Now is when we need self-compassion.But what if I told you that self-compassion equaled feeling sorry for yourself. Boom, you’d say no, I’m not allowed to do that. I need to suck it up, do the hard things here, and put on a good face for my family. I’d get it if you told me that. I’m living that myself. Mothers are supposed to be solid and dependable for their people.
But when both of my children found me this week to grieve on me, I knew that their feeling sorry for themselves was exactly what they needed to grieve and shed another layer of disappointment and disbelief at the loss of their lives. They are alive but not really living.
I had a very wise friend state, “I’ve learned when you miss something it triggers misses you’ve had from the past, and you feel them all again; I miss mom, and dad, pets, lives I’ve lived, dreams I’ve had, people I was.” Those are the moments when you get to release all that you’ve been sucking up. Because grief and unexpressed creativity can eat at you until your soul has rot spots.
I was walking the other day and was suddenly hit by a whiff of the perfume of clothing drying in a clothes dryer. I was immediately transported back to a time when I was very unhappily married. I was walking home in the cold from my job and was ambushed by the same “happy loving family” smell. Back then, I grieved for the life I wasn’t living. My recent smell experience reminded me that I am living a different life now that I cherish even if I am stuck inside with my family way more than I would like.
One day I may miss this situation. I may grieve when I think about how I had all the time in the world to stare into they children’s eyes and tell them how much they meant to me. I won’t miss the masks or being unable to hug my friends, but I will truly feel sorry for myself and all of us if we come out of this and we’ve not shifted into a better place as a society. If we don’t use this as a lesson of what we have and haven’t control over.
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