Thursday, January 22, 2015

Selflessness

There was a time when I based all my decisions on how the outcome would make others feel. It was quite rare for me to choose anything that would make anyone else feel bad in any way. I look back on that time and I see that as such a gentle way to live one's life, however na├»ve it may be. There is something sweet and innocent about someone who puts others' needs before her own ... but it doesn't look the same on a grown woman. Like many aspects of that girl, I had to shed that skin for something a little tougher. Not a bad thing in the least - I still occasionally put other peoples' needs ahead of my own, but it has become a more conscious decision and less of a preservation of only good things. It is the way in which an act is done that defines the template for manifesting more of the same. I suppose I was desperately clinging to what people might think of me, or even questioning how much I was loved by them. Because who does that? Who puts others ahead of themselves on a regular basis, and why oh why would they think that could be a good thing?

I can answer that question: Moms do that. Moms put the children ahead of themselves from the time of discovery, when they find out they are pregnant for the first time. A newly expecting Mother watches what she eats, and then eats some more, just to make sure that baby is growing nicely. She takes her vitamins to ensure that babe gets absolutely everything it needs, and has a funny little thought in the back of her mind that the baby will draw nutrients from her own body if baby needs it. She would gladly allow this to happen. There is nothing sweeter than the knowledge that your baby is growing inside of you, and the beautiful way in which this life can be described. "This week your baby is the size of a peanut". For the next week, you find yourself repeating it over and over your mind.

I used to read fairy tales to my first growing baby, every morning after breakfast and before work. I always looked forward to this special time ... I wanted that baby to know my voice, so I spoke to her all the time. I folded and re-folded the baby clothes. I made sure the bedroom was painted a good colour. I had my husband hang a set of 3 cube shelves and put cute things inside. I had a bassinet ready in my bedroom. I had the rocking chair for late night visits. I remember when I was about six months along, my Mom came over to visit and made a comment that something was missing. A few minutes later she said "I know what's missing - the smell!" When Ava was finally born, and Mom came over to visit, she took a deep inhale and said "Yep, that's what was missing - the baby smell!" It was a lovely time.

Having a baby changed everyone, but especially my Mom and my Mother-In-Law. They both opened up completely and flourished with the joy and pride of having a baby in the family. Both women found a new zest for life when Ava was born, and of course, so did I. Everything changed, and I learned the difference between doing things for others because I was searching for approval, and being selfless in a life-giving way, and in a positive and productive way.



I suppose one way to look at the psychology of my younger years would be that I was preparing to become a Mother. I think maybe I was. All the lessons that Motherhood have brought to me have been blessings, and I believe that becoming a Mother helped me to become the best version of myself.

Forever in Gratitude,
Nicole

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