Photo by Megan Photography
By Kara Lawler from Mothering the Divide
Think of the world you carry within you.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Can you see the world you carry within you?
This photo is of me almost two years ago when I was pregnant with my last child. When I was pregnant with both of my children, I was aware of the world I carried inside of me, but I didn’t quite realize exactly what it would mean for me or for them.
It’s hard to know something you’ve never experienced. What I did know: these babies of mine would have entire, little worlds of their own–both real and make-believe–and I felt so very lucky to be the vessel to bring them into the world as I knew it. We would navigate the world together, one adventure at a time, hand in hand. I knew that or at least I dreamed of it.
What I didn’t realize was that they would open my eyes to the world I thought I knew and in many ways, for me, it’s been a reckoning of identity. I know now that mothering can be a way to find identity–sometimes lost or buried since childhood before the world told us who we should be.
As mothers, we fill our hands with the small hands of our children. We carry them and their dreams become ours. We will stop at nothing to make sure they have the childhood they deserve and the life they’re dreaming of. But all too often, we forget our own identities and our own dreams. But if we let them, our children can actually open our eyes to what we’ve forgotten—that hidden world we carry within us. They remind us of wading in streams on a hot, summer day. They take us back to the snowy days of winter by the fire, coloring and drinking hot chocolate. When we walk by a river with them, we remember reading away entire afternoons on its banks.
Children call us to remember the dreams forgotten of who we really want to be or who we were meant to be. We stand taller, try harder, reach higher, act kinder, and try simply to BE the people they deserve. And in doing so, we find ourselves–separate from the identity we have as mothers. Separate but forever united. They open our eyes to the world we carry within us.
Friends, this week, I want you to think of the world you carry within you. If you’ve forgotten, try to remember what used to make your soul sing. What dreams are sitting there, waiting to be explored?
Mama Meditations: This column is published weekly on Sundays, by Kara Lawler, right here on the Mama Lovejoy blog. Kara also writes on her own blog, Mothering the Divide, about the divide that is mothering our children, our spirits, and the sacred. Come, join Kara’s tribe on Facebook or Twitter. For more information on the Mama Meditations column, please visit the Mama Mediations page. If you enjoyed this article and you’d like to see more from Mama Meditations or from Mama Lovejoy, you can follow Mama Lovejoy on Facebook, or @Mamalovejoy1 on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Periscope.