Imagine for a moment you are meeting with your guardian angel and you can finally ask, Why? Why did it happen to me?
Your guardian angel shrugs her shoulders and replies nonchalantly because it did!
It’s the only answer you get. No explanation. No concern whatsoever. How do you deal with it?
A part of you will no doubt resist. You may even feel the internal fire of anger brewing and a sudden urge to act in frustration. But in the midst of this charged reaction, there might be something in you resonating with the truth your guardian angel has given you.
What if it all happened to you in the way that it did simply because?
Twenty-three years ago, when I left my third marriage to return from overseas with two sons and three suitcases, I was obeying a voice I’d heard in my head telling me to get back to Canada. It was loud. It only spoke once. It said, “Go home.”
It wasn’t a voice to be ignored. So I listened.
Arriving back in Canada, it didn’t take long to realize I’d need to make a life I’d never want to leave: I had children to raise on my own, little money in my bank account, and the prospect of ever travelling again, taking a vacation again, was remote. So I’d best make a life I could love in the midst of needing to work all day, all evening, every day of every week just to make ends meet. Despite this drudgery, the ends would never meet in my bank balance so I resigned myself to living in financial debt just to buy time to be a present mother to my sons; they’d eventually grow up and I would deal with the debt then. As children, they had to be my priority. I could fail at financial planning, but I certainly could not fail at mothering. It was a price I wasn’t prepared to pay. I would value a different kind of balance. It demanded releasing dependency in a social system that deemed me dependent, which means I willingly carried the suffering it caused me.
Now you may disagree with me. You may say, wait a minute, women are free to do whatever we want to do here in North America. And on one level, you’d be correct. In fact, it’s the very reason I knew I needed to leave the Persian Gulf — I had more rights here at home in Canada than I did there and having learned the contrast, I wanted out. But there’s a deeper truth we must acknowledge.
As a lone woman who wanted to mother her children, and not institutionalize them under the guise they needed to be “socialized” in before-school-care, daycare, and after-school-care, which only functions to keep the industrialized idea of society in place and nothing more, it’s not about meeting the true needs of children, I had to construct my world around caring for them in addition to earning money in a system that doesn’t value mothering. It was not easy. Millions of women are doing it as I write. And there is no mother’s pension to pay into because mothering work isn’t calculated as a contribution to society worth generating dividends. I’m not here to complain, but I am here to make clear that the choices I made weren’t really choices at all. They were simply what I had to do in order to survive and live by my mothering values. Survive we did, I’m happy to report. I kept a roof over our heads, we never went hungry, and all three of us attained an education. But something else unexpected happened, too.
All I’ve ever wanted is autonomy and sustainability. I don’t want fame or fortune. I loved being a young mother but I didn’t love not being able to provide for my family. I never received alimony or child support from any husband I ever married. How is this even okay with human beings? Determined to find a way to mother and live in the world, my choice to return to Canada put me in a dark crucible of learning, and the degree of self-knowledge I gleaned through my suffering expanded far beyond anything I could have predicted. It turned out to all be in service to the best of life.
Here’s the place in my story where it’s worth asking Why?
Why was the dark crucible of learning the greatest gift of life?
The pain of having to live on the periphery of society, the pain of not having all the things I believed I was entitled to, the pain of working so much and earning so little money cut so deep within me that the bottom of what I assumed was my life fell out, and I tumbled into a domain of such sweet surrender that I could hardly fathom what had transpired.
For a woman who has learned to survive the world of man, and make no mistake, we all live in a collective reality built on masculine energies of the human psyche, both negative and positive in all people, has a tremendous responsibility because she is now capable of self reflexivity and discernment, which are the true qualities of freedom. This woman must ask herself: What spirit breathes through me and demands my attention, creativity, and manifestation?
This woman no longer belongs to the collective reality. This woman belongs to herself. And there is not a mightier power on the planet than who she can become. To discover her task takes great courage, honesty, and perseverance. True freedom from suffering in servitude emerges when a woman willingly commits to serve those who need her, and suffer fully. Not suffer in blame. Not suffer in shame. Not suffer in guilt or entitlement. But suffer so whole heartedly that she moves something in the human soul. To climb out of such experience in any other way is only half measured. When we try to escape what is ours to do then we miss the opportunity to affirm true growth. It’s never about answering Why? Life owes us no explanation. There is only ever expansion. And conscious suffering is the path that eventually leads to freely chosen service.
When I was down, so far down in myself that I didn’t think I could continue; when I collapsed on the stairs carrying a basket full of laundry on a day when I didn’t think I could take one more step up, fold one more t-shirt, make one more meal, drive one more mile to bring the kids home from school, it was then that I decided to tell myself over and over and over again that I chose this, nobody is doing this to me because I chose this, this is my life and I chose this. Then and only then did I find the strength and endurance to keep doing the laundry, making the meals, driving to school, and getting to work on time to earn a pay cheque.
A part of me knew that a woman will never master her life from a state of victimhood.
There is a binding commitment designed to pull womanhood out of feeling victimized. I discovered it in the crucible of my own making. But only when I stopped asking Why?
When we stop looking outside for what we need and turn within to hear and heed, then what is destined to be ours becomes available. It makes itself known to the woman who is poised to pivot away from what she believes she is entitled to get, gain from, and give to the world. None of it is true! In the wise words of Helen Luke, “We may do what we will only when we have learned the nature of love.”
The Mother of All Life will do what she needs to do to feed, nourish, and grow her young. This Mother is in every being. Try to work against her and your day of reckoning will come. Move into yourself to find her and she will help you make a life you love.
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