Like the picture accompanying this post, I feel like all the trees in my life have been pruned down to the base again, only this time, I believe it was me that did the pruning to start anew.
I continue to find tools to set my loved ones up for success when it comes to supporting me through an emotional roller-coaster (or a ‘melancholy cauldron’ as I like to call it). The most recent one that seems to help me understand myself is when I tell them that “my swords” are out.
This is an invitation (warning) not to take anything personal while I sift through what I am feeling. I get a build up of other people’s emotions and I don’t notice that the smallest things can set me off. Anything from someone chewing too loudly, to an aggressive smell, or someone’s annoying voice. Nothing is off limits when I am in this agitated state and I start to judge myself for judging innocent bystanders, and I begin the decent. It has been helpful to know and say when my swords are out so that I can begin to get to the source of the emotions and save my loved ones from gettin cut. Most of the time it stems back to something earlier in the week that I have held onto, or I take on the emotions of someone dumping a story that they have unresolved emotions on.
One night recently I had an angry conversation with my daughter about not being present or helpful in the house. I went directly to bed with Jake and dropped a passive/aggressive comment at him that left him with. an all too familiar comment of, “I thought we were good, where did that come from?” Which then sends me down a road of frustration and defense.
Which brings me to a quote I learned from a Byron Katie workshop recently…”Defense is the first act of war.” The moment I go into defense now, I am able to check in and find where I am trying to avoid an uncomfortable emotion that leads to these spirals that ends in swords being drawn. I am in process, but I seem to be getting more compassionate with myself lately, which gives me the space to bring compassion to others. Defensiveness seems to be a pretty sure-fire alarm system that gave me the illusion of protection in the past, but really just created separation and avoidance of my own feelings through my go too, the créme de la créme of defense mechanisms…BLAME! Check out my favorite video on blame, by Brené Brown.
The biggest transitions throughout my life that had to do with my identity…
-Becoming a mother
-Decision to be a stay-at-home mom
-Getting diagnosed and embarking on an healing journey
I’ve had pretty clear ideas on who I am for most of my life.
Recent timeline that sky-rocketed me into a new phase…
- Dad passed away
- Tré went to college
- Opened the LEM Self-Care Center
- Giving myself permission to feel
This is the first time that I have embarked on such a big transition with awareness. I believe that I was numb, and often participating in victimhood, when I went through big transition of identity in the past. This time I am doing it with permission to feel and working on bringing deep compassion to the playground.
Some awarenesses this time around
- I find freedom (for myself) in not jumping from one label to the next - ie. going from stay-at-home mom to working-mom. There is nothing wrong with trying on these labels, I am finding freedom in not trying on another label for now.
- I am familiar with the grieving process, and I don’t think there is enough conversations and support for understanding grief in the everyday changes in life. I will continue to create space for anyone that wants to understand the grieving process as it translates to subtle changes in life as well as the big ones.
- I am committed to trying on the practice of allowing and feeling big emotion without the stories that ‘something is wrong.’ Sometimes big emotion wants to come through, and with awareness, I continue to see the magic that these emotions bring when they aren’t stifled by an unnecessary story or cutting people.
I am grateful that I have been pruned down this winter so that I can dive into my beliefs to see what’s serving me, and not. I can’t wait to see what blooms this spring!