I had some time to myself last night. My husband and our three teenagers headed off to attend Winter Jam. Due to the limitations of this thing called My Body I could not go. Loud music gives me a headache, the thumping of bass (or the clapping of thousands of fans all at once) causes my heart to clench and do its own kind of painful dance, my vision has issues with blurriness and black spots (think black oil on top of water) that move, and beyond that it takes a lot of focus for me to pick out and understand the lyrics in a great deal of the music that’s out there. That brain power takes effort that can leave me gasping for breath! But that’s not what this post is about, the ills and woes of my limitations. I work around it. I deal.
So I stayed home and enjoyed some much needed quiet time. Well, quiet isn’t the most accurate word for most of the evening. We live in a cul-de-sac with kids who believe our yard is their playground and that the only volumes permissible are loud or screaming. I’ll take it, however, over the sound of teens revving and peeling out to impress the girls, or constant sirens. These kids are just living and being and that’s a good thing in my opinion.
I rested. I spent some time prone on my bed with a kitty for company. Embracing the release of tension I worked on reading a book I wanted to get finished by Sunday so I could return it to the friend who lent it to me. Flipping through Netflix I found a television program (Private Practice) to have on in the background and found I enjoyed it very much. I’ll be watching more, even if only in the background, sooner rather than later.
There was time for a shower, time to pray, time to sip some hot coffee and down multiple glasses of ice cold water. I wasn’t my labels last night. I was ME.
That’s important. That’s essential to mental health, to sanity, to kindness, to learning who you really are and what it is you want to strive to be.
Because ME last night isn’t the ME I want to be. I know that. Very few people are at the place in their lives where they can look in the mirror, smile and say “Hey you. You’re perfect. You’re right where you need and want to be. There’s nothing about you that needs changing”. I’ve never met anyone who could truly say that. I’ve met people who believed they were happy, who were content, who had given up any dreams and hopes they might have had because life happened.
Life has happened to me. I’ll admit it. I’ve had dreams but it’s been a long time since I’ve actively reached for what I want. Last night there were a few moments when I felt free from my labels, as if God had given me a glimpse of the peace and joy I could have. Not by being alone, not by being somewhere different. No, I felt a knock at my heart. He’d given me a gift of foresight into what I could find INSIDE my own life, inside where I am.
The only requirement, the only thing He asked, was that I try. That I take a step. Then another. That I reach out with open arms towards what I want.
I felt that then. I don’t “feel” it so much now. But it’s not so much about holding onto that feeling. If I wait for that feeling to come back then I might be waiting a very long time.
Life is here. There’s pain and frustration. I have teenagers. You better believe I’ve got stress and fear and worry galore! It’s very hard to let go of that, to focus more on “being” me. I’ve got a picture in my head, an out of focus, shaking picture, but a picture nonetheless, of the truth of me reflected on the outside.
I’ve got a long way to go but I’m oh so thankful for that glimpse. It doesn’t mean that all those feelings are gone. They’re not. It doesn’t mean the person that I am with all my faults and failures is suddenly perfect, those responses, thoughts and feelings wiped away with a magical cloth. No. It’s all still there. The failures will happened. Everyday. But there’s a “knowing” inside that wasn’t there before.
Maybe it’s hope.
There are things I want to do, things I need to do, things I should do.
I will do them.
If I choose to do them.
Only I can choose to do them. They’ll never happen if I sit on my ass and wait. If I take what I’ve been given and focus on just surviving then the joy I could have will be sucked from my life and I’ll be left a dried out husk with nothing to give because what I had, what was me, faded away into nothing.
My children will do as they please. In the long run I can only listen, offer advice and pray. I’ll worry. I’m a Mom. I can’t help that. But they’re all old enough to begin their journey into the land of mistakes and consequences, of accomplishment and goals. We’ll be right here through it all. I’m scared as hell at what could, and might, go wrong. I can’t help it. They’re beautiful, talented and awesome children. I’m using the word “awesome” on purpose. I believe with all my whole heart that they have the potential to better this world, to do amazing things, to make an impact on the lives of so many. Now I just have to hold onto that belief as I watch them figure out how to get there, as they journey through the forest of doubt, as they alternately fight and embrace the monsters they encounter. That belief must sustain me as they became battle scarred and even broken. I’ll encourage them to leave breadcrumbs. I’ll show them where the light is so they can look toward it when, not if, they get lost.
It’s heartwrenching. It’s terrible to be a mother!
It’s also one of the greatest gifts a woman can be given. EVER.
I learned last night to be thankful. I did not learn to let go of the fear. That’s a step I haven’t been able to take yet. But it’s better. I’m less stressed. I’m smiling. Trust me, the very fact that I’m smiling matters.
My children are individuals. My husband is an individual. I am an individual.
I needed to be reminded of that.
So I think I’m going to focus on being me for a little bit.
Maybe it’s time each of us take some time, search the woods and find that partially hidden path to what we want to be. Once you find it, start down it.
I’ll holler at you from my path, offer a wave and encourage you as best I can.
-May the people be blessed through you-