I'm in my closet, getting dressed, and about to go to my yoga and meditation class. It's a recently discovered love of mine, and I want to go every day. I feel the need, the anxiety, to keep my mind and body in shape for how I know I will push myself after I deliver this little baby boy. I've always had big goals for myself, and I finally have more energy than in the beginning of my pregnancy. Energy to do some of the things I was doing before the morning sickness and physical aches and pains set in.. but then I feel that anxiety again. My children need me today. I know I shouldn't go, not today. I start to question myself, wondering if I am just being lazy or making things up or if that nagging feeling is actually inspired. Do they really need me right now? Because I am not feeling it right now... Someone is crying, another is yelling, and I feel that anxiety rising up again.
And the anxiety feels familiar. Like before... the time when I felt this anxiety every day. Motherhood was unfulfilling. It wasn't enough. I needed more, and I had an abundance of ideas for things that would complete me. When I was making progress and moving forward but feeling so held back. My mind was in a constant state of confusion when trying to prioritize everything. Before I could finish one goal, I had five new ideas for seemingly better ones. The time when every day held disappointment for all the things I hadn't accomplished. The time when my children and husband were becoming setbacks. It was a never-ending cycle of working really hard to find a lack of happiness at the end of each day.
And then a pause. A prayer. Solitude. A question of why, and what I should be doing differently... And then, an answer. Motherhood. The beautiful gift I had been taking for granted. A reminder of it's importance, it's relevance to my children, to me... A new pregnancy. A new life. Suddenly, again, I am a vessel. I hold a life who cultivates his life within me. He is someone who has been able to slow me down to the place I needed to see. Someone whose earth journey has given me a new place in mine. A place where I have rediscovered myself.
My true self. The self that is more than just a body accomplishing, or not, a list of mostly unnecessary things to do every day. The self that has clarity and focus on the importance of motherhood and the importance of self-progression and passions. The self that knows how to balance them. The self that is also a spirit.
The spirit that wants to feel something, and be in a space of fulfillment and light. The spirit that wants to lift those around while being true to itself. The spirit that knows love and how to give it freely. The spirit that is finally being heard by the physical body that houses it. The spirit that is trusted. The spirit that was able to find a new space.
The space where true joy is found, and sometimes in something so small. The space where watching my children make new discoveries or laugh hysterically at our own jokes is felt with full presence of body, spirit, and mind. The space where I remember what it was like to be a child, where I start to remember the passions that breathed life into me then, where I discover that they still do. The space where I realize I can do them my own way, that there is more than one way to accomplish a goal. The space where I no longer feel the need to imitate others' skills and talents to be a good mother, but where the way I interact with my children feels deeply entangled with who I really am as a person, a spirit. The space where clarity runs so deep that no outside influence of man can touch it.
And does sorrow also exist in this space?
It does. Motherhood, and life, brings sorrow in so many different forms, and at the same time brings another level of joy that you never thought possible. Sorrow is where I go in moments of depression or anxiety to the things left undone before I embarked on the journey of motherhood... the things I may not be able to do in this season of my life. The things I could do, but choose to save for another day... I could do so many things, but I choose that sorrow because I also choose that joy.
And how is it possible for sorrow to bring us to joy?
Sorrow creates a spirit humble enough to bring us to our knees, to bring us to Christ. Christ, who knows us, who loves us and sees who we truly are, even when we don't. Christ, who "hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows". In the Garden of Gethsemane, was Christ's sorrow removed? No. It was the only way to accomplish His task. He was left alone in His sorrow to experience every kind known to man. And it was that moment of sorrow alone that exposed another one of immense beauty. The beauty in knowing that we are never alone.
And why is it that we connect with others so beautifully when we see that sorrow in them?
Our sorrows, when manifested as sorrow rather than anger, humor, busyness, or any other way, bind us together. They bond us in the way we are bonded with Christ. We share a closeness, because this person understands us now. They get a glimpse of our spirit, our deepest, truest, most unexposed self. We often feel the weight of these words: "In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can't see", but when someone does see us, there is a joy felt afterwards that is indescribable. We cannot feel that level of joy truly until we have felt true sorrow. There would forever be a state of childlike innocence, a middle ground where no all-consuming emotions could exist, good or bad. Sorrow holds us in the hands of humility, Christ's hands, in a place of love and compassion where we are willing to look to Him, to trust Him once again. These quiet moments are the ones when we remember He is there. Someone understands us, even if it is only Him.
We remember in these moments, that it is a gift to be made low so we can rise again.