I try to live in the present...but lately I question if I am able to do so with any real grace.
It is a true test to be unable to feel and hear your own thoughts as two little ones squeal, run and push you for constant attention. The ability to remain present, peaceful and balanced seems to me a sick joke created by older retired people (or singles, or monks, or those who have endless wells of personal resources to create their day).
When you have heard mommy for the 1,000th time in 45 minutes the nerves of the most stoic blue heron must come undone even a little bit.
Just agree with me here.
I mean, I swear I have seen on a Discovery channel episode a mother bear, tired of being trampled by her two cubs, once and for all putting and end to the racket by a deep grunt and a hearty pat out of the way. If she loses presence and patience, certainly human momma bears have a hall pass?!
Having a boy with a zest for play, severe speech apraxia and killer wind pipes (if you don't catch my drift it means he is LOUD and he doesn't know how to control his tone on command) leaves me in a state of wanting to
remain intensely focused on him
ALL at the same time.
The presence it takes to decipher his wants, needs and desires takes the concentration of a scientist on the brink of a major discovery. It is too enticing and too mesmerizing not to care. The gift of being able to understand the COOL things he has to say leaves me on the edge of my seat.
I take none of it for granted.
Until I do. Until I burn out. Until his needs, wants and desires go on and on from sun up to sundown. Until my identity is left way behind and I feel so depleted I wonder when it will stop. Is this what all parents feel with young kids?!
I have noticed that my patience is wearing thin sometimes. I get frustrated as his attention and memory fail him. As his ability to follow through and move with ease falls apart. I get so frustrated I snap. I lose presence and patience. It pains me to think about it but thank goodness that Discovery channel episode aired and I hear that bear saying "girl! I feel ya let's go swipe a picnic basket and be merry!"
I was reading a chapter of Kitchen Table Wisdom by Dr. Rachel Remen and something miraculously insightful happened. The chapter was on medical professionals and how it is unacceptable to cry. They, we, are taught to wall off and be strong.
Show no emotion because that isn't good for the patient.
Did I mention I come from a long line of really amazing medical professionals and Southern roots?! Double whammy.
She spoke about how within real connection having honesty about your grief creates rich fertile soil for True Healing. Who doesn't want true, complete healing???
Tears suddenly found their way out, deep from within the depths buried by countless needs, wants, desires of my two little ones, patients, clients, family, friends and myself.
The frustrations, the short temper, the anger I have been feeling is not really about annoyance that my son(s) has plucked the last nerve I have.
It is about sadness.
It is about struggling with acceptance of what is and what I cannot change.
It is about disappointment, clinging to the past and fear of the future.
The grief of a million worries that only those with special needs children can comprehend. No, wait- anyone, absolutely anyone who has ever gone through a traumatic experience can comprehend.
What I learned as I cried my way through that chapter on the bathroom floor (cause who wants to read at the kitchen table sitting on a cold, hard chair when you can be sitting on the cold, hard bathroom floor?!) was to keep grieving. As long as it takes.
To not wallow- nope that isn't at all what I shall do. But instead to be honest with myself.
The more honest I am with myself the easier it is to find healthy ways to express the grieving process. As I express, the more patient, loving and present I am. The more I play and laugh. The more I can find peace amidst the swirling laughter, yelling and wildish antics of little boys.
So how does one grieve? And by grieving I mean being honest about what saddens you, what hurts. Deeply honest with your feelings and learning that these feelings are not stuck forever. They do not need to define you, but they must be acknowledged. By bringing them to the light they can transform. I am sure there are endless resources on this but a lot of them are boring to read so if you have made it this far here are some ideas:
*Meditation (ah there are so many forms! This could be a whole extra post)
*Prayer (read above, same applies here)
*Listening to music that emotionally moves you
*Watching a movie that helps you access your emotions
*Walking in the woods, or on a mountain, being by a body of water.
*Create! draw, compose etc. to express
*Yoga, boxing or forms of movement that help you get in the zone of letting go.
*A great therapist, counselor
*Looking in the mirror, take a deep, hard look.
*A glass or two of wine- HA! Ya wont find this one in many self help books but it sure can open the flood gates IF used appropriately and with intention!
*A nice long talk with a friend that stirs your soul WITH TIME afterwards to use that soul stirring energy to access emotions.
Move the mind + Move the body = FREEDOM and GRACE