Motherhood & Spirituality: You're Doing it Wrong
"You're doing it wrong."
Some of us have heard this message spoken bluntly from a well-intended relative or friend, but far more of us have felt it. We've felt it as we've purchased formula, or stealthily slipped our boob out during a public event to nurse. We've felt it as we tried to help our kiddos navigate through an emotionally challenging moment. We've felt it as we paused to find a minute within this chaotic life to meditate or pray. We've felt it hundreds, likely thousands of times.
Whether those around us truly are judging our decisions or we've experienced so much criticism that we've internalized the voice of judgement, we are perceiving the emotion of shame. This emotion is responsible for the feeling that despite our best efforts, we are "doing it wrong". But why is this so ingrained within the experience of motherhood and spirituality alike?
If women are feeling shamed for staying home AND for working, for having an unplanned baby AND for having an abortion, for getting the epidural AND for birthing at home, for chanting meditations with mala beads AND for praying with rosaries, for choosing to go to a local church AND choosing to practice their spiritual time in their garden... are women's choices truly the problem here? Or is the problem more about societal and religious expectations of women and unnecessary judgement placed upon one another?
Is someone else's choice truly wrong, or does it simply make you uncomfortable because it doesn't align with what your experiences have shown you?
Every day opportunities present themselves to see beyond someone's circumstances and into the truth of their soul. We also have the opportunity to make our own choices. These choices may not always make sense to those around us, those closest to us... and heck, even ourselves sometimes. But when following the spiritually led journey of motherhood, our choices don't need to be validated by others. They need to feel right to our soul through our intuition (our direct line to the Divine, as I like to call it).
Truth is, each and every one of us is on a unique journey. Our life experiences may have many differences that shape the way we think and act. Our human wrappers come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Our ways of being are one of a kind, as are the challenges we go through. Yet there is something that is universal among us... and that is the love within our hearts and souls.
As spiritual beings presenting themselves as human women, let us release judgement of ourselves and others to connect more deeply with that which is the same. Love.
(photography by Jenny Meyer of meetjennymarie.com)