Friday, September 23, 2016
It has four chambers. It pumps blood throughout my body supplying oxygen and nutrients to my tissues to sustain my life. In it’s most basic scientific function….it is what keeps me alive.
But if you look beyond science to the essence of the heart, it represents to me so much more. It is where my soul resides. Where I love. Where I hurt. And where MY very being resides. It’s sounds a little hokey, I know….but it’s what I believe.
I have recently had some tough days. Days where I need to fall back on what I know to be true, that I am a good person who deserves happiness, and love, and compassion….
And what I have realized, is that I think my heart is leaking.
Inside my heart, I store not only my love for those in my life, but also my love for myself, and some time ago, I think the chamber that houses my own self compassion and love, has slowly begun to leak away. It wasn’t damaged, or broken, or stolen from me….it just began to slowly seep away. And I don’t even think I noticed….until the day I needed it, and there just wasn’t enough there.
I can feel my heart physically beat strong in my chest. I can see my heart rate on my monitor I wear on my wrist. But I can’t FEEL the part of it that makes me feel strong. It’s working on the scientific level, my blood is pumping, but the essence is tired.
So, in thinking about my heart, I know what I need to do. I need to once again find kindness and compassion for myself. I need to allow myself to care for my own needs, and feel what needs to be felt. I need to remember, that I am not always a pillar of strength, and sometimes I need to lean upon others to keep me growing strong.
I need to remember that quote about not being able to fill other’s cups if my own is empty.
But more than all of that, I think I need to take a minute every day, and place my hand upon my heart and feel it. Feel it beating. Feel it pumping my blood, and remember what that means. This life I have is powerful and true. I need to remind myself that there is room in my heart for love and compassion for myself as well as those that I love so dearly. That will keep my spirit strong. It will make me a better mother, a better wife, and a better friend. It has to start with me.
So I guess I’ll start there.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Nobody warned me this would be so hard.
Growing up. It’s hard.
I watch my children change on a daily basis it seems. One entering high school for the first time tomorrow. Filled with excitement, and wonder, and terror all at once. My worry for her is being happy. Finding her place. Knowing without a doubt that she is a good person, worthy of love and happiness. That no matter who is “popular” that she is VALUABLE. A much more important and powerful adjective.
The second….my boy. Starting 7th grade. I have very strong protective feelings for him. They told us he may not walk, or talk, or thrive. And he did them all. He’s smart, and funny, and happy. I want him to see that his quirkiness is a gift. That his focus is an asset, and his contribution to this world may not be as an athlete, but he will make great things happen. He may not be a sports hero, but his life is a MIRACLE.
We watch them, our children. We watch them succeed, and we watch them struggle. We watch them grow, and become these amazing, wonderful, beautiful people. We cry when they cry. We smile when they smile. We do our jobs as parents, and we do our best to teach them well.
They grow up in front of us, and we do what we can to help them navigate the path. But that is not the “growing up” I was speaking of being so hard.
I’m speaking of my own growing up.
Nobody warned me that every success, or joy, or fear they experience would only show me how far I still have to go. I do my best. I love my kids…..but every part of being a parent shows me that “growing up” doesn’t stop at a certain age.
I still have lessons to learn. I still have realizations about myself to make. I still have journeys to navigate and adventures to have. And not matter how old I seem to be getting, there is always more for me to grasp.
I still face the first day of school with butterflies in my stomach, not only for the changes in their lives, but also for the changes in mine. Each year brings us new adventures, new happiness, new sadness, and new lessons to learn. Each year also brings the realization that as they grow, they need us in different ways, and that as time passes we get closer to them not needing us as much at all.
Growing up is hard, because what I am finding is that growing up, really, is trusting in ourselves, whether it’s what to wear the first day of school or if we’ve done our jobs as a parent. And that’s hard. It was hard as a kid, and it’s hard as an adult.
I have to trust I’m doing well, and I have to trust they will too.
Growing up is hard. For us all.