Leto has taught me many things. So many things about motherhood and the nature of true love, especially. How to love fiercely, how to protect, how to make decisions based solely on the welfare of my children. She taught me how to truly care about others, because for a very long time in my life, all I cared about was protecting myself.
You see, when you grow up without anyone to look out for you, to really look out for you, you’ll quickly realize that all you have is yourself. And when you only have yourself, you have no reason to love anyone. Love is the only thing worth living for, and I didn’t love anyone or anything until my first child was born.
Learning to love and to give was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When my daughter was young, my depression was at its worst. I had long since switched myself off emotionally. I manipulated my psyche so I wouldn’t feel. It was the pain that I wanted to avoid, but I inadvertantly took away all potential for joy, as well. And when you can’t feel joy, you can’t express joy, or love, to a child. Once I realized this, I realized I would only be perpetuating the pattern that drove me to abandon my feelings to begin with. I would be irreversibly harming my child, and I couldn’t allow that. I had to change the pattern.
At that time I was just starting to know Apollon, and part of learning about Him meant learning about His Mother. So I read Her lore. Through reading, I watched Her traverse the world in search of safety for Her Children, and I watched Her bring Them into the world with ease, and with great pain. She never gave up hope, and She always did what was right and necessary for Herself and Her Children. That was the lesson I needed. It was what prompted me to begin my healing process.
It wasn’t easy. Healing is possibly the most excruciating process one can endure. And for me, in order to heal, I first had to learn how to feel again.
When I made the decision to reintegrate my emotions, the first thing that flooded back was all the pain that I’d wanted freedom from. Before I could learn joy, I had to face my despair, and I had to conquer it. Apollon and Dionysos were both with me, so I wasn’t alone, but really, a person is always alone when facing themselves, and all the things which make them who and what they are. I faced myself, and I saw myself, and I slowly learned to love myself. That was the necessary first step to feeling and giving love to my child.
All of this I owe to Leto, first and foremost. She was the example. She was the catalyst to change. Her strength gave me the hope that maybe there was a better way than emotional numbness. Today I can love and feel for many, not only myself and my children. I can give Apollon and Alexander, and Someone else, the love They deserve. I can love my Court, and my subjects. I can even love my friends. None of which would have been possible if I hadn’t tried to know Leto– if She hadn’t shown me the way. For that, I will forever be grateful. Leto gave me the most precious gift imaginable. She gave me the right to call myself a mother. And I thank Her.