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When writing fierce love letters to your Motherself
© 2016 by Binahkaye Joy. All photos by Colin A. Danville
Dear Mothers and Future Mothers,
Don’t hold anything back. Tell your motherself the truth about your mothering dreams, all your mothering dreams. Make it clear to her that you need her to be seen, and supported, and loved. Reiterate as often as you can that you are actively seeking ways to expand the space she takes up in your life.
With the written word, anchor the vision of your motherself in language that is authentic to your heart. Journey back through your years, employing as many free writes and writing prompts as it takes. Find the root of your motherself. From that subtle awakening in your consciousness, begin to center her story as your story.
Be liberal with your genre. Engage poetry, essay, fiction, and any other form that comes to you. In each exercise, practice situating your motherself as the source of your fertile and creative powers. Continuously honor the magnitude of her presence and purpose in the realization of your calling to be a mother. Give her ample room to breathe in the narrative.
Be generous and transparent. Open up difficult conversations with your motherself; she knows all. Revisit the parts of your story that might hurt, that might have scabbed over, that might still be bleeding. Explore the intricacies of each trauma with intense curiosity. This writing is a discovery space. There don’t have to be anymore secrets.
Talk candidly with her about fears, anxieties, doubts, and regrets. Be specific about the inconsistencies or contradictions you have encountered along the path of bringing your motherself into fullness. Allow for the truth of your story to get messy and tangled. Resist the urge to conclude anything if there is no natural conclusion. Admit that sometimes pieces of your puzzle will not be neatly contained in the past or managed efficiently by your memories. Some parts of your motherself’s story will just have to dangle, and glaringly so. These words may be very uncomfortable and seem to not want to be written, but go ahead and write them anyway.
For mommies who have birthed babies, write to your motherself about the majesty of all her labor. Celebrate her for embracing the hard work of making space for a baby to grow inside your body. Trace through all the pivotal moments of conception, and embryo, and placenta. Remember the totality of miracles performed together. Thank her for being so courageous, for being so kind.
For future mommies who are still figuring out when and how and where your babies will come from, write to your motherself about how it feels to be navigating so much hope and so many unknowns. Be explicit about the scary moments, the transformational moments, the humorous moments, the heartbreaking moments. Document the largely, and oftentimes painfully, invisible labors that accompany the journey of bringing your motherself to life.
Write also to your motherself about the multitude of forces and relationships that shape her existence and your identity as mother. Investigate the seasons of your girlhood and your womanhood, and all the mothers and women who first taught you about being a mother. Unpack the layers of love and grief that collide and merge in your own mother-daughter reality. Let these inquiries and admissions spread out over all the pages. There is no cause to condense, there will be no gains in suppression.
Everyday, or every week, or every ovulation cycle, or every new moon, whatever your frequency, welcome every opportunity to commune with your motherself in these intimate ways. Seed the infinite possibilities of her work through the textual rituals of your truth telling. Extract your own scriptures from the sacredness of your authored words. Read deeply into your motherself. Know her, study her, claim her right to be here. Love her, and be sure to always tell her so.
Binahkaye Joy is a mother of three and a fertility juju priestess. She supports mothers and women in activating their wildest mothering dreams. Binahkaye lives in Washington, DC with her family. She is available for in-person and virtual workshops, speaking engagements, and private sessions. For bookings, writing and performance commissions, and programming information send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.