The power of love
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.
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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