I have been a total slag when it comes to life lately. I even forgot my gorgeous niece’s first birthday last week. I know. Argh. It’s a miracle I have remembered to feed our bearded dragon. (Oh, wait. Whoops.) And you can only imagine that if I have forgotten the most significant event of my niece’s first birthday, then I have also not been showing up for myself or for Momma Strong or for my friends or or or or or. And for as long as I have preached “BEGIN AGAIN!” ... I’d like to take a moment to say: Beginning Again Sucks Big Donkey Balls. Perhaps the “universe” is determined to have me really truly embody what I teach, but, yes, I am struggling just like you.
I feel like a little kid in the aisle of the grocery store where the chocolate lives, throwing my body down in full protest of any forward movement without said chocolate. Full on power struggle with myself. In the chocolate aisle. With the rationality of a toddler. That's me.
There's also a deep grumbly voice from deep within saying, "I don't want to do anything that doesn't feel good and that's not superbly easy. " I imagine this voice to be attached to a gruff old man with a glass of whiskey in one hand, a cigarette dangling perfectly from his lip, moving up and down as he mutters a quiet "fuck off" any time anyone asks him to do anything other than sip and smoke.
As mothers we've all had those moments (ok, lots of them) where we witness our children throw fits and protests, acting often like they are wearing an itchy wool sweater in August while canoeing down the Amazon river with one paddle surrounded by stanky crocodile shit. We see them wilt and flail and we often react by putting them in time-out, asking them to think about their reactions and their behavior. But, sometimes, if we take a closer look at the behavior, we can see underneath of it that there is another layer of discomfort. Often they are experiencing the void of transition or the pain of growth and they just need to be anchored back to something solid.
I saw this the other night after a long, tense evening with my eldest. She had just finished a lengthy eight minutes in time-out - I know, Super Nanny, eight was one minute too many, but eff you, it was that bad. I mean, like, she might as well have been wearing an itchy wool sweater in August while canoeing down the Amazon river with one paddle surrounded by stanky crocodile shit. This was my child. My gorgeous child. Hating life. Misery incarnate.
Then, after her one-minute too long time-out, she broke down. Started crying about this fictitious fairy she had concocted, Baby Tooth, a tiny assistant of the actual Tooth Fairy who comes to all little girls even when teeth are NOT lost, to whom she had been - unbeknownst to me - writing letters every single night and awaiting a response. Obviously, no response had happened. Yeah. Devastation. She said to me, amongst the tears in her time-out chair: “I think I didn’t do something right. She didn’t come to visit me. I must not be doing something enough.”
And then ... are you ready? She said it: "And, it’s all my fault that you and Papa aren’t living together."
I scooped her up out of the chair and took her to my bed, which is where we started this post. Her body draped over mine, as I told her stories about her being a baby and sleeping my chest just like “this” for 5 whole months. And then tried to tell her that her momma and papa getting divorced had nothing to do with her. That it was a grown up thing and that it was nothing she could really understand just yet. And then I said the most difficult, but most true thing ever: “[Grumpalicious], I can be doing better and I need to do better. And so can you. We need to do better.” I rubbed her back and we cried together. And then I finished by saying, “I can’t fix it or take the ouch away, but I can tell you that I can handle all of your sadness and anger and uncertainty. Don’t worry. Momma can handle it. Bring it. Talk. Cry. Get mad. Be itchy wool sweater in the amazon. I can handle it.”
And after a bit, I realized exactly what she really needed: SECURITY. And guess what? It is exactly what I need. Right now. And, so, with her, I cried big tears of my own, wishing I had a soft body to fall into, a gentle hand rubbing MY back, someone telling me they could handle my -isms.
I don’t have that. I’m at the point (ahem, age) where the choices I have made for my happiness require my own steps into security on my own terms. No one else is going to create it for me. Yes, there is spirituality and God and prayers and holy shits and music and art and friends and love, but, security ... that’s on me right now.
And, so, as I laid there with her, I made a decision. I asked myself the following question: What am I willing to do to experience security? Well, obviously, I have to remember birthdays and I have to be connected. But. BUT. More than that right now, I have to show up here at Momma Strong like the professional I inherently am. It’s GO TIME. I'm about to start training myself like Rocky and you're going to notice. Because what I do here matters. I matter. YOU matter.
What am I willing to do to experience security?
Which brings me to you. What is your current pain? Are you hiding? Are you not working out? Do you feel yucky? Is your mojo lacking? Are you in physical pain? Are you binging at night? Do you loathe your post-baby body? Are you lost in your relationship? Are you in a rut? Are you stuck? Are your kids not getting the best of you? Are you financially aching? Are you unclear about your purpose?
Guess what? That knight in shining armor does not exist. No one is going to save you. As much as we want that warm body to scoop us up and rub our backs and tell us they can handle US, it’s not guaranteed. YOU have to seek out your own path to peace. Which means that in order to meet that pain and in order to start stepping into your path, you are going to have to step into your own warrior mode.
And, so, I wake up every day now and even though the first thing I hear is “I don’t wanna,” I respond with “What am I willing to do today?”
What are YOU willing to do to experience what you want to experience?
In terms of our self-care and strength, that means showing up for our workouts every day no matter what! Trust me peeps, if I can do it right now, YOU CAN do it. My life is going through incredible ups and downs. I’m being forced to manage some many new pressures singlehandedly. But, instead of falling prey of victimhood, I’m choosing (today) to go pro.
If you want to compete with your best self, you have to be a professional. There is no room for half-assing. Professional athletes and professional anythings train like crazy fools because they know from experience that it is the work that happens in the trenches that gives them the success on the field.
What are YOU willing to do?
Do it. I will be here to remind you that, yes, even I struggle with this. BUT, that yes, even I, can experience everything I know I deserve. Warrior up folks. You'll be watching me take the lead. Join me. Do your workout today. Get a friend to join you. Shift yourself.
WHAT ARE YOU WILLING TO DO?
I know that the answer to this means that you're going to have to do things you don't want to. But, if you want a shift and if you want things to feel as you know you deserve them to feel, you have to do it. No one is exempt from hard work and grunt work. Trust me, though, it's easier than sucking donkey balls. ;)