Hi there, me again!
I wanted to make a quick clarification because when I went downstairs after writing last night's post, the first words out of Nathan's mouth were, "Are you okay?"
Ack! I didn't intend to sound doom and gloom. Last night was actually meant to be more hopeful than I apparently came across.
Here's the thing. Whenever I get worried about the kids, I do a lot of self reflection. I try and identify things about myself that allow me to relate to whatever struggle they are going through in part, because I think it helps for them to know they aren't alone. There is also some "They got this from me so it's all my fault" for sure, and I used to beat myself up over it. Over the last few years though, I've learned to use these realizations as opportunities to learn and grow in front of their eyes. I want them to learn along with me and adopt these coping skills at a much younger age so they don't find themselves drowning when they are old and stuck in their ways.
I've learned and accepted some key aspects of who I am in my hard work these last few years. For one, I know I have a particularly harsh, persistent internal critic. I always have and always will. A few years ago, it dictated my every move, leaving me paralyzed and feeling like a hollowed out shell of a person. Now, after lots of difficult self exploration, it's more like the negative friend we all have in our lives. The person you avoid talking to about stuff because you know what their reaction will be and it most certainly won't be on the bright side of things. They become so predictably negative, it's almost funny. You learn to shrug off their nay saying because it's so ridiculously untrue. For the majority of my life now, my internal critic is that negative friend I can easily brush off.
Sometimes I can't though. Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes I'm unsure. Sometimes I'm a little lost and that friend hits a nerve causing me to spend a few days teary and insecure. This is another thing I've accepted about myself. That sometimes I take my inner critic to heart and it slows me way, way down. The difference now is I can pick up the pace before coming to a halt.
Courage. Strength. Honesty. Vulnerability. Compassion. All words I've found new meaning in and welcomed into my life so I can use them to leave my critic eating some serious dust when it slows me down. Words I want my kids to understand and weave into their beings as they enter the difficult school aged years. Some of their struggles will be much different from mine, some the same but I want them to see their mom for who she is and find their own strength and courage in that.