My child, no matter the age.

My child, no matter the age.

BabiesWhen he was little it was easier.  Even the nights when his little body was limp, his skin red and burning with fever and I was running on little to no sleep as I kept vigil by his bed, those nights were easier than this.   I felt helpless then but at least I was able to hold him, catching what rest I could as I monitored his sleep, counting each breath through the night.  Helpless because I couldn’t control the virus that had found it’s way into my little boy’s system.  Helpless, because I could sometimes ease his discomfort, but I couldn’t cure him.  Wanting desperately to take his place, I was helpless but I was in charge.

As his momma, I decided if he went to the doctor, if he took his medicine, if he stayed in bed, or if he went outside.  I could take his temperature, apply cool cloths to his forehead, fix ginger ale with crushed ice, make chicken soup with noodles, and make certain his favorite movies were available on the VCR.  Back then when he was sick, I would put him in his bed and he stayed there until I felt he was well enough to move around in the world again.

It gave me some sort of peace to know that I was responsible for seeing that his meals were balanced and his vitamins were consumed.  If he did fall to the random virus or stomach bug, most times I could pinpoint where and when he was exposed.  I could call another mom and ask details like how many days the virus lasted for their child and what medications worked best.  There was an odd comfort in believing that I knew the source of his illnesses, as if that information alone helped to lessen the severity and shorten the time he was sick.

But now it’s different.  Now I don’t know where the viruses come from and there are no other moms to consult.  He lives six hours away with a life I know only through phone calls and text messages.  He’s a young man in charge of himself and I feel helpless, helpless and not in control.   I can suggest but I can’t decide.  I see dark circles around his huckleberry blue eyes, and motherly instinct screams, “Your baby is sick.  Take care of him.”   I suggest a visit to the doctor but he doesn’t have time so I give him more ibuprophen to mask the pain in his throat and make him promise to go to Health Services if he doesn’t feel better tomorrow.  I suggest he take a nutritional supplement back to school with him but he doesn’t have a refrigerator or time to buy one so I offer to pay but he refuses.   I can only do as much as he will allow and then I have to step back and let him go.

It’s harder now.  When he was little, I could comfort him and that in turn comforted me.  Now I can only sit and wait, sending healing energy across the miles and surrounding him with light.

Spiritual Heart <3

consuming-fireThis morning I am grateful for the ability of my spiritual heart to expand without limit.  I have often thought, ‘I couldn’t possibly love (insert name) more than I do at this moment.  If I did, my heart would surely explode.’

I remember nursing my firstborn child soon after he was born, overwhelmed by the wave of emotion this tiny creature stirred within me.  Tears running down my face, a lump in my throat, and that fullness in my chest that says my soul is fulfilled.  At that moment for the first time I thought, ‘I couldn’t possibly love this child more than I do at this moment.’  Time has proven me wrong.  For over and over I find myself loving this child more than I did in that moment.

And it is not only this child who has invoked this expansion of my spiritual heart.  Since that first moment, my heart has grown stronger, more elastic, ever larger, to the point that almost daily I am overcome by the feeling that ‘I couldn’t possibly love (insert name) more than I do at this moment.’

With the birth of each child, I questioned whether my heart could expand yet again.  Each child creating another opportunity for growth and fulfillment.  Each stage of their lives providing me the gift of uncertainty and change.  An opportunity to move forward into an unknown space of ‘I couldn’t possibly love more than I do at this moment.’  Only to find that on the other side of uncertainty my spiritual heart capacity had expanded, another layer of compassion and truth added to my life.

Like any physical muscle, this spiritual muscle has the ability to strengthen and to stretch with proper care and usage.

It occurs to me that just as physical exercise involves discomfort in the process of strengthening, so does spiritual exercise.  At the moment that I begin to feel anxious, uncertain, scared, sad, or dissatisfied, this is an opportunity for the spiritual muscle to strengthen and expand.  In yoga, we are taught to breathe into the muscle, to relax, to release, to trust our bodies to know what is right for us in the moment.

I’m learning to apply my yoga practice to all areas of my Self, physical and spiritual.  Today I realize that each time I feel that ‘I couldn’t possibly love more than I do at this moment’, my heart is expanding and I will for certain love even more.