By Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt
Because of my recent changes in diet, I’ve been questioning my right to be a contributor to rawmom.com. My focus is no longer on raw, nor is it on vegan. Some days I feel like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
I know I’m a mom. I know that part of the equation is still valid. I still wake up every day intimately connected to this other person sleeping up in her loft. I worry and fuss over her, buy her stupid little quirky gifts, and get frustrated when she gives out attitude. I also wouldn’t trade it for anything – although some days she tests that resolve. But I know that I chose this, we chose each other, and I need the lessons she teaches me sometimes more than she does mine. I know that I am a mom.
But am I still raw? What if being a “raw mom” was more than just a dietary choice? Here are some definitions of “raw” I found on an internet search engine:
- natural: (used especially of commodities) being unprocessed or manufactured using only simple or minimal processes
- having the surface exposed and painful; “a raw wound”
- not processed or refined; “raw sewage”
- naked: devoid of elaboration or diminution or concealment; bare and pure; “naked ambition”; “raw fury”; “you may kill someone someday with your raw power”
- untempered and unrefined; “raw talent”; “raw beauty”
- sensitive: hurting; “the tender spot on his jaw”
- lacking training or experience; “the new men were eager to fight”; “raw recruits”
- informal terms for nakedness; “in the raw”; “in the altogether”; “in his birthday suit”
All of us enter motherhood completely unprepared for this journey. I have a friend who lost her child in utero at 4 months. That was years ago, but she is still responsible for mothering that child as much as the 70-year-old mother with the 50-year-old son. We never know what our mothering journey will look like. We come into this raw.
For me, mothering exposed some unbelievable pains that I thought I’d dealt with, pains from my experiences with my own mother. These pains left me vulnerable, smarting, and uncertain. I found myself raw at what I thought were inopportune times. Now I see these were simply catalysts for pushing through some hard work. But it is the mother who can adapt and flow and move within these trials that finds her power, her “raw power.” It is that power that comes from the deepest connection to the Divine. It is that power that symbolizes rootedness and faith in the unknown. Raw power allows self-forgiveness when she strays off-course and unleashes that amazing capacity to love again.
This is the power that manifests each mother’s raw beauty. “Untempered and unrefined,” our raw beauty is that part of us that seeks authenticity… no matter our diet.
Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt is a chef and teacher and owns Rite Food and Company. She also hand-crafts a line of raw chocolates called Rite Chocolate .
Lisa Marie and her homeschooled daughter, Mo, record a weekly podcast – called Sweet Peas Podcast – chronicling their food-centered life journey together.