At the end of the first week back to school in Florida, I stood in a line with moms beaten, worried, and tired. We were from everywhere in Miami. We wore business clothes, jeans, and sweatpants.
The “perfect” mom with the straight, red hair, black V-neck sweater, and pencil skirt raised her eyebrows as the Latina mom in sweatpants rolled her eyes and said, “I finally understand my mom. I used to be so embarrassed when she’d hand out coupons at the counter and now I’m trying to figure out how I’m gonna pay for all this.”
She raised her eyes to the sky as if to say, “Save me! Help me.”
I pulled the plug from my ear, the earphone muffling the depressing music on the speakers at CVS. “I know. I feel the same,” I said, desperately reaching out to her.
The redhead rolled her eyes again. “It’s crazy. They kill us.”
I looked into their eyes and the week of troubles emptied from my soul. The week of upset, anger, resentment, and fighting left me because I wasn’t alone. I was with women unlike me and just like me.
We knew pain. The kind of pain religious leaders just won’t ever understand.
The kind of pain kids frown at.
The kind of pain only mothers know.
And, my heart emptied.
In those few moments, no one could’ve predicted that my heart would empty. No religious mantra could fix me. But, right there, with women I didn’t even know, my heart emptied.
And, I was free.
Find those moments that free you and recognize them as religious.
They belong to you.