Our struggles are not slowing down
Living with social restrictions keeps being at the center of our lives. I have held on to hope about the possibility of my kids going back to school. My concerns for my children, their education, and mental wellbeing are always around me.
Throughout the past 11 months, and have been using mindful strategies to cope with these worries. If you asked me last week about it, I would have said to you. I’m doing well in letting go of my worries. Then I got news of a schedule for the kids to return to school.
Straight away, I became attached. I hold on to this idea and felt optimistic about them returning to school. I said to myself, it’s going to take a month or two, but it will happen soon. I saw an end to the tunnel.
Finally, I was going to put these worries behind me.
But, as you can guess, that is not where my story ends.
Within three days, the decision changed. Secondary school was not going back for the rest of the school year. I was extremely disappointed and frustrated. I struggled to let it go. How can this be?
My mind went back to holding on to worries and fears. I was afraid to bring the news to my daughter as I knew how badly she wanted to go back to school. I thought she was going to cry and get very upset about it. How am I going to comfort her?
I got it wrong.
To my surprise, my kids cope with the news fine. My imaginary catastrophe about their reactions didn’t materialize.
I have to admit that it took me two days to come around to the situation. My meditations were intentionally longer. I talked and let it out. Part of the lesson for me was that no matter how much I practice letting go, it will never end.
My mind is always looking to come back to having a sense of control of things that I can’t control. I put my hope on expecting others to behave the way I wanted them to act.
I know that maybe some of you may differ from my position about kids returning to school, and I respect that. I’m not here trying to convince you to agree with me.
That is not my intention today.
I want to share with you my struggle because I want to know that you’re not alone. We are all doing our best, but our struggles are not slowing down.
Our external stressors are not getting easier. We are feeling tired and worn out about them. When I think I finally have some sense of control, something happens that questions it.
We are all surviving challenging times. Please do not forget that we are human. Humans are fragile. We have to be ok with how emotionally vulnerable we are today.
Maybe your struggles differ from mine. Perhaps you are dealing with financial challenges, job loss, work burnout, loneliness, chronic illness, or carer fatigue.
Be mindful and pay attention.
Please be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself if you make a mistake. If you feel like crying, cry. If you feel like screaming, let the screaming begin.
If you feel like breaking something, go ahead but try not to be something that you will regret breaking. If you want to take a day off from everything, put a sign out in your bedroom and tell your family not to disturb you for the day.
Stop bottling up your feelings and emotions. Let them come out. If you feel you need support, talk to a good friend. If you don’t have a friend, send me a message. I’ll be happy to listen. Please look after your emotions and take good care of yourself.
“Remember, you have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”LOUISE L. HAY,
Are you listening and paying attention to your emotions?