Birth Memory Leads to Love

by Diana Rankin

The Birth of Venus (ca. 1485), by Botticelli. ...

When I was in my forties, I remembered being born into this world. I remembered my mother holding me with loving arms. I remembered her voice telling me she loved me. I remembered her telling me she wanted me and was so glad I was here. It was the first time I knew that. It took me all those years to remember I was loved, wanted, that someone was glad I had been born. I had spent too many years forgetting. Life gets in our way of remembering that we are loved, that we are wanted, that someone is glad we are here.

When we forget we are loved, we forget to love ourselves and we go in search of love. We usually look in the wrong places. I did. I believed that if I were good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough . . . I believed that if I found the right man and married him that I would feel loved forever and live happily ever after, but that didn’t happen. Instead I went from relationship to relationship, marriage to marriage, always getting my heart broken until my heart was broken so many times and so fiercely that it finally broke open to myself, and in doing so I finally remembered that I was loved and wanted and that someone was glad I had been born.

                The memory of my birth gave me hope that if someone loved me enough to carry me inside her own body for nine months and endure the pains of child birth that I too could love myself – that I was worth that much to someone else than I must be worth at least that much to myself.
                So I began a journey of self-discovery to learn how very lovable I am. I learned about the gifts I bring to the world and the pleasure it gives me to do so. I learned the great capacity I have for loving others is also the depth I have for loving myself. I learned that I can soar on the wings of love and if I alone know I am soaring, that is enough. I learned that I am part of an eternal something – call it God, Goddess, Universe, Spirit – and that eternal something is pure love, and I am this love – this eternal, miraculous Love that just is. I don’t have to do anything to earn it. It’s who I am. It who and what we all are.
                I learned all this because I remembered my birth into this world and in remembering, I remembered I am love. Not everyone has a beautiful, loving birth memory, but imagination allows us to rewrite the circumstances of our birth and create a loving experience of being wanted and chosen. I am fortunate to have the memory, and I was fortunate enough to share it with my mother.
                We were walking along the edge of the golf course in Florida behind her winter home. Her husband and my husband walked ahead of us. It was as though my husband intuitively knew something important was taking place and he made sure Mother and I had time alone. I told her I remembered bright light as I emerged from her womb, and I had to close my eyes. I don’t know how much time passed until she held me, but I remembered her eyes and I remembered her voice. Her eyes were soft, blue, and I recognized her. “Your eyes were loving and I knew the love was for me,” I told my mother.
                I heard her wanting to tell me babies don’t focus at that age, but instead she stopped walking, looked over the green of the golf course, and stayed silent. I wanted to tell her this was hard for me, but instead, I told her that on the day she gave birth to me, I heard her voice, and it was familiar. To my mother I said, “I heard you say, ‘I love you.’ Your voice was quiet, but clear. You said, “I wanted a daughter.’ I heard you say that you loved me, that you wanted me, that you were glad I was here.”
                As I told my mother about this memory that morning on the edge of the golf course behind her winter home in Florida, she turned toward me. There were tears in her eyes and one tear fell down her cheek just as it had in my memory when she held me for the first time after my birth.
                “I remember too,” she said. “But how do you? How do you remember being born?” She paused for a moment, and then said, “It’s just like you remember. I did want you. I had a son and I wanted a daughter, a little girl. I told you so the first time I held you and I told you I loved you.” My mother’s eyes questioned me again. “But how do you remember that? How could you remember?”
                I had no answer. Not really. “I just do,” I said. “It was important to me to remember.” She didn’t need to ask why. Intuitively she knew, she knew that in spite of her best efforts I never felt loved by her. I didn’t realize it even then that it wasn’t even her love that I was seeking, but the eternal love of the Great Mother – that miraculous, all-enfolding love that is who we are. I couldn’t tell her then that it wasn’t her love I was seeking but it was my own self’s love I was seeking. I couldn’t tell her any of this at the time because I didn’t understand it myself. It was only later that I would learn to love myself and it all began with a memory of my birth and my mother’s love.
                We hugged that day in Florida, my mother and I. Not one to stay in emotion, Mother pulled back from the hug, wiped away the single tear that fell onto her cheek in the same way as the single tear that fell the first time she held me, and then she began walking toward the house. “Come along,” she said. “The men will be waiting.”
                I lagged for a few moments, and then hurried to catch up. The moment between us was gone, but like the memory of my birth, this memory too reminds me I am love, and like the memory of my birth, it is a memory I cherish the way I have come to cherish all the memories of my mother.
That was our last winter visit together, the last time I would see Mother walk across the edge of that golf course at her winter house in Florida. At the end of that summer, before autumn, and before they returned to their winter home in Florida, Mother and her husband left on a day trip with another couple. Only her husband returned. I remember that too.
 The mother who had given me life no longer had hers, but it was more than life that she gave me. She gave me love, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
©Diana Rankin 2013


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