As I tried to put my finger on what it was that was happening in my heart and mind to day I went through many words. Was I sad? Hangry (food deprivation is a mood)? Frustrated? Uninspired? I just couldn’t quite put my finger on the pulse to describe what felt like simmering inside. The day was going well, I had only had to raise my voice once which was making me feel like a champion. Nevertheless, there was a palpable internal alarm alerting me to the fact that something was just…off.
As evening drew down and I realized I was saying “no” to the 34,503 request to play Legos with my big girl, I finally recognized that was going on. See, the culmination of what I could now physically feel was the manifestation of some thoughts I had been having for a while. I have seen the way I parent and noticed some areas for growth and improvement but also the reality that change is hard. As I parent the younger version of myself, I am mindful of the type of relationship I used to want with my mother and try to be that. Here’s the reality though…it doesn’t work like that.
And so, as I sat next to my girl and quietly let out a few tears of vulnerability as I held her next to me, the elongated limbs of a child that once fit on my chest, I decided not to say I was just “emotional.” When we undermine and sugarcoat who we are or how we feel, we are doing ourselves a disservice. One cannot overcome unless they first recognize the battle in front of them. We are saved by grace. We are all imperfect. And there is yet hope. When I lean on that hope then I can boldly look myself in the mirror and say, “you are not the mother you wanted to be but doing better than you even know.” I can admit to myself that the desire to control the happenings and people around me, stem out of a adolescence of abuse and secrets that I nurtured to stay afloat. When I feel myself withdrawing, I recognize that sometimes seeing my life in totality is frightening because so many people look to me and I don’t want to disappoint them. It is in these truths and a few more that freedom and release occurred tonight.
Social media, religious activity and human logic will lead us to believe that if we just continue to “do” the right things, “it” will harmoniously come together. NOT! While trying to navigate adulthood, motherhood and marriage the pull for our time and attention can be intense. You know the feeling? A thirty line task list, leaving space for spontaneity but also needing to catch up, all while desiring to pursue that goal or passion. If we aren’t careful the by-product of “it” can be overwhelming. And the labels we create to make “it” sound pretty and manageable will do us in. I am notorious for being “tired,” when really I am depressed. Or being “uninspired,” which really translates into “I want to focus on pursuing a goal/passion but in this moment, I must parent or adult and I don’t want to.” Let me tell you sister, it’s okay to think it and feel it and even say it because you are NOT alone!
Our Father in Heaven, knows the number of hairs on my head and he sees you too my friend. He knows our struggles and weaknesses even when we do our best to ignore, hide or dress them up. He is there…waiting. Waiting for us be weak that He maybe our strength. It is in the acknowledgement and raw truth of where we are in a particular moment that we can take a deep breath. We run from the truth because it hurts. It can be messy. And sometimes our personal perceived “super power” of holding it together (been there) leads us down a lonely road. Truth requires vulnerability and who has time for that along with laundry, meal prep and let’s don’t even talk about these homeschool lesson plans to finish the year strong? But I challenge you to give yourself the space to do just that. Even if it’s just the six minutes you shed those tears and breathe.
Our truths as women, mothers and whatever other roles we fill are not always pleasant or without blemish. Yet they make us who we are and by changing the narrative to make it more appealing or palatable to others, we are denying ourselves to opportunity to fully live in the complex beauty of who we are. My story is one that I have been put in positions to share more sincerely recently and it’s hard because I realize that for almost 22 years it’s been that part of me I rehearsed and recited but without consistent emotional acknowledgement. Just typing those words are a HUGE step in the process of healing I will probably experience for the remainder of my life. Here is what I do know, we can live proudly in the moment of our humanness so that when it’s time to call “it” by it’s true name, we are stronger and more resilient for it.