I totally slacked on writing my daily entries (as you’ll see), but I did feel compelled to write a total week 2 reflection which I believe is more powerful than giving you a day by day play because I feel this is unraveling at a rate that isn’t quite captured by a daily reflection.
I continue to do my affirmations daily, and even more than once daily. They are easy, and I obviously feel like I am getting some benefit.
Day 8 Reflection
I want this blog to be as honest as it possible can. I did practice my affirmations yesterday, but with in the contents of this day’s reflection is an event that I am looking at with in myself and trying to gain an understanding of why it happened.
The evening before (the night of day 7), my son got up in the middle of the night. He was shaking and insisting he didn’t feel good. He was burning up. I got him in the bed, and shot him up with some Tylenol. An hour went by- still not lowering his temperature. I prepared myself for a possibly difficult 1am trip to the ER. THEN SUDDENLY, “Mom, I don’t feel so good”. And what you think happened, did happen. Vomit everywhere. On me, on my husband, and all over the bed. I kept calm, my husband helped my son clean up and change while I focused on cleaning up the vomit (my husband can’t see or smell it or it makes him vomit…. And I could do with out cleaning up multiple people’s vomit). After the puking took place, his temp immediately dropped to normal. Thank God! Now for sleep at nearly 2 am.
Despite a 2 am bedtime, I woke up around 6:30am (a little later than I normally wake). I didn’t feel that tired. We had a lot to do during the day, but needed to spend most of it at home to be sure that my son was ready to return to school on Monday. One of the trips that we did take out on Sunday was to the market.
Now, this is where this whole “incident” took place. I was in the produce section with my 2.5 year old daughter doing what 2.5 year old children do- not listen. In all honesty though, she was being pretty good. So, my daughter is also extremely shy around strangers, and when people give her attention she gets a face on her that CAN be considered nasty, but I am positive that it comes from a place of discomfort with strangers.
Anyway, an older woman approached and immediately- my daughter backed away and made “the face”. The woman made her own unique face, which probably centered around being rejected. In the midst of correcting my daughter- my daughter stuck her tongue out at the lady who continued to stare. I finished correcting my daughter, while I heard the woman say (clearly so I could hear it), “BRAT”.
OH HELL NO!
I absolutely understand that my children can be difficult. My daughter has been the most difficult child to raise. I have cried. I have sweated. I have dealt with an unruly amount of people comment on her behavior, her volume, etc. I have felt like a failure of a parent, and I have also come to the realization that sometimes- just sometimes- our kids have absolutely nothing to do with us. They are their own unique beings. I have learned that I need to shift my approach with my daughter over the last 2.5 years. I need to shift to where she can feel as independent as possible, while I feel like I am guiding her. That sometimes turns into a temper tantrum- for one… or both of us.
I never parent shame. I go out of my way to tell parents having a hard time with their kids of my latest round with my daughter (i.e. an hour tantrum in target over me having to push the cart that she was in which resulted in her hitting me, throwing her shoe, and me feeling like an embarrassed failed parent. And knowing that at the tantrum point, you as a parent have already tried every preventive measure you could think of… time out, asking her to talk about her feelings, etc. I get the resignation and final decision to ignore the tantrum. I applaud all parents of strong willed parents. Here is to us! Their will came from somewhere- and it’s likely a strong indicator of adult success! KEEP IT UP, PARENTS!)
I feel like I’m stalling. I am actually very embarrassed for my interaction. I heard, “Brat”, and felt my blood pressure spike. GAME ON. I turned around and said, “Excuse me, what did you just call my daughter?” to which the woman replied, “ You heard me. I called her a brat. She is a brat.” To which I stated, “She stuck her tongue out and I know you heard me correct her.” To which she continued some kind of mumbling. And then…
I called her a bitch.
Yes. I did. A therapist. A person who believes in positivity. Who believes everyone has a story. In this instant. I did not give one ounce of a fuck. I was in momma bear mode. OF COURSE… it was immediately followed by an intense sense of guilt. I was disrespectful. I was now on her level. I felt a feeling of shame follow my guilt, “damn, you are a jerk. You are a therapist? How the hell does anyone see you for therapy? You can’t even be nice to people.”
My inner rant became an outer one in the car where I began to feel even worse and share my inner self loathing dialogue with my husband.
My husband looked at me, and said something to the English version of, “For your kids, you do anything”. My husband was attempting to normalize me.
I said, I agree that I was right in calling out her calling my child a brat. I don’t agree in my final angry statement. I believe that although my intention was to somehow get this person to see how rude they were (to a 2.5 year old no less), I was also rude and reduced to name calling.
