“The exception is more interesting than the rule. The rule proves nothing; the exception proves everything. In the exception the power of real life breaks through the crust of a mechanism that has become torpid by repetition.”
― Carl Schmitt, Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty
“What better way of healing than to find our center of self-sovereignty? Isn’t that the whole point of healing?”
― Steven Pressfield, The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
My world is a sovereign state. I found my independence early. My state is clean and orderly. It is secure and strong. My state enjoys predictability and routine. Those within its borders follow that lead. There is an easiness to routine; it is comforting. We plan strategically, both short term and long-term. We are adaptable: if something is not working, we quickly come up with an alternative, but then settle into a new routine. I project my desire for order onto neighboring states.
The addition of children leads to a degree of unpredictability. They cannot be controlled. Becoming a parent altered my state a lot. I had to balance routine and predictability against the chaos that can be life with young children. But I grew into the change, figuring out how to instill my desires for our family against their independent minds. They have responded well. I can see myself in them, in how much they crave knowing “what will happen next.” They like the steadiness.
What a sovereign state can never control are natural disasters, A hurricane plummeted onto our family in the past year, leaving wreckage. We had no warning, and we were unprepared. How do you pick up the pieces when what you have worked so hard to built has been destroyed?
I have also been threatened by invasion from an outside force called Depression. For awhile, I kept it at bay using medication as my defense. But as I have let down my guard, it creeps in around the edges, leaving me vulnerable. Do I put up the defenses again? Or do I continue to pull back, and work to build a more solid foundation. Note I say learn, as I know that it will not happen automatically. I would have to work to learn to navigate the day, to accept the feeling as part of my day, and learn to create my own defenses.
I have sovereignty over myself. I allow myself space. I claim sovereignty over my experience. No one can define it for me. It is making a choice between a defensive barrier that forces me to feel nothing, and does not allow me to grieve, to letting down the barrier, and allowing grief and pain to seep into my state of being.
There is another aspect to my sovereign state and that is motherhood. Today is Mother’s Day, a day celebrated across my state and many others. I honor and recognize the many states of motherhood: those who are, those who will be, those who are trying to be, those that want to be. Those who care for children, those who care for adults, those who care for the world around them, those who care for someone no longer on this earth. This day is for all women who claim the experience of motherhood. It is limitless.