Friday, August 15, 2014

Flexibility & grace

Rechem is the Hebrew word for womb and from it comes the essential word rachmanus, or compassion. As I contemplate having a hysterectomy this morning, I am not thinking about losing even an iota of my own ability for compassion.  Each challenge feels like an opportunity for getting stronger and better and for leaning on the people and the habits of mind I am blessed enough to know. SO! No loss of compassion here J.
There is an element of stepping into the unknown, no matter how much I know about this procedure. Here’s to stepping in with confidence and faith.

Stepping out near Lake Michigan last week. Just like the ocean and very calm this day
What an amazing organ I am about to let go of, this peach of a womb, soft and warm, that has lived inside me since I was inside my own mother. It has graced me with blessing beyond belief, three healthy, robust children who came rushing out into the world, eyes open and spirits ready to fly. That growing with child and shrinking again, growing with child and shrinking again always impressed me. Not too many parts of us can expand and contract like that and do it without much complaint. That was and continues to be the exact physiologic metaphor for the flexibility and grace motherhood demands.

I like to think of myself as creative, in the art room, the kitchen, our clinic, all over. But surely my greatest creation is my kids who leap beyond me in that department and spread so many good ideas and so much beauty and goodness in the world. I am thankful I was able to have and raise a family. Now on the morning of this procedure, it seems even more poignant to me that though love with Paul brought our kids into being and intertwining genes left clear and specific growing instructions, it was in and through the womb each had their start and began growing into the people they are.

I dragged my feet after Jonah was born, through my 30s and I am embarrassed to say, through my 40s, too. I could never say for certain and greedy as it sounds, that I did not want another child. So now, at this auspicious age of 54, (I say auspicious as in Hebrew, when you take the word for life (chai) and give its numeric equivalent, it adds up to 18, so 54 is considered triple chai,) I can finally say, OKAY! I’m not giving birth to any more children! Time to shift my posture toward grandchildren (you reading this Sophie, Misha, Jonah!!?) HA!!

My friend ZP wrote: “It took me forever to let go of that uterus, when I finally resolved my attachment I visualized it as this lovely angel with the flowing fimbria wings that I was releasing after its glorious service in providing a nest for my 3 children to develop in.”

I feel that. I feel the self-compassion I know I need for healing  and I feel your compassion and love for me too. May we each go from strength to strength, be fortified by the challenges we face and know that in love and community healing and resilience happen.

With love & light,


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