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The Places We Are Not Yet Fully Cooked: Saying “Yes” and Being Grateful

Every moment that I am not appreciating the warm sun on my face and the last lilting notes of music bathing me in sweetness is a loss. If I’m not consciously feeling the weight of my own substance, my body laying on the hardwood floor after two hours of full-range dancing replete with everything from fierce to delicate movements, sweat generously pouring off of my body as it hurls itself through space — birthing a thousand previously unknown gestures through my form; if I’ve let my mind wander, I’ve sorely missed out.

Any moment lived in a perceived separation from love — is a loss. Recognizing this yet again, I am breathing and calling myself home to this body and the luminous pathways it reveals.

On this sacred Sunday morn, animal-like moans are rising from within me as I move. Making sounds supports me in welcoming the discomfort around the challenges I’m experiencing as I play the role of a mother who is raising a quickly coming-of-age only daughter named Meera. I am not missing this moment. Its preciousness is not lost on me.

With a quiet sobriety, I am taking a good, hard look at my own humanness. I am gratefully humbled and I bow to the places where I stumble and fall. They are places where I am not yet capable of showing up as the parent I intend to be; the places where I’m not yet fully cooked.

It’s like a turkey I labored over one holiday some years ago, which remained purply-red and raw at the center even after hours and hours of my dedicated basting. How is it possible to cook a turkey for so many hours and still have it be bloody inside, I pondered? Being human is like this, we simmer for years, and we continue to encounter places where we are uncooked, where our raw humanness peeks out like a timid child who warily peers out from behind the sofa after having drawn on the wall.

The juncture between child and young woman has arrived. It is as if Meera and I are walking across the foggy moors Ireland. We can barely see two feet in front of us and it’s a bit unnerving. This is new terrain.

The gauntlet has been laid. I pick it up feeling certain that my choice to be a parent is one of the most courageous acts I’ve made in this lifetime. I stumbled into parenting not quite twelve years ago. I never intended to become a mother. I wasn’t one of those little girls who dreamed of having a gaggle of little kids running around the house. I didn’t “ooh” and “aah” over babies. I simply said, “yes” when at forty-one years of age, the Universe called my number.

Having consciously signed the mothering contract, I gather myself and every resource I have as I turn toward this sweet, beautiful, intensely strong-willed, sometimes snarky child of mine and say “yes” even when a part of me wants to turn tail and run. The die has been cast and I’m all in, all in on shining the light into those uncooked places where my own messy humanness stares me in the face. In these moments, I surrender to the love that connects us as mother and daughter trusting that even in the rockiest of times; this will sustain us.

I am turning toward love and surrendering more to this exquisite moment of individuation. The intensity of our connection which some might call enmeshed, clearly requires a lot of grit in order for Meera to begin to stand on her own. I feel relieved knowing that as we dive into the choppy waters of adolescence, we are held.

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