God is Love. -The Bible
Did I mention I’m a PK (preacher’s/pastor’s kid)?? Yeah there’s bound to be some preaching going on at some point in time around here. In all seriousness, growing up in Evangelical Christianity has had it’s fair share of damaging messages, but God is Love is not one of them. Did you notice this passage says God is Love NOT God is a white man in the sky? Sadly this is what many of us have been indoctrinated to think about God. Where does this leave women and mothers? Through out history religion has put many things in boxes that are limiting and exclusive; God, women, justice, sex, gender, marriage, money, work, service are just to name a few. I’m not going to profess to be an expert in theology of any kind. All I can speak to is my own experience, and motherhood has showed me what Love truly is time and time again, and it is Holy.
I didn’t know I had the capacity to Love like this…this powerful force is undeniable. It is also that…a powerful force! We will do things we never thought possible when it comes to our children. Somehow we make it work, somehow we pull through, somehow we make the change we never thought we could or would make. Love turns into action. We also AWAKEN to ourselves through birth and childbearing. There is a reason our babies stay in the womb for 9 months (actually 10 if you count the month of conception)…it is a time of awakening for us. We feel them move for the first time and we realize that LIFE is growing there. It is no longer just us, but then it is all about us. We realize that if we don’t eat they don’t eat, if we consume something toxic they consume something toxic, if we are unsafe their lives are as well. We learn a whole new side of Love we possibly never understood before.
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
–Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
We can only love others as much as we love ourselves, this hit me like a ton of bricks. I had learned my whole life that loving yourself was selfish and that God loved you despite your unworthiness. Hmmm, things were not adding up, either I had God in a box again or Love was in there, or for Christ’s sake maybe they were both in the damn box.
Yes, I’m sure you guessed it, they were both in the box! There has been a lot of re-learning for me in and around self-love, self worth, and self-care and it is a continual process. This is a huge reason I started Nurse Love Nourish, because I know I’m not the only woman who has done this, is doing this, or will do this healing work in the future. And if we Love ourselves this enables us to Love the world. Our feminine gentleness and fierceness is desperately needed to balance the scales of thousands of years of worldwide culture being dominated by masculine energy.
Love and justice are not two. With out inner change there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.
–Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams