Dear Soul Beings,
I am walking in the wind today. The branches dance, tall grasses sway and whistling leaves fan. The sun is warm and I hear the spirits talking.
“Follow the mother line,” they whisper. “Follow the mother line.”
I am listening. It is right that these voices are in the mirror, so to speak. I am smack in the middle of editing my memoir, SOUL RISING, A Journey From Infertility to Adoption. It is a journey to motherhood but also a journey into self, a self that falters and glides and stumbles and rises. The process continues.
Yesterday I had the privilege of doing some family constellation therapy with an incredible facilitator and her assistant. With respect to the sacredness of the process, I will only share the essence of what I gleaned from this experience. An amazingly powerful female ancestor came through in the form of a deeply loving being. I have the sense of being held, nurtured and loved beyond measure. This medicine has always been with me but now, with guidance it has been accessed and integrated. And I know it will continue to heal.
The ancestors are with us and I am grateful for the remembrance. As far back as I thought I knew, my female line seemed broken. Broken mother, wounded from incest and tyranny. Broken grandmother, wounded from war and lack of intimacy. Beyond that, the facts are vague. But now I know the line goes back further than time, for us all, and I am so grateful to be in their fold.
I remember, once, when I was working as a Doula with Elizabeth Rose, I witnessed her coaching a woman in labor.
“Call upon your female ancestors. Call upon all women through history who have given birth. They will assist you. Invite them in.”
This struck me, that one could throw their voice into the canyon of time and be heard. And yet it made so much sense. If we can hold ourselves open and know at such times as birth and death, or personal crisis, the veil gets pulled back. A gateway opens.
My feeling of being held in this therapy session was visceral and deeply profound. The woman who gave birth felt empowered and grateful for unseen assistance.
Once, when I was forty-two and trying to get pregnant, I had this experience:
I am sitting in the office of an infertility specialist listening to him review his findings on the surgery I just had to remove a uterine septum. He tells me my womb is small and they inserted an IUD to widen it.
“The surgery went well,” he assures me. “We found adhesions in and around your uterus.”
He shows me pictures of my ovaries which look like they are encased in saran wrap.
“That’s scar tissue. Just a by product of endometriosis….”
At this point, I do not know that all of my issues are characteristic of people exposed to DES (a synthetic hormone they used to give pregnant women) in utero. I do know that my mother was prescribed DES to prevent another miscarriage when she was pregnant with me. I know she wanted me.
I was born with the cord wrapped twice around my neck.
The doctor keeps talking but I don’t hear him. A line of Egyptian women dressed in deep blue robes appear before me. They wear crowns of burnished gold on their raven hair and their feet are bare. They walk in procession, attached to each other by a flaming orange sash. I feel their ancestral energy and imagine them to be the sacred mothers, givers of life and gatekeepers of the universe.
Painting by Janet Carter, which she created after hearing about my vision in a writing group.
Yes, I had that image, lo those many years ago and once again, I have felt their presence.
In this time of stress and uncertainty, I have the potential to isolate, whether it be my marriage, my relationship with my daughter, friendships or my own discipline with creativity. I feel at times it is a collective depression. I am blessed to have a roof over my head and food on the table and yet I often feel stricken with a kind of malaise. We are being asked to carry so much. As I have written before, ritual and creativity help. But more than that, I think the healing will come from the Divine Feminine. The family constellation work has reminded me that beneath the layer of dirt and shadow lies a wealth of assistance.
I did grow up with an abusive wounded mother, who was critical and overbearing and constantly undermined me. At ten, she cut all my hair off, my feminine veil. She washed my mouth out with soap, for what, I cannot remember. She tried to silence my creative voice and I took to writing poetry beneath the blankets with a flashlight. When I was older, she told me I would never find a man like my father, I was not worthy, that I was too big for my britches and that I had nothing to say. She regularly called me a cunt, a word I have yet to befriend. I finally got the courage to leave when I was twenty.
Yes, my mother took drugs to ensure my birth. The drugs left their own legacy, which I address more in depth in the memoir. My soul decided to squeeze through the stranglehold and birth was the first right of passage. My voice knew in time it would be heard. I only wish we could have had a conversation to heal our bond before she died. My mother line is made up of broken pieces, but the line reaches back further than I can see. In connecting to it, I have been held and when I feel held I can do anything. I have heart and courage and can love. As I walk, I am reminded by the wind, of the freedom and joy I carry because I know I am held. For the Mother Line, I will also be a holder.