becoming acquainted with solitude

A few weeks ago I shared with you all that I have been working my spiritual ass off to heal parts of myself that have been closed off and blocked for a long time. About a year ago my anxiety started to rear its very ugly (and uncomfortable) head again. I have struggled with anxiety at various times in my life. Here’s the thing about anxiety. It’s an alarm. It’s my body’s way of getting my attention. To wake me up. Instead of hitting “snooze” on this inevitable alarm system I decided to get some help to dismantle these wounds. A couple of weeks ago I was doing “the work” and I found myself in a giant wound. My self expression. Or lack there of. At some point in my life I stopped allowing myself to dream up beautiful and extravagant things for myself. I can recognize when the original wound was created. I was a little girl. This wound has festered and carried over into my life as a woman, a wife and a mom. I have lost myself in my family and all the responsibilities that come with those titles. And that’s the thing, wife? Mom? Those are just titles. They are not who I am. Anyways, that was a very long winded way for me to express to you that I wanted to share a journal entry I wrote yesterday. Writing has always been something that I love. LOVE. My husband encouraged me to share it and so I am going to take a leap and do just that. I am not sharing this for accolades of any sort. It’s merely me jumping in feet first and sharing a piece of myself that has been closed for a very long time. And if you are touched or moved by my words along the way than that will make the vulnerability worthwhile. That’s another passion of mine. Helping others. Truly seeing others. Letting them know they aren’t alone. So here goes.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

“There are voices which we hear in solitude, but they grow faint and inaudible as we enter the world.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Solitude has been something that I have avoided for a long time. I have always felt afraid of solitude. The echoes of past wounds are deafening. Any time I have been able to catch a few moments of solitude that’s when it happens. An orchestra sounds. All my thoughts, fears and dreams would, and do come blaring in like a symphony. A symphony of chaos. It’s overwhelming and I have avoided it all costs. And for far too long. I am choosing today, here and now to find moments of solitude for myself. Maybe that’s been the problem all along. I’m not spending enough time in quiet contemplation. Maybe, just maybe these overwhelming thoughts and emotions need their own voice and they are taking any opportunity they can to get my attention. They are competing with each other because they can never get a word in edgewise because I am the one who has shut down. I am the one who is refusing to spend a moment in quiet solitude. Maybe if I am deliberate about this time of solitude I will create a stage of sorts for each and every thought that enters my mind. Maybe if I get lost and allow I will find myself and in turn create my own orchestra. My own unique symphony. A symphony of wonder and amazement. Maybe the chorus will heal me. Maybe the solitude will help me piece myself back together again. The music of my own creation will be what fuels me and guides me back to myself and my dreams. And even my fears. Because given the space to just be I will realize that there is room for it all. And what a lovely sound that will be. Solitude will be the place where, for the first time I will hear it all. And I will sing along  to my own song. The song of my soul and the longings that reside within. There in lies the magic that the quiet offers. Herein lies the truth, I have nothing to fear and I never did.

 

 

to the mom with the screaming child at target

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in the tantrum trenches

This afternoon I had to make a Target run for toilet paper and other essentials. As I was leaving I hit up the Starbucks to grab a much needed caffeine fix. In front of me was a beautiful mother with 2 children. One looked to be around 7 and the other was a baby. Before I continue I must note this woman’s stoic bravery for stepping into this establishment with children. With baby on hip she reached down under her cart to retrieve her purse. I swear this was some crazy acrobatic move that you would only see at the circus. I was impressed. I ordered my coffee and moved out of line to wait for my elixir. While we waited she received a phone call from someone who I can only assume was her husband. As she attempted to have an adult conversation with the individual on the other end her children started to acting up. I overheard her quickly say, “Nevermind, bye.” She received her drink and I could hear her baby wailing off in the distance as they continued on with their day. The woman who was behind me in line looked at me and nervously laughed, “That was awkward wasn’t it?” I smiled and said, “Oh not at all. I am a mom and I totally get it.” I bid the woman farewell and as I left this mother stayed in my memory and on my heart all afternoon. I decided to write her (and all mother warriors) a letter….

To the woman with the screaming child at Target,

You have been on my heart. I too am a mother and the last time I took my daughter into Target with me she smacked a stranger’s ass. So I want you to know that I was encouraged by your presence this afternoon. I now know that I am not the only mom who walks into that store full of hope and leave feeling completely defeated. Sometimes as a mom I feel like people don’t really see me. They see my unruly child and swiftly make judgments about my parenting choices. Of course that is only my perception. So I want you to know that I see you. I see you dressed in your yoga pants and no make up and I want you to know that you are beautiful. I see you pick up your Venti Egg Nog frappuccino and I know from experience that you ordered that size because you have children that will undoubtedly ask for some and you will probably only enjoy 5 sips of it. I hear you on the phone with your husband and as quick as you answer you have to hang up. You are such a great wife for taking the call because you know your children are not the only humans that need you. I see you lovingly interact with your busy little girl while you quietly soothe your crying baby. You have the patience of Job. I watch as you hurry off all the while attempting not to make eye contact with another human as you pass by. I want you to know that I have been where you are. I have made that walk of shame too many times to count. You need to know that I do not judge you. I am in awe of you. You taught me a valuable lesson today. You reminded me that we are all doing the best we can and we all need a kind face smiling back at us. Just maybe we will look into that strangers eyes and see our beautiful reflection mirrored back to us. You reminded me that as moms we are our worst critic. We need to stop that. We are raising our children to be functioning humans in this world and that is no easy task. As I watched you with your babies I witnessed the pure grace and messiness that is motherhood. You also reminded me that there should never be any shame in being a mom and God forbid shame when our children (and they will) act like an untamed beast in public. Their breakdowns have nothing to do with how well we are parenting. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that their fits are proof of our unconditional love for them. They know that no matter how poorly they act we will get frustrated, but their is no tantrum that will change the love we have for them. I also am frightened of children who never throw fits in public from time to time. I end this letter thanking you. Thank you for reminding me of my humanness and that my struggles as a mom have no bearing on my capabilities. You are amazing and your children are so blessed that you are their mama. You are strong and brave. You are nurturing and patient. I saw myself in you today and what I saw was an extraordinary soul. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Our silent interaction today was anything but awkward. It was enlightening and empowering. Just thought you needed to know that.

Signed,

a fellow mom who has been known to hide in the dressing room at Target