Meditation and motherhood are both great gifts. They also share some similarities. Meditation and motherhood are both “other-centered.” In meditation, we take the attention off of ourselves and our thoughts, and make ourselves open to God and others. In motherhood, it is essential to put the needs of our children before our own.
I meditated when I was pregnant with my son. This was a very difficult time for me, because I was deeply saddened about some recent events in my past, and very fearful of the future. As difficult as meditation was during that time, it reminded me of the strength of love, and gave me courage to hope.
The early months of parenting were an adjustment, but I immediately experienced the many joys of motherhood. Parenting was both more challenging and more rewarding than I would have thought, and I would say the same thing about meditation. Even though it was difficult to make the time to meditate in the early months, doing so brought a treasured time of stillness during the busy day.
Just as the mantra stays with me, so does my sense of being a mother. My son’s behavior or temperament on any given day do not have to be perfect in order for me to love him, just as our times of meditation do not have to be perfect to be worth doing. Likewise my own performance as a mother does not have to be perfect in order to be real.
The security of love is a good place in which to meditate. Both meditation and motherhood have taught me many things about love. As in meditation, the love I give and receive in motherhood is very simple and natural. God loves each of us with the limitless love of a parent. Motherhood has taught me to love someone else more than myself. Meditation, like motherhood, is a wondrous gift, for which I am very grateful.