The power of love

And when I feel uncertain,
And when I feel unsure,
I return to the heartbeat,
 I return to the womb.
Blessingway Songs: Copperwoman

The first thing our children know is our heartbeat: the rhythm of life. Constant, soothing, lulling, omnipresent, it is the soundtrack to their creation. To be born is to lose the safety of the womb, the gentle thud of togetherness, the mother becomes the other.  And for the first time we realise that we are alone in this world. Alone in this sea of noise and pain and cold and heat and confusion.

At times of panic, stress or anguish it is what we crave: the metronome of love, to reset our own.

The power of a parental heart beat. Perhaps this is the magic of breastfeeding, sling wearing, kangaroo care. Perhaps it is the open chakra of love, radiating into the child. Perhaps it is the primal sense of togetherness, two beings embracing each other, the parental body buffering the storm winds of life, providing the nearest thing to a womb. This is the essence of the mother soul, the Madonna’s cloak, this is the balm we can bring to our children and to all who need it. Friends and husbands too often need the healing of the heart, the du-dum, du-dum of pure love.

Nothing has proven the power of the heart more to me than my experience with our three-year- old who is truly terrifying in her strength, her opposition to ideas, and her sheer volume of screaming. Trying to keep myself from reaching overwhelm when dealing with her is one of my deepest challenges. And I don’t always manage it.

But if I can stop her reptilian brain system setting off mine (adrenaline production is “infectious”), and hold that calm space for her, and bring her into my body, lying her head on my chest, it has the most incredible hypnotic effect. She settles deep into me, burrowing her head as though she could get right under my skin. Her eyes close, her breathing slows, her head and neck relax, and her body, so often rigid with resistance and aggression, melts into mine. In this state she lets the chiropractor work on her or me wash her hair, the picture of relaxed bliss. And afterwards, her eyes are dreamy and glazed, her voice calm and quiet, her actions gentle and caring. Oh how I need to be able to tap into this more frequently. She has such a maturity for a child her age, such deep loving affection, and the most exquisitely beautiful controlled grace in her movements.

When I see this side of her, when I resist locking horns, butting heads, screaming in total frustration, when I see the beauty of who she is and can be, then I vow to myself to keep trying to work on my own mindfulness, to cut back my own distractions, my delaying tactics, my desire not to engage. She, even more than my other two “sensitive” children, needs me deeply. And when she and I connect, when her deepest equilibrium is set, and she feels totally safe, totally at peace, not lacking in anything, she is magnificent.

And I have a sneaking suspicion we all are. Truly magnificent. We just need to find the obstacles that stand in our way. We need to balance ourselves and our space, to find our womb, to reconnect with our breath, to listen to the heartbeat of life. And then we might fully love and live as truly magnificent beings.

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If you liked this, you might like
Me and my girl – how I learnt to bond with my tropical daughter
The Watchful Buddha boy – learning to parent a highly sensitive child
Happy Candles – a gentle way of dealing with tantrums
Cooking with love – how mindfulness affects what we consume
I can’t cope – dealing with over whelm 

  1. earthlytreasures
    earthlytreasures04-27-2011

    This resonates so much with me at the moment, both personally and with our own little sensitive bundle! Currently trying to figure out how to deal with the silly moments, and learning more and more patience along the way… 😉

  2. laangel
    laangel04-27-2011

    Lucy i am actually crying, this is so incredibly beautiful, so wonderfully felt and written. you ARE poetry.
    love you x

  3. Dreamingaloudnet
    Dreamingaloudnet04-27-2011

    Aw thanks Laura xx

  4. Lou
    Lou04-27-2011

    The honesty and eloquence with which you write about the more challenging aspects of family life is so refreshing. Next time I feel myself up against it and am screaming expetives into my pillow I will think of the heartbeat and the way to finding the connection back with the sensitive souls in my household (Repeat the mantra ‘We are magnificent’!)

  5. Motherfunker
    Motherfunker04-27-2011

    Lucy this is so true. I know it for myself that when I ‘bind’ my 2 year old son and I together again after we’ve had some stress or frayed tempers and we are both soothed by this. We do this by me carrying him, with his legs wrapped round my waist. I have a special shawl/scarf that I wrap around us both as if enveloping him in my wings. I rock him and talk softly and play with his hair. and it’s nice to make up for the fact that I couldn’t carry him much in a sling when he was a babe. Never too late for attachment parenting moments! Full blown AP just didn’t work out for us as a whole way of life….but that doesn’t mean we can’t be close or mindful or sincere with our kids.

  6. Carrie
    Carrie04-27-2011

    Oh how beautiful!

  7. Bending Birches
    Bending Birches04-28-2011

    so beautiful…
    my son and I are a nursing dyad…he is 21 months…and he falls asleep best when he is nursing on my right side; close to my heartbeat. xoxox

  8. Bee
    Bee04-28-2011

    Hello
    Just discovered your blog, and I love it. I also come from East Cork, but have lived in London for let me think 19 years. We have lots of your father’s pottery in our house and shells, sticks and stones it reminds me of home and the sea which I really miss. We try to get back home at least a couple of times ayear. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful blog. Bee

  9. Dreamingaloudnet
    Dreamingaloudnet04-28-2011

    Welcome Bee, you fellow East Corker! Glad to have you here.

    And welcome Carrie and Bending Birches over from my dear friend Laura at Nestled Under Rainbows, do stop by again soon!

  10. Mrs green @ Littlegreenblog.com
    Mrs green @ Littlegreenblog.com04-29-2011

    Funny you write about the heartbeat. My DD (aged 10) loves to lie with her head against my heart and I too like to lie against my DHs chest; to feel his ( naturally slow) heartbeat soothes me no end. It’s very primal …

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