Preface – In going through my Writing folder on my external, I came across this piece that I wrote as an internal whap across my head when our middle daughter left home for the first time as a means to pull myself back into line. And while there are no daughters leaving home this day, it is relevant to how I was feeling this morning. Note, was for reading through it before posting here has reminded me of a few home truths 😉
Sometimes the descent to the bottom of the hill is less about misfortune, bad judgment and failure upon your part and more about needing the bumps, bruises and scrapes you get on the way down.
Once you’re at the bottom, covered in the markings of the descent downward and sitting in the mud, you start to realize a few things.
No man, or woman is a rock! You might like to think you are, you might want to be. But you’re not. It is simply not how we are created to be. We are meant to need to lean on others and admit that we’re a little broken and bruised and in need of care. There is no shame in this.
Self-pity is not the obscene word or sentiment that so many believe it to be. It is in fact a call to take pity on yourself. Not to wallow about in the mud crying ‘Woe is me,’ but rather to afford one the right to be kind to themselves. To feel sad, lonely, or frustrated with failures is human. We are not divine. Accept this, embrace it and allow yourself to experience it without guilt.
You can’t be everything to everyone. This will leave you exhausted and empty instead of gratified and energized. Sometimes you just have to say ‘No’ and turn your face away from the disappointment you might see on another’s face. True strength, is learning to say ‘No’.
You are allowed to cry. The world will not come to an end, people will not point fingers and make fun of you, and it might just show that you actually are human to others. Crying is not a weakness, it is an outlet. Even cowboys cry.
You are not fat. You are not ugly. And you are not old. You only feel that way because you have neglected being kind to yourself. So that when you look in the mirror, all you can see is the tired, washed out, empty rag that you feel like inside.
You are not responsible for the happiness of others. Only they can be responsible for their own happiness by the choices and decisions they make. Stop trying to make everyone happy as you will only end up feeling like a failure when those that wish to remain unhappy do so.
You may feel the sorrow and hurt of the world, but you cannot fix all of it. All you can do is be aware of not adding to it yourself. Contrary to how you were brought up, having a soft heart and feeling the pain of others is not a bad thing. Just do not make that pain your own.
If you insist on walking the mile in another’s shoes, you will find there are times when all you will get are blisters on your own feet. Choose the shoes you walk in with care and don’t allow others to walk all over you either.
Wounds take time to heal. Expect some setback days along the way. Hurting and sadness is normal. Wallowing is not.
One of your babies has left home. You may cry and feel sad. You are not a Momma bird. You are a human mother that will always love her children.
Now, pick yourself up, blow your nose and look in the mirror. Who do you see?
A weak fool that wallows in a sense of failure, or a woman strong enough so as to be able to own her feelings?
Good. Now get back out there and fight the good fight!