For most of my life I’ve sought after it. Believed that I had to earn it, to do or be something more than I was in order to have the love that I wanted. I spent my teens and twenties desperately scratching at surfaces. Believing that if I were beautiful, intelligent, fun, cool, mysterious enough, I’d be loved. It was such a thin existence.
I don’t blame myself. It was the best logical choice available at the time. All my life I’d learned how to earn approval and accolade. It came with work, and I never minded the energy or effort it took for control of my world. Why would love be any different?
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, things shifted. Space was made. Room created. For a body, for a soul, for his light, for new ideas and beliefs, for love.
There is no calculating how your life will change through motherhood. Your body is no longer your own. Every cell breathes life into a new little being and also a new way of being. There is nothing you can do but surrender to this new existence–you cannot control it or earn it or shape it in anyway. It shapes you. It softens you–in body and mind. If fills what was empty, and spills around you into all areas of your life. It is messy–gooey cheerios stuck to carseat, legos strewn across the floor, runny nose, sticky hands, dirt loving, exhaustion causing messy. It is more. The life of a mom means doing more than you have ever done before–and being more because of it.
Motherhood has taught me love isn’t earned by something that you do, it is what you do. It isn’t something you have, it’s something you are. You embody it. With each late night nursing session, with each caress, with each diaper change, with each changing day, with each admiring glance at your partner, with each gentler glance in the mirror. We embody love by doing love. In the smallest actions–each every day.