I am writing to you from my deck, warm in the sunshine and in full view of the last of summer. September is here, and the wind is once again changing.
I’ve been thinking recently of an afternoon a little later in the fall several years back. It was before my husband and I had kids and I was joining him on a photography assignment.
My husband was hired to photograph a classic airplane, a 1933 Stinson (yes, the year 1933!!!) in flight. As a specialist in air-to-air photography this was not a big deal at all to him, but this felt like a pretty big deal to me, as a passenger in the Stinson.
The pilot, mechanic and restorer of the airplane was a typical Alaskan blend of character, humor and a questionable but highly interesting background. As we started taxiing on the lake prior to takeoff he took the time to secure his cell phone in a zip lock bag and adjust his life jacket.
“You know, just in case we end up upside down”. He then...
Living in worry or fear can start to seem so normal we don’t even notice it.
It infuses everything we do, especially how we care for ourselves and our family.
Did I make the right choice for breakfast? Is that dairy going to cause eczema?
Did my baby eat enough? Did my toddler? Why am I so hungry? What’s that funny bump? Is it a bug bite or a symptom of a terrible disease?
Was that last meal organic? Oh maybe I shouldn’t have bought the cheap bread, or maybe we should really be cutting out gluten all together?
Even which shampoo to buy becomes a cause for concern. I really like my salon shampoo but that’s toxic right?
I guess I’ll for the natural kind. Greasy hair shouldn’t bother me. That’s just vain.
I mean it’s exhausting. How much easier is life when you can just rock the drive through from time to time.
Or have a hotdog and actually enjoy it, without some internal battle (not to mention the battle with your kids about eating...
Going going going.
From morning till night. Busy.
Trying to keep it all going. Trying to keep all of the balls in the air! Keep everybody happy.
Mom-ing. It’s stressful. To say the least.
Stress. You know, that tight feeling in your chest. Like you can’t get a breath.
That knot in your stomach. Or a little queasiness.
Tension in your shoulders, your jaw, your forehead.
Spend a little while like this and you start to feel like a raw nerve.
Just hanging out there, exposed.
And so you enter defensive mode. You armor up, keep a constant look out for danger.
Until some part of you screams ‘This is no way to live!’.
Because you don’t have access to the joy.
The ease, the fun, the light, the love.
And that IS no way to live.
And you don’t have to. You don’t have to live in defensive mode. In stress. In tension. Worry. Fear. Closed off.
You can open to receive.
By living in such a way that you create a profound sense of safety for yourself.
If you are at all like the rest of us that aren't narcissists, then you struggle with owning your worthiness at some level.
Your worthiness to feel good, to be loved, to have what you want, to have more than enough.
Your worthiness to love yourself. If you are lucky - if you've done enough personal work - then you know you should.
You know self-love is the key.
You know it's not the job of your partner, your kids, your parents, your colleague.
And so you try. You do. But how? It's so hard! You tell yourself you are beautiful (yeah right), you tell yourself you are worthy (uh huh), you send love to your 'little girl'.
But what gives? Nothing changes. It feels empty, fake. You're lonely. You're depressed.
Here's what nobody tells you. Well almost nobody.
It takes a while!
It takes a while to get out of the debt of unworthiness into an abundance of self-love.
You have to keep trying. Keep making those deposits, even if it feels...