Deep Centre
01 November 1989

This little being who consumes most of my time and energy has not only changed my priorities but has also unknowingly changed me as a person.

My son is nearly four years old; he is endlessly lively, enjoys playing football and hide-andseek, would eat sweets all day long if he had half a chance, has a good sense of humour and often wakes me before six in the morning demanding breakfast and games. There are thousands of little boys just like him all over the world, equally mischievous and equally tiring.

During a recent conversation my husband and I both admitted that without question we each love our young son more than anyone we have ever loved, and that this love never falters or loses its intensity. We discovered that we felt no jealousy or resentment as a result of knowing this, and that in fact the love for our son draws us closer together rather than the opposite. This little being who consumes most of my time and energy has not only changed my priorities but has also unknowingly changed me as a person.

I am a musician with a successful career, and until four years ago this career had always been the most important factor in my life, apart from meeting and marrying my husband. I have been lucky enough to be able to do most of the things I have really wanted to do, securing prestigious positions as a principal player with several leading orchestras, giving concerts for radio and television and travelling the world regularly, enjoying the sensation of always being on the way somewhere and never quite arriving. Life was full, rewarding and gratifying, and the years passed by so quickly and quietly that there was never time to sit back and think of where this was all leading.

In my mid-thirties I began to contemplate motherhood as one contemplates dreams. I certainly did not think I wanted it or needed it, apart from an occasional insight that I might be missing something. In my preoccupation with career and success, I was so concerned with the surfaces of life that I neglected what really mattered the inner self directed by the inner voice. Over the years the inner voice of God had made several attempts to break down my armour, but there was always something exciting or rewarding to keep me on my happy high, and there never seemed to be time for God or other people.

As time went on, I became aware that a hardness was creeping into my spirit, and that if I was to hold to my path of career and marriage, in that order, I needed to cultivate this hardness to smother any thoughts that maybe there could, or should, be something else.' I as, in fact, smothering the most important part of my nature as a woman - the quality which gives our sex its capacity for love, caring, endurance, understanding and suffering.

I began to listen to this part of me and to God's direction within it, and I realized that in order to become what I was meant to be I had to give God permission to take hold of my life, and to allow my nature as a woman to take precedence over any ambitions I had for myself. For me, accepting God into the centre of my being meant accepting the possibility of motherhood, although I realized that in wanting a child I might have to learn the pain of being denied it.

In being blessed with our son, I have had to learn a whole new career, based on the permanent values which are part , of God's plan for my life. And as young Robert approaches his fourth birthday I thank God for all I have discovered. Of course being female does not necessarily mean that we are all destined to be mothers. But it does mean facing our womanhood honestly, with all the love, compassion and strength which God gave us to use as we allow him into our unique nature.

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