This little one loves her some milk. It is nearly the only thing that will satisfy her on many occasions throughout the day. It works for us, as I am the kind of mama that understands the need of having that safe place to calm and comfort oneself. It provides a bit of a sanctuary for me as well, if I allow it to. Calm,soft, loving comfort.
A few nights ago, Asher woke up with a startling cry...causing Journey to join him in unison. After scooping Journey into my arms, I turned to Asher and saw that he was grabbing his leg with intensity...a sure sign of the growing pains that plagued me as a small child. I quietly slipped in bed next to him, gathering Journey against my chest and allowing her to calm and nurse...while I began massaging the pain of growth away from his joints...calming his aching muscles as they stretched and pulled. He immediately calmed as well...and both babes were off and dreaming before long.
I laid awake for a while, thinking about this. Thinking about how, as a human being, there is such comfort in touch and safety in knowing that someone will help bring us into this place of relaxing into our trust that all will be well. That aching for someone to love us in just the right way...for there to be an understanding outside of ourselves of what we need and desire...and for that source to deliver us our longing to be loved. I sat there as mama...with my hand on the aching of one child and with my nourishment in the belly of another, exerting myself to be the provider for them at that moment.
Then, unexpectedly, the thoughts turned toward my own aching. I started feeling my own reaching and wanting for that perfect love. And, of course, just as I always do...I started hearing the words that I am continuously encountering. It isn't found outside of myself. It is found within.
I can learn to love myself just as I need to be loved.
And then I had a really wonderful conversation with that inner voice...from that sacred place...and my aches were calmed and comforted...soothed and nursed...held and touched.
It is one of my greatest hopes to see myself more clearly through eyes of understanding and love. It is an even greater hope to take that lesson and teach it to my children. Not only by creating this ambiance of safety in their young lives and by somehow giving space for them to dip in and out of it enough times to know what it is...to taste it and feel it and hear it and KNOW that it is love. But, I also hope to provide opportunity for them to access that inner power and learn to engage them (and myself) in the practice of kindness...kindness to others and kindness to self. Perhaps then we will begin to know a self love that never disappoints, always shows up, and moves us into true comfort.