This Spoken Word piece below was plucked from my tender Mother heart-strings, one cold Winter.

I hope it inspires you to honor, feel {wail or howl if you need to}…

…and come Home.

THIS {Raising a Daughter}

by Marianah Jade

This

being an aware woman raising a {tween} daughter…

it’s like walking around with a magnetic magic mirror attached to the front of your face every single day. the mirror’s not just a reflector, but a spotlight too. it’s unbreakable and you can’t escape it.

this

magic mirror

reveals

every

buried

hidden

covered over

corner of your psyche,

shining itself brightly into the darkest recesses of memory, 

it’s piercing inescapable light revealing every little {and big} way that your own budding femininity was devalued overlooked violated repressed disowned hardened confused shamed frozen.

once you see what you see, you have to feel what you feel: and you can’t escape the reality of your

abandoned selves.

you try to wiggle yourself away from the magnetic mirror so you won’t have to deal with all THAT but the mirror’s inescapable,

so you deal,

you sort it out, you lay out all your cards on the table and you say

‘OK all of this is part of me and i’ll work with it so that hopefully, SHE won’t have to.

the mirror reflects back to you any ounce of doubt you have in yourself,

the few tiny little threads, like needles in the haystack of your 20 year personal female empowerment project ~

those little bits of honesty that were tucked away in exchange for nice-girl status

are pulled up into the eyes of the mirror: along with a vision of yourself much stronger than you are today,

you try to smash the mirror because you thought you were quite strong enough already,

and you know the business of getting strong by now is the hardest work there is

but the mirror’s unbreakable

so your eyes actually grow big enough to keep seeing the truth.

and you learn what strength REALLY looks like

you

soften,

you teach yourself to allow the feelings to feel themselves THROUGH you.

you soften some more. you grieve, you melt ice cubes. you forgive.

over and over again, you forgive.

you hug your little girl inside and tell her she’s ok. and you believe it now, because she’s finally got the mom she’s aways needed:

YOU.

ordinary days or months go by and then one day, unexpectedly, the mirror reveals a beauty so blinding, it really is hard to keep your eyes open this time.

but somehow you do.

and your heart stretches a few sizes wider and and a few thousand feet deeper, when you realize that you’re experiencing first-hand, the thing that the saints and poets are always talking about.

this source, this something that’s so completely unbounded and unconditional, it’s almost unbearable:

as simple and original and life-giving as the sun itself:

true love.

and you’re renewed again.

for a few days, hours, or minutes you walk with the swagger of a devotion so great, it could {AND DOES} move mountains.

and you know that you’ve made the world a better place because,

this.

this person exists

this little girl of yours

she knows who she is and she loves who she is

because WHO SHE IS IS LOVED LIKE THIS

by you

and then the mini mothering honeymoon ends, inevitably of course

and the magnetic magic mirror reflects to you the most devastating vision,

this thing that your mothering hormones on sleepless nights tricked you into believing didn’t exist at all

this thing, that is now so close you can smell it in your daughter’s tangled mermaid hair

the mirror shows you

the future:

the unavoidable end of your daughter’s childhood

the picture isn’t clear yet, but what you make out in the blurry golden image for sure,

is the hint of a heart-breaking separation

this YouAndShe

who were once one

becoming two

for good.

and the twilight of your union in this lifetime begins

you attempt to crack the mirror

but it’s unbreakable

you turn to run away, but you can’t escape

so you grieve some more

and you try your darnedest to forgive yourself for every moment of her childhood that you missed.

that day that you were too busy washing the dishes to look at her beautiful original innocent dynamic colorful quirky drawing

or worse,

those months you were so focused on your passion project that you totally missed it:

{the tantrums were her way of saying ‘mama i really need you. NOW’}

that NOW will never come again.

that time you closed your heart in the middle of the night when she was sick and you were beyond exhausted

if only you could hold her like that once more

her small body completely surrounded in the fullness and curves of yours

the soft curls on her head mingling with your breath in complete trust

that you will be there

this trust that you have NOT lived up to a million times

only for her to wake up another day and say with a huge smile again

mama i love you

and you allow the cycle of life to have it’s way with you

because you have no other choice

and in a moment of weakness you dare to ask the mirror

when will be the last time she curls up into my lap?

when will her hands be as big as mine?

when will be the last time she looks UP at me with her huge brown eyes beaming as if i’m the goddess herself?

have we already had our last bath together? {if i only i knew it was the last}.

when will be the last time i’ll find her dolls set up for their ‘weekly meeting’? or glitter in a teapot?

animal figurines marching along the rim of the bathtub?

will the days of her need for my love, END?

will our relationship pass the tests of her teens?   

will she come to me when she’s got her first broken heart?

and in response to all of the questions, the mirror is silent

and shining back at you are your own eyes

and this

you see in yourself a woman alive knowing  the wrinkles of time so incredibly vulnerable

human

the pain of impermanence

it’s worth it

you see you:

reshaped

something you’ll carry until the day you die

and longer

this

motherhood

this

love

this

little girl and her journey of becoming

{you’re becoming too}

and this shape-shifting bond, like the mirror in your heart you know

is unbreakable

and inescapable

after decades of searching for a purpose or a path,

along with your little budding most beautiful tween,

you’re starting to know just a little bit about what life is.

This.

A little Background to this Spoken Word piece ~

So, this Phenomenal thing happened recently ~ my daughter’s childhood ended.

At 13, she’s now a Teenager.

No longer the little one in this photo, who existed inside the bubble of my aura ~ a new, separate person is emerging, whom I’m just getting to know.

I felt it for a few years, this change coming. And one Winter, right after she turned 10, I was so grief stricken about it {and other important inter-connected things}, that I cried every single day, for more than a month.

Some days that Winter, I cried so hard on my daily walks, that I had to kneel down, right there in a foot of snow…and just wail into the howling wind.

Have you ever grieved like that? Like an animal? Like a coyote? 

It was cold and stark. Pure. Healing. 

And at the end of my Annual Winter Retreat that year, I had a Revelation. Mother Mary revealed herself to me in all of her Compassionate Glory. And God the Father spoke to me. {I honestly don’t remember what He said, but to feel witnessed by them, was more than enough.}

I felt so close to something Holy.

Nature, Life, myself.

Getting real like that, with my grief… It brought me Home.

It was particularly hard for me to let go of my daughter’s childhood, because we experienced significant trauma together, early on. We spent a lot of our time together in her early years, working on resolving trauma, and establishing a Secure Attachment. So it took me a handful of years to settle into the the joy of early Motherhood. And I’ve wrestled with a feeling of loss, as a result. 

But I imagine that all mothers experience this existential grief. Don’t we?

As mothers, we witness the cycles of life in such a unique and intimate way.

Time tugs at our hormones. And as it passes through our heart-strings, it tunes us to a song that only Mothers can hear.

It’s the the song of a soul’s journey. The one that belongs to our children.

This song is one that we never possess. We can’t ever fully decipher it, or comprehend the complexity of it. But still, it permeates the background of our own lives, and becomes woven with our own soul’s song.

And sometimes our own song harmonizes with that of our children’s. But on the harder days {weeks, months, years?}, it’s like a record scratching on the record player, over and over, making everyday life almost unbearable.

Either way ~ cacophony or exquisite symphony ~ we are here. Listening.

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