I started playing with a poem on self/compassion and imagery of the womb the other day. Out of curiosity, I googled the two words together and discovered that, in Hebrew, compassion is associated with the womb. I had conveniently forgotten this if I ever learned it in class.
As I have been doing a lot this Advent season, I reflect upon the Christ-bearer, Mary. She shared her body with Jesus, providing shelter and nourishment. As others have written, she went through pain and discomfort, her body expanding, filling, and stretching, breaking to give life to her son. Julian of Norwich has written of Christ providing maternal sustenance through his body and blood during the Eucharist, but before Christ suffered and died so we could live, his mother suffered so he could live.