We often expect so much of ourselves, consciously and subconsciously. Whether it is things we should be doing, how we should be feeling, or the person we should be. And when we don't meet those expectations we can be really hard on ourselves, and lose track of who we really are.
After losing Isabel, some things easily became black and white for me. They were things that seemed so simple and straight forward to recognize. It was easier for me to label right from wrong, easy from hard, good, bad, etc. But I had an experience that was neither black nor white, it was some shade of grey, and I didn't realize it was even grey until it was too late and I was in the midst of it. I let myself enter into a situation that could potentially be uncomfortable and awful. And it turned out to be the most uncomfortable I have felt in a long time. I hated it, and wished I could have avoided it altogether. It was the worst. I was even having physical reactions to the emotions I was feeling. Heard of fight or flight? I had those reactions. I was sweating all over, turning red, trembling and wanted to run away. I wanted to flee but I didn't, I stuck it out because I didn't want to draw attention to myself. It took so much out of me and I was trying to hide it at all in. I not only expected myself to be able to handle the situation, but expected to handle it alone. And I didn't expect to open myself up to the unknown.
We try to control our environment to protect ourselves from so much, things that we know we will be uncomfortable with, or we fear. I have protected myself many times before, but this time I didn't because I didn't know that I needed it, I thought I was strong enough. Some people would call it bravery, but I call it high expectations of myself. What I really feel, is that I threw myself under the bus. What was I thinking? The truth is that I wasn't.
I've being trying so hard to be more comfortable in my skin, and have really tried to understand what makes and breaks me. But this isn't always possible, so I've realized that sometimes you just have to be okay with not being okay. Everything passes.
Lessons seemed to have been getting easier for me, but this showed me that as I continue to grow and live, they actually become more difficult. And I realize that this too is okay. If we are too comfortable, then we aren't always able to grow. And maybe this was just what I needed; everything has felt a little misaligned lately. This new perspective could be to remind me how important patience and peace with ourselves is and that we must always remember to be kind, even to ourselves.
Peace & Love
Taking the time off after I lost Isabel was the best decision I made. Thinking back to it, that time helped me become who I am today, the stronger, softer version of my old self. It allowed me to be sad all I wanted and spend time with Ethan, while also healing in the most peaceful way. I am forever grateful that I was allowed that time, and for all those that supported me in that decision. And more than ever grateful to work in an organization surrounded by people that respected my wishes, and allowed me to take as much time as I needed; there really didn't seem to be a limit.
There has been a lot going on at work, besides me dealing with continually trying to balance work & life, which is still very difficult after losing Isabel, there have been some major illnesses and losses with some of my colleagues. My heart is softer than ever, so it's devastating to keep hearing bad news after bad news. I wish there was more that I could do for them. But all I can say is slow down life, and take the time, even if you think you don't need it, because you will never get it back. Work is always going to be there, it's not going anywhere, it will wait for you.
I know it sounds cliche, but we only get one life, and we should choose wisely how we spend it. You will never regret the extra time you took doing something meaningful, but you will almost always regret time wasted or not well spent. We all have the ability to accomplish amazing and beautiful things if we just allow ourselves the extra time, patience and willingness to be vulnerable and open with what is going on in our lives. This stuff doesn't come easy, so be patient and willing, because we are always hardest on ourselves, without even realizing it. And if you're anything like me, then you want to give up the minute it becomes difficult. You want to climb back in bed and pretend it's just a dream. We don't always unfortunately get that opportunity, sometimes we must keep going, so the only thing we can do is face whatever it is on our own time. So slow down, and press pause, you will always be glad that you did.