This morning was a typical challenging morning, that I met with a typical response.
My kid wouldn’t get ready for school–didn’t want to brush his teeth. So my familiar response showed up, of course.
“If you don’t get ready for school, there won’t be screen time today.”
Of course taking away screens, for this child at least, doesn’t get the outcome I’m looking for (ready for school), but for whatever reason, I use it anyway.
My partner hears what I said, and responded to me, “That doesn’t work.”
Without skipping a beat I fire back, “Well what you’re doing doesn’t work either.”
He mostly ignored me–rightfully so–and lovingly addressed this defiant-with-me child, with compassion. Of course, OF COURSE, the kid went with him and brushed his teeth with basically no issue.
Yes, of course I was mad. But I released my anger enough to remember to come back to it and reflect later on. I was regulated, kid was regulated AND brushing his teeth, perfection…
…except I still promised myself to reflect some more, so I did…
Everyone was off to school and work, so I cleaned up my house a bit so the space felt reflective of the space in my head. I burned some copal as an offering to my guides and myself. And I walked myself through the situation.
I realized that my ego was hurt a little when my partner corrected me. I felt like I didn’t like to be called out for my mistakes (that at the time I wasn’t aware of) in front of others. I felt like he called out my weakness.
Yeah, that didn’t feel great, but I acknowledged my feelings without judging them. And I released a whole lot. Then I pulled an oracle card. Of course I could not stop with just that non-judgmental reflection. Of course.
The card that came up was Xochitl, Balance Strength & Sweetness. ::insert eye roll here:: How lovely. Already my walls were being chipped away at. The description talks about how to balance strength with gentleness & sweetness. So I began to journal about what was coming up for me.
I literally wrote at the top of the page, “Xochitl–balance strength &
Yes, weakness and sweetness sound similar, but this was no mistake. I had no idea how deeply buried the belief was that equated sweetness to weakness. And how much my body had responded to that belief…even though I don’t believe it (cognitively)!
My journaling took a shift and began to love on and nurture the part of me that felt like she had to be strong always. I began to grieve how I have compartmentalized my sweetness, while rarely giving myself full access to that sweetness. And again, it wasn’t because I knowingly believed I was not worthy of sweetness. I think my body just continued to hold onto the experience of survival, and that looked like strength.
I think I was just camping out in survival mentality for so long, that it began to feel normal.
Have you ever seen Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? Where the main character Kimmy is rescued from a doomsday cult that has her and other women in a bunker underground, and they have no idea what is reality outside of the bunker? It’s written in a super comical way, and good thing, because the other side of that comedy is a reality that says we have been operating under this paradigm for so long, it will take some time to adjust. And there’s a grief with that.
So, if in your journey you come across realizations that you were just made aware of, and you’re experiencing grief, or anger, or sadness, or even relief that you no longer need to live like that!! know that you aren’t alone. Your process is your own. And would it be ok if I offer something–you can take it or leave it.
Can I invite you to gently hold yourself through all of the feelings? Can I encourage you to support yourself with kindness and compassion?
Sometimes, yes, we just need to brush our teeth. But other times, we need the gentle compassion and softness balanced with all the strength we’ve mustered for all these years.