Motherwort is a common plant seen in backyards and along sidewalks here in West Michigan. I first came into contact with her in my backyard about four years ago. The latin name for Motherwort is Leonurus cardiaca - Lion Hearted. Now this is what got me, even though I didn't know it at the time. As I look back over the past few years, I can see the thread that has been illuminated by this plant.
Shortly after I began taking Motherwort (tincture), I noticed my heart opening, softening. I was introduced to the connection between shame and vulnerability. Shame tells us to keep our lips sealed, our secrets are safe held within the tightly constricted spaces within our bodies. Shame tells us the lie that we are alone, that we are the only one who has ever experienced that thing. Vulnerability shines a light into the darkness and isolation that shame creates. Vulnerability often means being honest with ourselves and with others. Opening our heart up, softening at the edges. Allowing others to love us, learning how to love ourselves, even in the most difficult of spaces.
At first, I thought that being Lion Hearted meant that I was strong, tough, and fierce all the time. And it does. Those things and others. I needed to embrace the opposites as well, vulnerability and softness. Speaking from the heart takes courage and tenderness. Because it can get messy and usually it feels scary. I have found that fierceness and vulnerability go together, they are sides of the same coin. I cannot survive if I am only fierce or only vulnerable.
So I am learning to dance between the two, to embrace that they can both exist at the same time.