Cupping. It’s a technique some athletes use to improve the rate of recovery after training. It leaves red, circular spots on their skin due to the strong suction. In some cases, it can leave pretty substantial bruising. Reportedly, these marks can last several weeks, so it’s obviously a painful process.
I feel like I should have these markings on my body sometimes. Like I birthed these beings, then someone hooked them up to me and they sucked with the strongest force you’ve ever known. Wait… that did happen.
OK, beyond the nursing stage, it can feel like these beautiful little miracles I was blessed to bring forth into life are sucking the air out of me. It’s a constant pulling for attention that can be utterly exhausting. It’s the never-ending piles of laundry and dishes that seem to multiply, papers to sign, and mouths to feed. It’s organizing schedules and carpools, tending to sick kids, and settling sibling disputes. I can feel as stretched as the gum my kids continually string from their mouths.
And I do have the ‘markings’. We all do. No, it’s not visible bruising, but there are physical marks. They are called wrinkles, gray hair, and dark circles under our eyes. And trust me, these marks are lasting more than a few weeks.
But beyond the physical, there are emotional scars left forever. It’s the heartbreak that comes with a wayward child or the child struggling with a learning disability. It’s the gut wrenching realization that your child isn’t being welcomed into their peer group or is struggling with depression. It’s the paralyzing fear when you hear the phone ring late at night when your child isn’t home. So, yeah, motherhood comes with it’s own pains.
However, while cupping is painful and leaves marks, the suction; suction so strong it causes physical marks, brings healing and recovery to the body. It allows the muscles to be saturated in rich nutrients and takes away the waste the muscles have produced. Eventually, the bruising disappears and the muscles have renewed strength.
Healing. Well, that’s interesting. Maybe motherhood is again similar to this method of recovery. At times, it seems these kids are sucking the life out of us. And maybe they are, but maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
We all know that kids have this amazing ability to force us to face our selfishness, our insecurities, and our fears. They can shed light on weaknesses we were unaware of. They can bring about an anger within us that we never had any idea we possessed.
On the other hand, they can make us realize that we, in and of ourselves, can’t do this job given to us. They will bring us to our knees in prayer for strength and endurance for the days to come. They will have us stop and steady ourselves with truths this world can’t provide. If we allow it, their “suction” can take away the waste and saturate us with a richer life. In Unseen, Sara Hagerty said it best when she stated…
Until I was over my head with five children, I never needed to pray the Bible under my breath, up the stairs and down, from one bedroom to the next.
Motherhood makes you realize you are in over your head, you are limited, and you will stumble.
Cupping hurts. Motherhood hurts. But both bring healing, strengthen our character, and grow us in our endeavors. Allow the suction of ‘the waste’ to happen and permit the nutritive process to take place. So keep swimming, mama, keep swimming.