It was a crazy morning. My 3 year old son, Chance, and I had different opinions on how the morning was going to go. He wanted to play drums and not get dressed or eat and I needed to get us both ready to go out the door. Because of these differing visions, the inevitable meltdown occurred. This particular morning I didn't have the patience that I usually have. Infact, I had the attitude of "can someone please come over to our house and watch my son. I will be checking myself into a hotel room until the next morning, thank you." I needed a break. However, instead of checking myself into a hotel I had my own tantrum. Tears were plentiful in my household. I eventually went into my bathroom, put my head in my hands, cried, and breathed. I knew when I came out of the bathroom I was going to have to apologize as I didn't handle the situation on my end the way I wanted to. As well as, it is important for me that Chance sees his parents apologize. I went out, bent down to his level, and apologized for my end of the deal in which Chance responded in such a profound way.
"It’s okay mommy, sometimes we laugh, we cry, we hug each other, we say sorry, we get frustrated, it’s all in a days work." When he said that I thought, wow, you are right, Obi-Wan Kenobi. As if he was the master teacher and I was his student Jedi in training. All of these range of emotions are all in a days work. This is life. How we communicate and connect with each other through all these emotions are our opportunities to grow. And we will always have opportunities to grow. We can deny these opportunities in which, typically, relationships near and dear to us eventually become inauthentic, distant, and estranged. It’s inevitable that during the hard times, when life "makes you say uncle" you are faced with these emotions whether you like it or not. I find when I am in connection with my emotions, by feeling them I can move forward with a deeper understanding and awareness which allows me to be a more present parent, partner and friend. And this spills over in every area of my life.
So as a young jedi, I will continue to heed the advice of Master Teacher Chance and continue to develop the understanding that all range of emotions are indeed all in a days work.
Some helpful hints for rolling like a marble with emotions:
Breathing, deep belly buddha breathing (breathing so your belly is expanding during inhale), connects us to how we are feeling in the present moment.
“You are not going crazy.” This is a line that I use often in my profession, personal life and to myself. Emotions are meant to be felt and expressed. We don’t do it enough in our society. Know that whatever you are experiencing is normal and indeed you are not going crazy.
Self forgiveness and forgiveness of others. We weren’t given a road map to this thing called life at birth, most of the time we are all doing the best we can with our best intentions. In the words of Maya Angelou, “When you know better, do better.”
Cry. I find that crying is one of the biggest ways to move through emotions. Infact, I believe that most chronic depression and anxiety symptoms are rooted in an inability to cry. If the tears don’t come up naturally, watch a tear jerker, listen to Sade, do what you need to do to bubble that emotion up.
Tell your story to someone you trust. Find someone who will just listen to you.