Mental health disorders are the number one complication from childbirth—is it any surprise?
As a part of our identity dies during childbirth, we’re expected to meet our new “mother self” on the other side with confidence and grace. For many, this follows a traumatic, or less-than-okay birth experience.
We spend much of our day alone with a newborn whose needs are largely unknown—our own needs are unknown as well. We face an ever-changing mental and physical landscape. Several weeks in, we feel like we have the hang of things. We’ve somehow balanced the chaos only to face returning to work—yet again, change.
If there is anything constant about our “mother self,” it is the continual state of change. And that’s how it’s supposed to be.
As we move from maiden to mother, we drop even further into our divine feminine (the energy that allows for flow, change, and chaos). It’s this energy that directs the seasons, life cycles, and creation of all that is.
We’re at odds with our inherent, feminine nature and the harsh, masculine nature of society. I believe it is from this dissonance that these mental disorders plaguing new mothers come from. It is from the tug-of-war that is happening on an energetic level. And it’s not just within mothers, but our society at large.
In no way do I mean to demonize or belittle one energy over the other. Instead, it is a balance of these two energies that is required. To understand how to create this balance, we need to understand each energy—separately.
To begin, let’s look at the divine masculine:
The divine masculine is often related to the sun. It’s a constant. It is always rising in the east, setting in the west. It moves in one linear direction. Masculine energy is about action and forward movement. In my head are little monopoly men toasting “to the industry!” This is because masculinity is influential in business and getting things accomplished. It’s the motivator, the determined drive that keeps us moving forward. It’s the “sun up to sun down” work ethic. And it’s important. If we all lived only in our feminine, we wouldn’t accomplish a lot. We would be lost in our emotions and tending to them.
The divine feminine:
This energy is much like the moon and seasons. She flows effortlessly through harsh winters and dry summers. She’s the most considerable energy, shining bright when full and hiding during her new moon phase. The only constant for this energy is change. She allows for flexibility as she knows her day-to-day is a constant progression. Her motivation isn’t linear in progression—she’s not trying to climb the ladder fastest. She tries to see how deep her connection to herself is.
She craves the depths. The emotions. She is the creator. The one who tends the gardens and kitchen. She is the ritual maker and ensures her family lives according to a moral compass.
In our society, we have become so disconnected from this femininity that we feel shame for resting or taking time to ourselves. We feel that our sole purpose of being a mother or caretaker isn’t enough because we do not directly affect any kind of upward progression or monetary gain.
You may experience masculine-dominated energetics if you are the busy-bee, the over-doer. Rest and open schedules make you nervous. You may have been told that “the grass doesn’t grow under your feet” a time or two. You’re dedicated to excelling at just about everything: your job, relationships, and social media accounts. A more subtle way the masculine dominated energy sneaks in is when we’re feeling emotionally spent. When our head doesn’t feel in the right place, or a sudden stressor arises, what’s your first move? If you spring into action and busy yourself, your masculine is poking through. The masculine avoids tough emotions. They are seen as hindrances to our day—things that will slow our progression.
On the opposite extreme, if your feminine energy is dominant, you may find yourself so wrapped up in emotions that your daily needs get pushed aside. You are compassionate and would give the shirt off your back. In its dark side, you may fail to complete projects on time or lack the motivation to take action on your dreams. You float through your day being led by one emotion to the next. You may have been told you’re flighty or your head’s in the clouds, emotional, or over-reactive. You wear your heart on your sleeve, always. Your fluid nature allows for mothering to be possible. You expect the chaos and ride the rollercoaster through your days. You embrace the ups and the downs.
With the rise in popularity of these buzzwords like “divine feminine,” I fear many have taken that message as gold. They live completely in the matriarch, feminine energy.
Yes, we must bring more of the feminine into our society—there are so many people broken by the system and unable to make ends meet while others continue to rise—but when coupled with conscious masculine stability, we can create change. Change that is steadfast in direction, lead by the feminine heart. It is the unity of these energies that are spoken of across all religions—Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Shiva, Parvati, God, gods, and goddesses. For them, the only constant was balanced chaos.