Lonely, frazzled and oft forgotten…
Most of us are (or soon will be) dealing with school starting up again. There’s a lot of wisdom floating around this time of year…whether it’s about connecting with classmates and being kind to others, handling the carpool lane with grace and/or guiding our kiddos with homework, there’s advice abounding on how to handle the myriad of changes that occur this time of year.
One of the best tidbits I hear is to make a real and genuine effort to meet our children where they are. This sage advice applies to all sorts of situations: coworkers, spouses, parents and teachers – the list is endless.
On a purely adult level, I communicate differently with my professors than with my classmates than with my significant other. Various adjustments are made based on who we’re connecting with; even when dealing with the same individual, how we connect can change from day to day depending on circumstances.
However, I want to address that lonely, frazzled and oft forgotten individual…
Most of us work hard and put so much effort into others. As parents, spouses, children, bosses and siblings, we pride ourselves on giving back…on serving…on paying it forward…and on being kind, compassionate and loving towards others. Then, when depleted, wonder why we’re frustrated, short-tempered and resentful.
You, my sweet, beautiful friend…no matter how amazing you are…cannot give what you don’t yourself possess.
Like being perfect – it’s just not possible!
I used to have a visceral reaction (yes, literally nausea) when people used to say “You have to love yourself first.” Every time I heard this it felt like one too many spins on the merry-go-round after a foot long hotdog and a blob of cotton candy bigger than my head. I mean, how was I supposed to find time to love myself when I was busy loving my spouse, three children, friends and family. I was barely hanging on as it was…how was I supposed to find time to love ME?
And then, there’s the piece of feeling selfish, self-centered, self-absorbed…
I didn’t have time to love me…
Fast forwards 100 college credit hours, 25+ years of struggle, adversity, divorce, disease and overall life experience…and I am slowly (baby steps) starting to see the light.
I’ll use yoga as an example since that seems to be where most of my personal hilarity and simultaneous self-discovery lies these days.
So, I’m in yoga class, trying to hold a new pretzel pose and I’m feeling good about myself. I’ve been focusing inward, listening to my breath, body and brain. I’m making progress until I start looking around and comparing myself to the elderly woman next to me who is a direct descendant of Gumby, checking out the cutest ever yoga pants on the girl in front of me and pondering whether studio mirrors really do add 10 pounds or if I need to start yanking about 1000 calories out of my daily caloric intake since I look pretty plump at the moment and my daughter’s wedding is less than 60 days away.
Aaannndddddd…down I go!
I’m starting to get used to it (sorta!?!).
At the beginning of class, our instructor was talking about releasing our egos…so, I decide to think about what to do differently rather than getting down on myself.
I promptly remind myself that I am on a journey and, as such, it’s important to meet myself “where I am” which means that I forgive my toddler brain for getting distracted. Then, rather than comparing myself to anyone else, I remember that the reason that I chose to take up yoga was to purposely turn my focus inward and gently, kindly and consistently allow myself to focus on ME…yes, on ME.
Friends, let yourself love you…focus on you…meet you where you are…
Sometimes that’s reverting back to pasting and The Poky Puppy; sometimes it’s falling on you’re a** at yoga class…you never know!
You beautiful blessing of a human, creative soul…just do yourself a favor and take time to be a kid again…GO PLAY!!!
I promise you won’t regret it.
Namaste (wink wink),