Go Toward The Pain To Get Connected

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Audrey came in looking fresh.  Better than before for sure.  She had an aura that brought to mind the moment just when tearing off wrapping paper.  It was nice to see her.

I am doing better.  I’m able to let more of the little things go, like the house doesn’t bother me as much when it’s not clean.

She was more able to do self-care with less forethought.  What did take her by surprise though, was her guilt.  She could see that it was inappropriate but insight didn’t entirely remove what shouldn’t be there.  She said these thoughts and feelings were something her husband likely never struggled with.  She didn’t think he was worried about her home doing dishes when he was at work.  However, the reverse for her was true.  She gave a coughing laugh.

I do!  I feel bad when he does the things.  It doesn’t make sense.  If he wasn’t washing dishes when I was working he’d just be watching TV.  But I still feel bad.

For her, working her job, taking her jogs, and attending Mommy groups were all in a grey category of “extras” for life.  Not necessary but bonuses she was spending their retirement on.  However, despite this, she looked the champion she was when saying,

I still am able to take care of myself.  Even though those thoughts come.

Audrey, by thinking about, talking about, and materially man-handling these thoughts, she was able to join her personal journey.  These things became connecting forces in her life.  They drew her closer to her family and not away.  Resentment dissipated and she was able to take part in her available positive emotions and thoughts.

It could have been different.  It had been different at other times, before medications and other positive deliberate choices in her life.  But it wasn’t now.  The could-have-beens trickled away together, the other near misses that sometimes we know about and sometimes we don’t.  There they go…

Going toward the pain in life, not averting from it, is a connecting force in our lives.

Question:  What have you been avoiding?  What has it done for you when you went toward the pain?  Please tell me your story.

Self-Care Tip #124 – Go toward the pain to feel connected.  Be a friend to yourself.

A Woman’s Work

It doesn’t take as much work as publicized to take care of our children. I’m not saying it’s not hard, here as I put my throbbing feet up on my coffee table and write. However, I will say that the real work, the difficult work, the work that isn’t in the headlines, is a woman’s work. Taking care of ourselves. It is hard. Taking care of our children is natural, instinctual, congruent with our inner selves. Taking care of our children is on our minds before anything else, without trying. However, taking care of “Me” is not. You want to see a woman sweat? Watch her try to peel away the guilt when she’s writing a blog instead of reading to her kids ;). Wedging time in for yourself, seeking out to know yourself, teasing apart your thoughts to find your voice and then acting on what you discover – that is hard work.

Then why do we spend so much time talking about how hard it is to care for our kids? Hmm. Because talking about ourselves doesn’t interest anyone. Talking about that isn’t applauded. In fact, we feel ashamed of it. When we stop fighting for this though, stop working until we sweat, when we stop pressing in to the heart of this most difficult challenge, than we stop growing. The shame that hides us drifts over and touches the very ones we are sacrificing for. How we see ourselves eventually is how they see us too. In the end, will we even understand why?

What would happen however if we did our most difficult job? Wow! The idea is huge. Everyone wins I think. It may not be so apparent and it may not be as celebrated as Mother’s Day. But we do. Our kids do. Our partners, our families, our communities, and on. It starts right here with “Me.”

Self Care Tip #7 – Work a woman’s work. Be a friend to yourself.