Sometimes, inner forgiveness is hard. We ended up going to church in the evening after ensuring that there would likely be no vomit in the pews at church. I find a sense of peace in church. A place where I can lay it all down, and 1. Ask forgiveness and 2. Recognize that I need forgiveness from others and from myself. I still feel guilty, as I believe is the right feeling to have, but I don’t feel shame. I could improve the next time by not throwing out a low blow, but I’m not a bad person because I messed up.
Later in the day was super productive. My kids napped, and my husband and I cleaned the garage- with out being asked to. We just decided that a nap would waste valuable time in getting something done we’ve been wanting to get done. Cleaning the garage is for an end goal of bringing the treadmill inside for me as I prepare for surgery. It was accomplished. We followed it up by cleaning our vomit blankets at the laundry mat, and church.
I rate yesterday at a 7.
I always hope that through my own vulnerability, I can help other people look inside themselves. Some people have told me it’s weakness, but I believe that when we can look inside and express our errors through vulnerability- we become our authentic selves. I can be a good person who has strong beliefs, and still fuck up. We all do.
Day 9 Reflection:
Day 9 was a meh kind of day. Still recovering from illness, I did a lot of sleeping. I just allowed myself to recover. I did my work. Got through the day, surprisingly- 6/ 10 for the day.
Today has been a good day. Another productive one. So productive that I didn’t finish! 8/10
Who knows what happened to day 11???
I’m continuing my affirmations, and I am nearly 2 weeks in. I have noticed some changes revolving around being more productive and focused. Today I decided to take some time for me to just relax, and take in the scenery at the new office. It feels good sometimes to just sit and take it all in. All of the progress, the success, everything. Breathe it in, breathe it out.
I am doing things that I’ve never thought were possible. I started a podcast which- to be honest, I am quite shocked about. I am writing this blog- which has taken dedication that I’ve never shown to my blog before. I am reading more than a book a week… when I haven’t read more than 3 books in the last year.
I’ve set a goal as becoming who I want to be in the world, and it seems like the world is answering. God heard me. But why now and not before? I think it has a lot to do with my shift of perspective. I went from feeling like things weren’t happening fast enough to, STOP! Look around, and take in all of the successes you are having. It’s true. Things I started 3-6 months ago are now starting to make an appearance in my life. The hard work is paying off.
Is it affirmation based? Who the hell knows?
I rate today as a 7/10.
Let’s just jump ahead to day 14 and my reflection on the past week.
My life moves so quickly, I have a hard time being able to really grasp. That’s what this week has been teaching me. The more I believe my affirmations, the more I see a need to slow down rather than speed up. My go to reaction is, let’s get ‘er done, but that’s not good for me. I end up being so enveloped by what might happen, what’s coming, and my new project that I forget about the present moment. I don’t take in the positives around me, and I feel like I’m always working towards an ever changing goal. Every time I meet a goal, it changes. Every time I see that I’m not going to meet a goal- I just scrap it. I want to change that. I believe that I need spend more time dreaming about the future. I need more time to truly figure out what I want my life to look like, and take every step to get there.
I have a rare autoimmune condition that sucks. I’m really not sure how else to put it. It inhibits me from moving at the pace I’d like to move. It causes me a significant amount of grief that I usually have a very easy time putting on the back burner because if I think about it too long, I will become immobilized. Not thinking about it causes me to not recognize what my body is telling me- SLOW DOWN. When I slow down, I have to realize that a trip to Disneyland with my kids isn’t something that I can do because the of the immeasurable pain that walking creates for me. I can’t take a walk to cool down because it hurts too much. If I lay down to take a nap, there’s a good chance that I won’t be able to muster the energy to finish the day.
It’s painful to be faced with your limitations, but it’s a pain that shouldn’t be ignored. My affirmations and support from my colleagues and therapist have been giving me the opportunity to accept myself where I am right now, and to lean into the feelings. Instead of trying to make my mind busy with my next task, I am sitting and letting the feeling penetrate me. I feel it come. I feel it hurt. I feel it pass. If I don’t deal with my feelings now, I’m not really being authentic. If I pretend that I can get through it on my own, that’s not authenticity- it’s wearing a giant mask of, “I’m ok”.
The truth is that I am ok, but there are definitely moment of, “I’m not ok” proceeded by crying, feeling, and realizing the strength I have with in myself. The strength that God has blessed me with. The strength that we all have inside of ourselves. It’s strength that we get from feeling, not from avoiding.
A lot of people who promote affirmations talk about being a successful business person, a leader, achieving goals; however, I believe they forget that a major part of any life change is the immense amount of internal work that goes into it. Affirmations allow your subconscious to bring to light things that it believes are counter to the affirmations. It sends it to the consciousness and says, “FINE- YOU FIX IT”. I have been reminded so much this week of my physical limitations, of my trauma history. I don’t feel defeated by them. I feel triumphant. I feel strong. I feel courageous.
So, feel what you have to feel. Accept it. Move forward.