By Randine Lewis, L.Ac., MSOM, Ph.D.
Dr. Randine Lewis is the author of The Infertility Cure.
Dr. Lewis has become the leading expert in treating infertility conditions naturally.
When I work with women who are reaching the end of their pursuit of natural conception, I counsel them and support them with treatments designed to help them handle their emotions. I also ask them questions like, “Do you think if a child wants to be part of your life that he or she will care where its genetics come from? What do you think is more important in terms of your expressing your motherhood: creating a child who has the genes of your ancestors or giving a child all the love a mother can give?” And, “Are there other ways you can use your maternal energy? Can you give your time to children who are needy? How can you mother in a totally different sense, without it having to be a baby?”
In Chinese medicine, menopause is described as the transition from our reproductive years into the “time of wisdom.” At this point, the energy that has been pouring into our uterus through the Penetrating Meridian is redirected. And since the Pnetrating Meridian connects the Uterus to the Heart, that is where our reproductive energy moves. We change from being mothers of the body to being mothers of the heart, where wisdom resides. Whether we are biological mothers or not, all women have the ability to be mothers of the heart. We can choose to offer our love and maternal energies by creating a family with children, or we can choose to mother children, adults, groups or organizations. Louisa May Alcott once wrote, “…fatherly and motherly hearts often beat warm and wise in the breasts of bachelor uncles and maiden aunts, and it is my private opinion that these worthy creatures are a beautiful provision of nature for the cherishing of other people’s children.” You never know what place you will fill within the universal plan, but I do believe with all my heart that the love that makes us want to be parents was not meant to go to waste. The Tao Te Ching says,
The Tao is called the Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible,
It gives birth to infinite worlds.
It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.
When you become a mother of the heart, you tap into the “Great Mother” that lies within you. That love is always there. And when you offer it to the world in any form, it will never go to waste.
If there is a divine plan and we are placed on this earth to learn and grow, then perhaps the our souls’ lessons are taught through those that are put–and are not put–in our lives. Those we love come and, yes, they go. Some, even those we want most desperately, never come at all. Ultimately, however, we must recognize that the children we want so much and have done so much to bear are not really ours to begin with. As Khalil Gibran wrote:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with his might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
The pursuit of a child is borne of a deep longing of universal life to evolve—and isn’t it rather grandiose of us to believe that we have any control over the requirements of universal evolution? We can only manipulate our physiology; we can’t control the expression of life itself. I believe that for God to breathe life into the developing cells which become fetuses and babies and human beings, harmony must be created in our physical environment, our physiologic condition, our mental, emotional and spiritual state. When these conditions have been met, then we must accept that if we are to become parents, we will.
I am reminded of the prayer, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. The things we must accept are our genetic constitution: there are certain aspects of our physical state that are not amenable to change. We cannot change the past and we cannot change anybody else. We can, however, change our health and our environment in the present—what we put into our bodies, how we experience stress, and our mental and emotional states.
We at The Fertile Soul endeavor to help you take control of everything that might possibly help you to have a child. But, after you have done all that you have control over, you must remember to breathe, to recall that you still have this present moment where you can allow life to express itself through you, however it may. This is a courageous stand and not an undertaking for the weak of spirit.
Perhaps the final lesson from our struggle to bear children is to find peace inside ourselves no matter what. I do know that finding that place of peace is the greatest gift we can receive. Those that we love come and go. Some don’t come at all. But no matter what, we are whole and at peace. May you find that place of peace within yourself. May you find happiness. And may that happiness be unconditional.