Friday, 17 April 2009

An Alternate Identity

There was never a great desire to have children.

I would look at my mother and all I could see was a shadow of her former self. Her self pre-children. I had seen photos and listened to stories. Somehow those photos and stories didn't relate at all to what my mother was in my mind. The last thing I wanted was my own carefully and painfully obtained identity to just melt away to leave me floundering for another.

And yet here I am over two years after a momentary lapse in judgment. Struggling to find a new identity that includes reconciling laundry, dishes, Mickey Mouse and a two year old that can fill me with unimaginable love one minute and screaming frustration the next.

Heather from the Extraordinary Ordinary wrote this post this morning that got me thinking. She writes:

"The slow chipping away, the grinding and shaping of a person, is always painful. There are parts of myself being revealed on a daily basis that I'd rather not see. But this chipping away is the biggest blessing to my life, because it comes with Miles and Asher, and hopefully leaves a better version of me behind. Hopefully."

I realised the chipping away, the grinding and the shaping happens to any mother wanting to be the best she can be.... including my mother. What a revelation. My mother didn't lose her identity, she became a better version of herself.

Although I am sure I am nowhere near as refined as Heather, I know that while I serve my child (or children when the time comes) that refining fire will shape me into a less selfish version of my former self. And surprisingly, I am glad I have shaken off that identity because this new identity will have been well fought for with just as much pain and care taken to obtain it.

4 comments:

DeNae said...

Joseph Smith described it as the work required to become a "polished shaft" in the quiver of the Lord. I love the idea that we're becoming a smoother, more focused, less coarse version of ourselves. And you're right; there's nothing like parenthood to knock off those rough edges.

Beautifully written, Helen.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Absolutely. I just sent off a draft post to MMB about how I think that motherhood really reveals our TRUE self, the divine us.

Becky said...

In losing ourselves we find ourselves. But losing ourselves takes faith that we will actually find ourselves again. And that faith is not always easy to come by. Especially with piles of dirty laundry, dishes, and diapers in the way.

Heather of the EO said...

"And surprisingly, I am glad I have shaken off that identity because this new identity will have been well fought for with just as much pain and care taken to obtain it."

I love that.

Thank you for the kind words. If you were a fly on my wall most days, you'd see how very UNrefined I am. :) A work in progress...sometimes the hardest part is waiting for the changes to really STICK.

Great post. Thank you.