Sometimes life teaches me incidental lessons, that I didn’t see coming. These are the serendipitous moments of life, where I learn something great about myself.
When I say great, I don’t necessarily mean ‘yay that’s fantastic’, I mean great as in epic, revolutionary or momentous, for sometimes those lessons are seasoned with pain. Yet they always stay with me for a very long time.
One of the things I have been challenging myself with over the last 12 months is to own my story, the good the bad and the ugly.
Brené Brown says this about the concept.
In the past, I have not been very good at owning my own story. Sometimes I would look down upon my life from above, watching it unfold like it belongs to someone else. I am but a ghostly observer watching the intimate goings on of another’s life. I know that this was armour I developed to stop me from feeling pain. I could hit spectator mode like I might do on a video game, and pretend I was an observer rather than the leading lady.
It was quite an effective way of lessening pain, as I could view my life yet feel it abstractly.
Not quite. I started to notice, that I would also do this during joyful moments too, because one can’t numb one emotion without it affecting the others. If I numb pain, then I numb joy. It’s a bit like going to the dentist. The pain relief is meant to stop me from feeling the pain of the filling for example. Yet, it also stops me feeling the pain of biting my cheek (which would be helpful to feel), or the sensation of drinking, thus allowing water to dribble down my face. A dentist can’t selectively numb, where they numb it affects all the capacities, both good and bad, helpful and protective.
This is what I had been doing to myself.
But it is hard work to try to identify why I am feeling what I am feeling. It is hard work to try and make sense of it in a way that I can communicate it to others, let alone myself. And it is hard work to be brave enough to speak about it, rather than push it away and view it from a far. That bit I find the most difficult and the area I struggle most with. The reflection, and the identification of feelings takes me time, and can hurt as I wade through it, but the speaking about it out loud? I find that so tough, because not only do I then have to deal with the mess of my own emotion, I then have to deal with how others react. It feels so counter-intuitive.
As a shame researcher, I know that the very best thing to do in the midst of a shame attack is totally counter-intuitive:
Practice courage and reach out!
~ Brené Brown
As a student of Brené’ s work, I know enough by now, to know that health, peace of mind, emotional, spiritual, mental and physical well-being doesn’t always come via the easiest route.
Sometimes it comes via the bravest.
This week, some of the ‘story’ I have had to own include;
I am educated and experienced. Own this woman!
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
Remember- You can trust your decisions. Be strong Maria and stand by your choices even when others don’t understand them/belittle them. What is right for you, may not be right for others. Practice grace and truth with yourself, and when communicating this with others, do your best not to react from a place of hurt or ego but from the knowledge you did your best. You’re a good mum.
I need to stop the over flow.
Remember- You sometimes struggle with stopping the emotion from one area of life overflowing into other areas of life. Take some time Maria to identify what is going on, and try to communicate it to the people you are affecting. They will be relieved to hear that they are not the problem and can help bear that load.
You can not do it all alone.
Remember- You are not strong enough to do life on your own (no one is). You need people in your life who hold space for you, while you hold space for them or others. Take time to nurture these relationships. An empty jug can not pour forth water. You are feeling empty.