When I was a young girl I would scream and beg for my mom to not leave me at daycare. I can recall that horrifying feeling of raw emotion kicking me in the gut, taking my breath away and making me gag and gasp like it was yesterday. The emotion is still very real to me at times; not often, but at times. Sometimes it will just hit me while I’m journaling or folding clothes or making lunch or putting dishes away. It’s probably the one thing that can bring tears to my eyes in an instant.
When I came back into the living room Rick immediately saw that something had changed in my demeanor, I was feeling something. “Honey, what is it?” he asked but I couldn’t answer. I wasn’t sure why I was being reminded of that scary feeling of being left, of being abandoned. I’m happy. Things are going so well. I’m excited for the future and all that we have going on. So why? Why do I feel alone? Why are the tears effortlessly filling my eyes?
It’s been two full weeks since I left my corporate job to finish my book, run our marketing promotions business and go back to school. My first week home, I was extremely productive and spent hours creating calendars, organizing files and my desk and preparing home projects. This past week, however, I’ve experienced a bit of, let’s call it bonking. Just like the runners that hit a wall, I have in my day-to-day activities. Being a little bit sluggish makes staying productive difficult.
My training schedule called for an 8 mile run last Sunday. I barely made it 4 miles. I attributed it to the extreme humid weather. Obviously, I was discouraged. I had ran into a wall and told myself over and over this has something to do with the fact that I was starting over; mentally starting over. My kids have graduated and are in less need of their dad and I (I LOVE this and then again, it makes me sad). I’m nearing the final stages of publishing my book, I’m self-employed again and I’m going back to school. More importantly, I am just a few steps away from doing what I want, what I need to do for me. It’s one thing to set goals and make plans but when they are so close to actually happening, the nerves and emotions must go through a final test drive to work all the kinks out before getting on the official road for the long drive ahead.
I declared my bonk week as a grieving period. After all, I am finally doing what I’ve longed to do… what I want… what I need to do. But, I had to grieve for these very things that I had longed for but never received. I grieved the loss. I put my husband and kid’s needs before mine and was sad that I never even acknowledged my wants, longings and dreams. Let alone believe they could happen.
So then why the reminder on Saturday evening? Why did I feel as though I had been left? And after throwing out some not-so-fitting thoughts, it became aware to me that I fear that going back to school, more so taking on this new journey for a new career and vocation, and knowing the hard work that’s ahead of me, will cause me to be seen as abandoning my family by not being as available to them as I’d like to be.
When the kids were little, this was a huge struggle for me. With all the problems Rick and I were going through, I know was mentally and physically unavailable for them. This literally tore me up. Especially when my own daughter gave the same gut-wrenching emotion and response to my dropping her off at daycare as I gave my mom (Sorry, Mom!). I had to make up lies to myself that I was a better mom going to work 8 hours a day. Yeah right!
What’s saved me from all of this is allowing myself to feel the pain, cry the tears and delve into understanding the purpose of the emotion. I can do this now. And, see the big picture instead of forcing myself to ignore the emotion and just get over it.
But still, I haven’t slept much the past couple nights, thanks to a bit of worry and concern over money (of course) and my fear of being unavailable for my family as well as the alarming question, “Have I made a huge mistake?” When I woke early this morning, I went to my desk where my bible had laid open and I randomly flipped a section and read the first thing my eyes were able to focus on:“But God was thrilled with this beginning because it signified a new start in the people’s faithfulness to him. God desires sincere hearts. What you do for God may seem insignificant at the time, but God rejoices in what is right, no necessarily in what is big. Be faithful in the small opportunities. Begin where you are, doing what you can, and accept God’s pleasure over your smallest steps in the right direction.” – TouchPoint Bible NIV
Wow! I absolutely believe in divine intervention. Answered prayer and question.
See for the past couple of months, I’ve been reminding myself over and over that ‘I want to do what’s hard because it’s what’s right.’ I’m not going to lie, I’m scared. But so was being left at daycare and mom always came back just like she promised. So was raising three babies at such a young age with so little and now their character shines through all they do. And, oh my gosh was it hard when Rick and I were divorced. Trying to trust all over again and wonder if I’d always be scared. But he came back too. He recommitted his life to me and continues to promise to me every day that he’s not going anywhere. As I make the very same promise.
As I write, I realize doing all of this, starting over and doing what I need and long for, will make me even more available to my family and in ways I’ve never allowed myself to be. Thank you, God! This exercise… the grieving, the bonking and diving into the emotion and understanding is just what I needed to kick this fear of abandonment in it’s bony little ass.
So to those of you that are contemplating your next steps or your journey but struggle to hear yourself due to those heavy emotions and lies, take a breath, take a few actually, and then feel the emotion. And instead of keeping your eyes on the insignificant, see how you are a part of the big picture. You are no where near insignificant!