The Secret To Peace In Motherhood: Being Heard
In hindsight, I thought nothing could be tougher to endure than my complex, unexpected, and “miraculous” pregnancy. Let me be crystal clear here: I was wrong. Sleepless nights with a ravenous, nursing newborn will bring any new mom to her knees. I was no different. The irony is that as both a student and teacher of practicing a conscious kindness lifestyle and mindset, I of all people should have been able to “go kindly” through the unknowns of motherhood with calmness. However, uncertainty clouded my every thought. For the first time since I began being “in a relationship” with Kindness, I felt separated from it.
Capitulating to the unforeseen challenges and chaos of motherhood compelled me into a self-imposed state of stagnation. I let go of the idea of “forward”. Some days, well actually most days, my best effort was standing still. Welcome to the zone of semi-consciousness known as “getting by” or perhaps you know it by its more familiar name, “I’m fine.”
No part of my life before motherhood prepared me for the exhaustive conflict of loving my baby more than anything I’d ever experienced and also longing for a lifeline to reconnect with me. Don’t get me wrong though: I was not a victim in any way. I chose to embark on the journey; no one forced me. However, I am here to say that we must create safety for anyone to share his or her struggles without passing preconceived judgment.
SEE ALSO: My 31 Days Of Surrender
A Fine Mess I Got Into
The rare times I expressed my actual state of mind I was often told, “to be grateful, not negative.” In no time my reply for “how are you?” was, you guessed it, “I’m fine.” Except, I wasn’t fine. I was adrift from my feelings. Mired in the mindless brain fog affectionately referred to as “Mommy Brain,” numbness overtook me and my relationship with Kindness wavered.
On the surface, I resembled my former self enough that few recognized the actual depth of desperation that cloaked my thoughts. My loved ones that did see beyond the veil did their best to reach me, but I was beyond feeling at that point. I was “fine.” Or, at least that is what I told myself. The agony was that I loved being a mom and adored my daughter. It was the unconscious, unkind inner dialogue due to sleep deprivation coupled with crashing hormones that stole my joy. Did I have the dreaded postpartum depression? I’m not 100% certain to this day. What I do know is that I was not “fine.”
Reflecting The Truth
My moment of clarity arrived the same as my pregnancy: Unexpected. One day while playing with my baby girl, my reflection in the hallway mirror startled me. Forcing a smile revealed the dissonance between my outer expression and what I felt inside. Where had I gone? How had I disconnected from being kind to myself? At last, I stared again with complete comprehension of the vision before me. The denial stopped. I surrendered to the moment. Then, I asked my Inner Voice for how to reconcile my relationship with kindness.
The answer: “I am not fine.” Little did I know those four words denouncing that single four-letter word would become my salvation. Later that night, I repeated my proclamation to my husband.
“Let me help you,” was his soft reply. And, I did and he did. He heard it all. Without defense or apology, I spoke my truth.
Simple, Not Easy
Reconnecting to my feelings was by no means an easy “fix,” but it was simple. Here are the three steps:
- First, I kindly removed the numbing blinders of “fine” and accepted my present state of being.
- Second, I surrendered, making space for dimensional feelings to return.
- Third, I renewed my relationship with kindness by asking a loved one to hear my truth without preconceived judgment.
The Unexpected Takeaway
The amazing side effect of sharing your story with complete vulnerability is the disappearance of any perceived distance between you and your audience. You occupy the same air; you share the same moment. In other words, for that tick of time, you become One. From the moment I shared that sameness with him, the dark clouds began their gradual retreat and the Light within me once again dispelled the desperation. For you see, once I was willing to look beyond “fine,” I found real, dimensional “feelings” awaiting my renewed relationship with kindness.
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