Breathe it out – “Me, too!”

I read somewhere recently that some of the most powerful words in the English language are, “Me, too!” ( I think it was in Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton).  I must say I wholeheartedly agree!  What other combination of words can make us feel like we are not totally abnormal and that someone has our back?

It’s like permission to breathe…

When we say, “Me, too,” the exhale seems to take a little longer and empty those lungs full of panic and fear and aloneness.

Just imagine that you’re talking to someone, and she says,” I struggle with (fill in the blank),” and your eyes light up, lock on hers and you say, “ME, too!!” ( did you feel ’em empty?)  What a relief.  Your heart leaps and your shoulders feel lighter and you feel soul-connected.

You + Me = Connection. (I don’t know about you, but THAT’S my kind of math!)

In order for us to build community we must be vulnerable. Oh, what a scary place to be – so exposed and raw – like an antelope with no escape from a lion:

… what if she laughs at me?

…what if she really does think I’m a weirdo?

…what if she tells my friends and they all look at me differently?

…what if they leave me?

I am learning that there is power in vulnerability.  There is power in the shared hurts and soul-sinking feelings. There is power in the soul-connection.  We are not alone. Each one of us has something that crushes our spirit, something that squeezes the joy from daily living, something that keeps us from being free.

Here’s the kicker – each one of us can change that.  We can have a do-over at any point in the day.  Yep – as I tell my daughter, you can turn it around right now.

vulnerability

If you feel alone, spirit-crushed, or even just a bit quirky , that’s ok.  I urge you to take a chance in the next week and share it with someone -a close friend, a mentor, a pastor – or even with me.  I promise I won’t laugh or criticize (cross my heart).

It takes guts to be vulnerable.  I am convinced the most helpful encouragement comes from someone who has traveled that same path…..but we won’t find her if we don’t peel back a layer or two and expose our insecurities.

Our walls have served their purpose.  They protected our hearts, or so we thought.  It’s time for us to tear them down, brick by brick, layer by layer.  Our soul-connections are out there. God will be with us as we learn to let go and let Him handle the details.

My go-to is The Serenity Prayer in times of confusion.  It’s amazing what perspective it brings.  I urge you to give it a try – you may have to say to several times,  but  I can assure you, it is a powerful meditation of acceptance and release.  By the grace of God we go…

This is where the REAL changes happen, my friends

This is where the REAL changes happen, my friends

I’ll go first.  My name is Kristin and I am a grateful member of Al-Anon, a mommy-tantrum thrower, uncertain mama of a kiddo with unique needs and anxiety-sufferer.  I get overwhelmed easily and need my space and time to regroup or I am a wound up ball of tangled string – yet I always try to fill my schedule and I fell like I am always busy. I am trying to make more time for spiritual whitespace and let Him guide me because I can’t do this alone.

Care to join me?

Psst….Guess what y’all? “Me, too!”

I am so excited and filled with gratitude to be linking up with fellow writers (in)couraging writers today.  Come check us out!

So I had a Mommy Tantrum…

Sometimes I get tired of having to ask for help.

I mean can’t you just read my mind, or something? My sighs? The slamming of the cabinets?

I grew up in a family in which I had to become adept at reading body language and assessing the emotional temperature of a room – so I learned how to read minds –so why can’t you?!

Short-circuiting, crossed wires and blown fuses happen when a family is affected by alcoholism or any of the other –isms. Those interpersonal relationships are not fueled by love, compassion or respect; instead, they are driven by fear, anger, worry and shame.

When someone’s life is based in fear and a hunger for control, he/she acts from an instinctual place. A place that is primal, reactive, and in the extremes. He/She lives from the gut – not by the heart or intellect. There is no gray area or thinking as to how this behavior affects others. Behaviors are self-centered, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, and abusive (physically, verbally, and emotionally). And it gets handed down to the next generation until someone breaks the cycle.

those with knowledge

I didn’t learn tools for living in my home. I learned how to follow directions and stay out of trouble. I l was raised to fear God and pray a bunch of prayers by rote for atonement of my sins. I didn’t learn how to connect with others, or with God, – I learned to live my life for the wants of others. I was taught that drama and extreme emotions were the keys to getting my way, that manipulating others was the only way to get help and to be passive-aggressive when I didn’t get what I wanted. And that someone should be able to see what I am thinking and act accordingly.

Those” tools” landed me in a bunch of unhealthy relationships; including my marriage (in the early stages).

I have long since stopped being passive-aggressive and feeling the need to manipulate others to get my needs met; however, I still have a problem with thinking that other people should be able to read my mind.

I need to break my cycle. I want to break my cycle.

I had a “mommy tantrum yesterday and it scared me.

My daughter turned 11 and she invited several girls to sleepover to celebrate. I had a lot to get accomplished and I didn’t plan on any deviances from my to-do list: Lacrosse game in the morning – check. Dinner set up for tonight – check (thank goodness for my hubby).. Laundry washed and dried-check. Bathrooms cleaned – check. Grocery store for drinks and breakfast – heading there. Leaving her cleats at the lacrosse field – uh, not check – not in the plan!

The cleats set me off.

Why, why, why can’t she keep track of her stuff? (hindsight = hmm, probably because she has ADHD and needs reminders). We were heading to the store to get some missing items ( 20 minutes away from the field) and she tells me, “ Mom, I don’t know where my cleats are!”

What do you mean you don’t know where they are? You had them on!

I can’t find them. Remember we had to switch into our tennis shoes for the turf and I must have forgotten them.

Then the verbal outburst ensues. Defamations of character and chunks taken from her self-esteem. All from me. Her mother – the woman who went through aggressive fertility treatments and two rounds of IVF (in-vitro fertilization) to conceive and carry this precious child who turns 11 today.

I drove her to the field and the cleats were there.

I drove her home in silence, steaming with anger and frustration that my plans were derailed.

Why?

Why am I acting this way towards my daughter?

Because I have not spent enough time with God to break my pattern. I am still trying to handle it on my own – and we can see that is not working for me very well as I was not taught healthy interpersonal skills from my family of origin. I need to turn it over.

It’s okay that she’s not perfect – I’m not, so why do I expect it from her? We all make mistakes – and that’s all that was…a simple mistake. Rather than taking a breath and trusting that it would all work out, I had a mommy tantrum.

I had too much on my list and I didn’t ask for help – from God, my husband or my daughter.

I am not happy for how I behaved toward my daughter, yet I am grateful for the realization that I need to change my interactions with her.

 

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