Self esteem is our own vision. Calm is a choice. Compassion is a practice, not perfection.
This past week, I realized just how different the emotional place I am now actually is from any and all of the emotional places I have ever been before. I mean, you name it, I have probably felt it.
Happy? Check. Proud? Check. Indifferent? Angry? Hurt? Helpless? Lonely? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.
And I know I’ll encounter many more emotions during my lifetime. It’s hard in this crazy world to keep calm. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to others, wishing for things we can’t have, praying for interventions that seem impossible – watching violence and anger and controversy on the news, and feeding off of it. Almost everything that makes up the status quo in our society is in some way backwards and vulgar and emotionally off. So how can we really expect ourselves to break that pattern?
The phrase “I don’t like that” isn’t just for toddlers to learn how to express emotion. It’s a much healthier option for adults, too, in a situation of conflict. It’s much easier to stay calm and keep your cool when you say “I don’t like what you said” than when you choose to fight back with hurtful words of your own, or even with a defense.
If you don’t allow yourself to stay upset, it’s a lot easier to get back on track. How you’re feeling emotionally has to do ultimately with YOU – with the way YOU are able to feel and then let go of emotions.
I left Abbey’s room, screaming that I couldn’t take her abuse on my boobs, that she needed to go to sleep and stop scratching my armpits and refusing to be calm. . . and then yelled at my husband for trying to reason with me. Two minutes later, Abs found me in our bedroom, sobbing, and told me “hey – it’s OK, mommy.” – and to my sobbing “I’m so sorry” – she had only one thought:
I wish I responded to myself that way more often. “I love you, self.”
Peace4Parents is my favorite place to go for advice and support on how to maintain calm in my life and my parenting. It’s a great place to start if you’re thinking “Yes, Amy, this is all well and good, but totally impossible”