Before you were born, I registered for a ton of books. In particular I registered for some from a favorite author of mine who specifically wrote about animals and gave them human narratives.
There was a bat, and a snake, and a new one I had never read before about a hyena. So when it arrived, I read it immediately before heading back to work.
It was about a girl hyena who spent the whole day getting berated by the other Savannah animals due to different aspects of her appearance. With each harsh sentence, she doubted herself a little bit more, and tried to change how she looked so she would no longer be “ugly”. At the end, it turned out that the other animals were being mean because a different animal had been mean to them and so then they all apologized and moved on.
But that day… that day I couldn’t finish the book. That day, I sat in my car outside my workplace and cried and cried and cried. I was nearing the end of my pregnancy, yes, but I don’t think that makes our emotions any less valuable or intuitive. You see, my mama heart felt this pain for you. My mama heart knew that as a girl you would one day face this. That one day you would discover that not everyone loves you like mama does. That not everyone thinks you’re perfect the way you are, like mama does. And one day, you’d start to see little parts of yourself, not like mama does, but like the people who said hurtful things do. That those hurtful voices will be the ones you start to hear inside your head, and may even overtime become your own voice. My mama heart knows all of this, because my mama heart was once a little girls heart. And that little girls heart got broken many, many times by other girls, by society, by mean little boys… the list could go on. And as badly as my mama heart wants to fiercely protect yours and never let it get broken, ever. That’s not right either.
Brokenness is part of how we grow. Our cells get damaged, old, and die and get replaced by new ones. Our broken bones become stronger at the breaks. Our bodies can be viscously torn open and yet knit themselves back together again.
Our bodies were designed to break and get broken because our bodies were designed to heal.
I believe human hearts are the same way.
So as much as mama wants to protect you. The best thing I can do is teach you how to mend your broken heart. Teach you how to bind the branches so they don’t grow crooked. The best I can do is continue to speak kindness and love over you and hope that over the years, with all the voices you will acquire inside your head, mine will still remain.