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Motherhood and spirituality

 

Spirituality is a personal journey, except in cultures where it is embedded within the grid of daily life.  Then the living itself becomes the journey into wisdom. The biggest gift of being born Indian for me has been to see the sacred within the mundane whenever possible.

Elevating Motherhood into a sacred journey can be dicey, because it boxes a human journey into a black and white dichotomy of “good” and “bad,” with the sanction of religion to enforce guilt all along the way. I believe this is a man made fantasy of Motherhood, uninformed by real mothers telling real stories about the journey.

Motherhood is a complex responsibility, with huge emotional shifts and challenges all along the way.  Even the most empowered women must face gender inequality as well as  myriad other complexities within the covers of every perfect life.  Joy, unconditional love, and immersion into the positive must learn how to co-exist with small and large daily injustices, anxieties and disappointments.

Within these core daily realities of a life lie the seeds of all spiritual traditions…subjugating and transcending the ego.  A traditional spiritual journey for a  man or a woman exhorts us to do so; to transcend self-ishness, to develop empathy for all life, and to practice compassion.

Mothers do this all the time, sporadically, each in her own way. Motherhood does teach a woman the necessity, the joy, as well as the anguish of having to transcend her own self for the sake of others.  The trick is to grow through this: to learn how to dance and flow with both sides of the experience, rather than get mired in just one or the other.

When a mother starts to become restless with her own journey as a mother, it may be time for spiritual play. Facing her life squarely, and committing to its unseen spiritual potential, is the responsibility that comes with the privilege of a personal spirituality.