CHRISTINE MARRIN: I am decidedly not feeling ecstatic at the moment! Why? Because I have been struggling for the better part of a month to come up with an idea for this month’s theme of 'ecstasy'.
Anyone who knows me knows I always have something to say, an idea to share, an opinion, a thought, a suggestion, but for once, I’ve got nothing! I just don’t know how to combine spiritual parenting with ecstasy.
As a mama, I have felt joy, excitement, awe, inspiration, gratitude, bliss, but ecstasy? The word has never crossed my mind in this context. So I decided to look the word up in the dictionary. Surely this would help. Here is what I found:
- rapturous delight
- an overpowering emotion or exaltation; a state of sudden, intense feeling
- the frenzy of poetic inspiration
- mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things.
Okay, the third definition is not helpful in the least. At no point in the past twelve years have I ever felt myself overcome with frenzied poetic inspiration with my children, about my children or even without my children. Strike this one out.
Number four is interesting. I love all things divine. This is a even word I use, but 'mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things'? Well, we do talk a lot around here about divinity and grace and the sweetness of weaving these into our lives, but honestly, it would be a stretch to say that we contemplate divine things a lot. Nope, number four needs to go.
The second idea has a chance here, some legs, as it were. As I think about this deeply, I think back to all the concerts I have attended, as my girls were always in the choir. Whenever I hear singing children (and especially when my own are involved), my emotions are always intense and overpowering. I don’t think I’m alone; singing children reduce me to a puddle every single time. The same can be said of watching and listening to my children play at piano recitals. But exaltation? Sigh…I don’t know. I’m splitting hairs, perhaps, but I am truly committed to understanding this emotion and seeing if it applies to my life as a mama.
Rapturous delight, definition number one is giving me hope. I feel delight often with my children. Watching them play together, laughing over dinner time jokes, snuggling, listening to their (often very hilarious) school stories, watching them play and love our dog, finding Mother Earth’s creatures during forest walks. These are all delightful for me and us. But am I ecstatic about it? I don’t think so.
So what does it all mean? What to make of an emotion that does not seem to fit into my parenting life? For me, as I reflect, it means simply that not all emotions apply to all parts of my life. Have I ever felt ecstatic? Yes! When I was accepted into the school of my choice to study Homeopathy in the fall, I was ecstatic. When my grandmother’s rings were returned to me here in Canada after leaving them in a London, England airport (and thinking they were gone forever), I was profoundly relieved, and I was ecstatic. When I decided, after seven years, to interview for a teaching position at another school and was hired, I was ecstatic. So maybe, this emotion of ecstasy is for me in my life outside of my children. It’s for me the person, and not necessarily for me, the mama.
And that’s okay. Part of parenthood and of spiritual parenting is remembering that we can have lives, experiences, emotions and dreams that are ours alone. We can chase what speaks to our hearts and our minds alongside of raising our children. Some might even say that we must do this so that we can be the best version of ourselves. And then by extension we can be the best parents for our children. And that is something to be ecstatic about!