I lived the shit out of my maiden life! I rocked it so hard!
I was brave and fearless and utterly optimistic and wide faced.
I saw the world as untouched.
And as mama, having gone through that initiation of birth, of caring and tending so intensely to a tiny baby soul, I’m not who I once was.
I have been carved away at. I am etched. I am both hollower and stronger.
I never thought it would be this hard.
So hard to find my life again. Myself again. My centre, my core, my balance.
But here I am.
The thing is?
I don’t want anyone to take this journey away from me.
I don’t want anyone to make it easier for me.
I don’t want to go back to being a maiden again.
I want to stand in my own power, as a woman, and claim this.
I want to carve out what I need to carve out in my life.
I need to give myself time and space everyday to be filled up again.
I will not bow down to what I Think A Mother Looks Like.
I will only bow and pray at the altar of Who This Woman Is And What She Desires To Create.
I will not cave to sadness, to hopelessness, to loss.
I will be brave.
I will ask for what I need.
I will find a way to give it to myself.
I will be whole again.
I will find myself again. And I will be richer, braver and wiser for it. For this. For this change and this initiation.
I will be okay.
I will be okay.
I will be okay.
I will not cave to anything but what is whole and helpful and true.
I am writing this in a tiny turquoise room at a cafe.
For the first time since mamahood began, I have claimed myself this time.
I have left my sleeping babe next to my love.
I have pulled on a new long, floating dress – one that skims past my ankles. It is green and gold and earthy and soft.
I have gathered my laptop, my water and some gold coins.
I have walked across the muddy field behind our house to get to the street.
I searched for a cafe.
And here I sit.
I will not be anxious.
I will not worry whether babe has awoken.
I trust she will be okay.
That no matter what, she and her daddy will find their way around each other, falling into step in their daddy-daughter dance.
I will trust that this time is good for me. For her. For him. For all of us.
I will trust this need of mine to fill my own cup. To breathe. To sit. To let spill. To be who I am outside of being a mama.
I know when I return to that little cottage of ours, I will be better for it. Happier. More whole.
I will keep finding the courage and strength and wisdom to keep making this time for myself.
I will keep finding my way back to my self, my soul, my centre.
I will keep loving myself. Adoring myself. Adorning myself with what is true, what feels right, and what is good.
I will be whole.
I am whole.
I sit, close my eyes. A small smile dances across my lips. My shoulders suddenly release and drop an inch. I did not know I had been holding them up so tight.
But here they are. Relaxed. At ease.
I am finding my way home again.
I am finding my way home.