Life can be tough. Just when we think we have all of the coping mechanisms in place to knock down stress and anxiety, things still just seem too hard. Exercise, clean diet, and even medication are no match for tough competitors like the fear, uncertainty, and disappointment that can sneak into our thoughts and control our behavior. And just like a sensory-seeking and dysregulated 3-year-old, we feel uncomfortable in our environment and find ourselves trantruming our way out of the pain.
Being overwhelmed with self-doubt often feels like something has broken open inside me. The box of thoughts and emotions that I like to keep closed up tightly has unlocked and its contents are spilling out for the world to see. I’m scrambling to pick up the negative thoughts and spiraling anxiety and close them back up before anybody notices that I’m less than perfect.
So my question today is…what do we do with all of these truths when they are out in the open of our own consciousness? How do we handle it when feelings of abandonment, worthlessness, disappointment, fear, sadness, and judgment are out of the box eagerly waiting their turn in line for their chance to take us down?
We can sit and wallow in sadness and despair like our dirty clothes that litter the laundry room floor.
We can drive guilt and fear around like passengers in our mini van.
We can trudge on and ignore our truths, forcing them in the closet like the old toys and clothes that need to be donated.
Knowing that these are not the real answers and only fill the box with feelings of failure and mismanagement…how do you squeeze in the time to effectively deal with your truths? It’s challenging to say the least, to find the time between your older child’s cough and fever and the younger one’s refusal to sleep when your husband’s out of town and there are no clean dishes.
And what’s worse? If you suffered at all in these truths, you know that getting your head in the right place to deal with overwhelming emotion and trying to be a parent at the same time is like watching the sand slip through the hourglass, knowing that it will be desperately harder to get a grip on yourself when time runs out.
Nothing screams louder at times like these than the need for space and protection. The urge to go hide under the darkness of my covers is so strong, I’ll go back to it only minutes after being out of bed in the morning. I must find the sense of peace and quiet that is a like a precious power to stop the spinning demands and self-doubt. I’m seeking a chance to reconnect with the adult voice in my head that leads me back to my strength and faith, and when I finally find it, I take a deep breath and hold it, allowing all of the positive energy to enter my core in the form of strength and self-acceptance.
Strength and courage in these quiet moments allows me to sit with my box of truths and open it slowly, pulling them out one by one. And if I’m feeling really brave, I’ll examine and feel fear, judgment, and worthlessness for what they really are. I’ll embrace the pain and ask myself some tough questions. Where does this come from? Why does it hurt so bad? Who can help me with this?
And with even more bravery, you may find the strength to wear your truth like a piece of fine jewelry–knowing that only others who own and wear pieces such as yours will complement your truths for their uniqueness and antiquity. You find pride in yourself and your truths will tell your story. Until one day you feel so good to be beaming in your truths that you notice your box lays empty and shattered. There’s nothing left to lock up and push down. You’ll wear each truth that enters the box proudly, handling it with unique strength that comes to only you in your quiet and brave moments.
And so my dream is this…we will no longer suffer in isolation. We will unite as mothers, empty our boxes, share our truths and emerge from these dark days of motherhood with our jewels on and shining bright.