While most people I know were out this morning at church, having Mother’s Day brunches, and taking pictures with their children at the park, I was discussing vaginas.
My friend’s vagina to be exact.
On my way to yoga class we started texting. She was passing on a yoga class of her own and instead had holed up at home to cry alone, releasing emotions from a recent breakup that has left her in such a dark place that she barely recognizes herself. Clarity, she hopes, will come soon.
I left my husband and found my own self in shock, mourning but unable to cry. I would pry myself out of bed every Sunday morning and force myself to hit the mat at a local studio. My normally skintight yoga clothes hung on me – I woke every morning and projectile vomited in the shower despite my best efforts to calm my system. I could barely eat during the day; I felt triumphant if I could eat a small container of coconut yogurt and a string cheese I found in the fridge, leftover from my roommate’s 7-year-old’s lunch the prior day.
Yoga Sunday was my church. The Church Of The Broken Heart. It allowed me to breathe, be still in my thoughts. I let go – and let god. I cried out all of my pain, and feelings of shame and failure. I gave birth to a new self on a yoga mat at this very special church.
I remind her: “You are letting go an old version of ‘you’ and welcoming in a new one. Birthing is scary stuff. Just remember – our vaginas are powerful – and resilient. They (usually) bounce back from birth, it just may be different than you knew before and in your case, it will be better than ever.”
“At least now I am laughing through my tears thinking about my strong vag. It’s so true!” she texted. “No wonder you are so strong and brave. You have been through so much! Yours must be made of Kevlar.”
I just got off Skype with a friend celebrating her birthday surrounded by many of my loved ones in Managua, the busy capital of Nicaragua. While it is Mother’s Day here in the States, it won’t be celebrated there until later this month. But all this talk about strength, and birthing, and Kevlar vaginas has me thinking about all the women in the world who are strong and resilient ladies, many of them mothers. Like Ines, my friend’s mother, who gave birth to 10 children in a time when her country was war-torn and violent. Several of her kids were born while she stood up in a river washing clothes on the rocks for local families. One made its arrival as she traversed a steep hill, a pan of wet laundry balanced on her head. Her arms reached up to the sky to balance her load as her new precious baby found itself new life slipping out from her womb as she walked. That, my friends, is a Kevlar vagina.
I can’t say if my vagina is or is not made of Kevlar. I am not bulletproof. I get shot, I hurt, I fall. But I do know that I am strong.
I guarantee, however, even if mine isn’t Kevlar it sure does have a touch of that tough metal titanium. Ours all do. As we birth children and rebirth ourselves – we always keep going, even if in slightly different shape than before.
Yoga Sunday has a new meaning for me after today. I will no longer attend The Church Of The Broken Heart. Instead I will hit the mat and say a little prayer. The Prayer Of The Kevlar Vagina.
Kevlar Vaginas. The Women of Titanium.
I bow to you.
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