Every morning as I do my usual yoga workout I watch my daughter play. She reads her books, plays with her babies, nurses then will go to the mirror. She laughs and starts speaking to herself; then she gives herself kisses. She loves the person on the other side of the mirror, accepting herself precisely as she is. There are no flaws visible to her, only perfection. She sees herself in her true state; love and nothing else.
The first time I saw my daughter, I had no idea what to expect or the change within me. I didn’t know that just a month later, we would be in a global pandemic and that I would go through the postpartum period having to lean on friends virtually. That I would be broken down only to be rebuilt to who I’ve always meant to be.
2020 taught me many valuable lessons, with my daughter being the one to deliver those lessons. I’ve had highs and lows and moments where I’ve woken up in the middle of the night crying, wondering if I could do this motherhood thing. I’ve limited the amount I’ve shared on social media because I didn’t want to display the milk-stained harsh realities. I didn’t want to let anyone know about my breastfeeding issues or how I thought her breast refusal was an omen to our future relationship. I feared deeply that our relationship would mirror the one I have with my mother and the idea was almost too unbearable for me to fathom.
With the sleep deprivation came the loss of my yoga and meditation practice. Around two months postpartum I hit rock bottom and decided to seek therapy. I thought it would help me be a better mother but it turned out to be the best gift I could have given myself. It’s helped me navigate motherhood, being a wife, and finding myself. I had to be shaken to my core to realize harmful patterns. As I began to gather my bearings I slowly started my meditation practice. I was able to listen to my intuition, to still the doubt of not being enough. The heaviness that I felt in the early days began to lift. The breast refusal began to subside and I saw that my daughters breast refusal had nothing to do with me. It was never an omen of what was to come, but rather how well I could lean in to the discomfort and moments of uncertainty. It brought up things that needed to be dealt with and in the balance of dealing with my own emotions and caring for a new baby, I began to enjoy being a mom.
I’ve been riding the waves of emotions that have come to the surface this year. Over the last month I’ve unveiled some trauma associated with self-worth and limiting beliefs. I grew up in a very rigid belief system stemming from a fundamentalist background. Self-worth was associated with abstinence and how pure you were. Self-love was narcissistic; putting others before meant you were selfless. It created a pattern of codependency and low self-worth. I carried these feelings long after I left my faith and up until my deconstruction, something that’s happened gradually. I hid my true self to appease others, and at some point, that weighed on me heavily.
I suffered from so much shame that was so deeply intertwined in my being that I didn’t know life without it. It’s what led me into the beauty industry, why I’ve become such an advocate of self-love. I felt healed every time I helped someone see their beauty. It’s why I celebrate owning your power and living authentically, what led me to my meditation journey. I lived disembodied for far too long, looking outside of myself for all of the answers when they were within me, waiting to be discovered. I was disconnected from my divine power, the glorious goddess inside of me.
This year I want to get back to seeing myself as I did as a child. As my daughter views herself, with grace, love and compassion.
I choose to release shame, the one that’s been ingrained in me since I can remember, the shame that I carry from my mother, her mother, and those who came before her. I choose to release and heal, not just for me but for my daughter.
Remember, you are powerful. You are loved.