Around the Motherhouse Blog

Woman, Know Thyself!: A Daughter's Gift to Her Mother

~The Adventures of Kalimama~

Josie's test results have not come in yet, (see my August blog). In the meantime, I am doing what every good Goddess woman does at times like these... I am doing magick. Of course, I am also journaling a lot, reading a lot, and eating...a lot. But, I am lighting a candle for Josie every day while envisioning her both inside and out with loving white light. My faith allows me to know that she is held within the light and love of the Greatest Mother of all - the Goddess.

Yet ironically I am the one who is finding healing at this time. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was Josie's age, around 11. But it has always been a "non-issue" for me. I've only had 4 grand mal seizures, the last of which was while I was still a teenager. When my parents told me I had epilepsy, I just said "okay" and really didn't feel upset about it. For the most part, I've never really given it much of a second thought. I know I still have epileptic brain patterns, but I never have thought of myself as "different" or "handicapped" or "diseased".

Until now.

And contrary to accepted dogma, the acceptance of my disease is so liberating!!!! When I went off all medications, about 15 years ago, I decided to "ignore" my epilepsy. Following a system of belief similar to that espoused by books like, "The Secret", I just figured if I did not give energy to my disease, it would cease to exist. And it did cease to exist - at least to my conscious self. I knew that I was still epileptic and as such require more sleep than other people, but I disconnected my identity in every other way to that of an "epileptic" or a "diseased person". I realize now that when I chose not to identify with epilepsy, it was not that the epilepsy went away, rather I cut myself off of a vital and true part of myself. I compartmentalized the disease and myself. Until this very moment I have never acknowledged, nor considered, nor accepted (denial!) how epilepsy - or the "abnormal"/unique ways my brain communicates - may be affecting me in all other areas of my life.

For instance, I've never once considered how my unique brain wave patterns may be involved with my bouts of depression. (Apparently there is a statistical connection between epilepsy and depression.) Nor have I considered how epilepsy may be affecting my job as a mother - which is a 24/7 job - and as an epileptic I need a lot of sleep - something I haven't had in, oh, say 11 years. Nor have I considered how my unique brain patterns relate to my creativity, my spirituality, my shamanic work, and my personality as a whole. In an effort to not give energy to my disease, I have failed to accept and take care of myself as a whole person. And, wow!, is that a powerful realization!

I am an epileptic. Although I do not have noticeable seizures, I do have a unique and powerful brain pattern that requires different care than "normal" brain patterns. This is not a bad thing, it just is.

Actually, it can be seen as a cool thing. Did you know that there is a connection between epilepsy and mysticism? Neat, huh? In fact, epilepsy has been known as the "Sacred Disease". Throughout the age people have interpreted epileptic "fits" as communication with the Divine. Many historical religious figures are thought to have had epilepsy. And it isn't limited to religious figures - there is actually a book entitled, "Epilepsy and Genius", which connects epilepsy to great and numinous historical figures. Joan of Arc is one example. Others include, Harriet Tubman, Socrates, Mohammed, Saint Birgitta, Saint Teresa of Avila, Hildegard von Bingen, Neil Young, and even Lenin. All in all, not bad company to keep.

So I have to wonder. When I disconnected myself from my epilepsy, did I cut myself off from my sacred gift as well? Woman Know Thyself. These are powerful words. And in this odd way, Josie's possible diagnosis of a potentially serious disease has led to a deeper understanding of who I am. What a wonderful gift for Josie to return to me. Knowing myself and accepting myself on this new level has been incredibly empowering and has helped me to take one more step towards becoming the Woman of Power I dream of becoming.

The Goddess works in mysterious ways. In what mysterious ways has the Goddess helped you to know yourself better? Have you ever compartmentalized or denied parts of who you are, only to find them later in an empowering way?

By Jenny June Sterling - Goddess mother of three, 10 year old Josie, 5 year old Zeke, and 4 year old Oliver~ seeking the joy and spiritual lessons of being a mindful goddess mama.