A few nights ago, after lighting a bright and vibrant fire, I was watching a trailer for a new Julia Roberts movie and within about 45-60 seconds I was teary and had to turn it off.
I am a very sensitive human being. Add pregnancy, hormones, and being a mama and I’m full of feelings pretty much all the time. That night I attempted to be open minded, and Jeff and I eventually sat down to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Part 2. I ended up just getting filled with anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, I love the soundtrack – it’s one we have on vinyl and listen to regularly, but there is something about science fiction, about violence (even though for the most part it’s covered up with epic Motown music) and about make believe worlds that I just struggle with. My imagination goes wild by the time I’m dreaming and I wake up having tossed and turned all night long.
We ended up turning it off before it was over and instead Jeff drew me a bath. As I curled up in a dark bathroom in a hot tub I had him describe the end of the movie (not that I couldn’t have assumed the classic fairy tale ending myself) but it helped to have him explain it in his own words.
It made me think about something I read recently – a post my mum sent me on the 7 cardinal rules for life. Number eight was “Stop thinking too much- it’s alright not to know the answers. They will come to you when you least expect it.” Fair enough – most of the time I would agree this to be true. But what about when you’re an incredibly sensitive human being? What if you’re a person that spends the majority of their waking life thinking about things too much. How I feel. How other people feel. How I make people feel. What other people are doing. What I am doing. What I want to be doing.
I agree that it can be taken too far into the world of chronic anxiety and over thinking or analyzing but for me, thinking for the most part is healing. Time in my head can be a space where I figure things out, and if I’m with the right people, it can help me to experience and understand myself in an entirely different way.
As I thought about the month of February – the month of love as I like to call it, I thought about what it can feel like to expect ourselves to be different – what that pressure can do. To fit into a world, a situation or a lifestyle that actually may just not be our path to be walking. I don’t mean to stub the genuine curiosity of trying new things, but more dive into that feeling of comparison to another human being or experience. The way we can so easily wish we were different or that we could experience that thing with our whole beings and love it the way we think we want to.
I want to help (as best I can) people to feel and recognize that the way we give and receive in our day to day lives is so so special to each one of us. So that in any given moment when we think, this is how she might do it, or this is how my mum would have done it – we can let that go and instead honor how we do it.
Something I am trying to practice right now in this month of love, is in a moment where I might feel the call to compare or feel jealous is instead ask what is it about this person, this action, this thing that I am craving to experience? And then moving from that to asking myself how can I find ways to implement that in my own life so that it feels authentic to me.
I often buy in bulk these note books from Muji to have on hand for writing lists, thoughts or notes to people. I found this old one from 2016 and on the top of one of the pages I wrote –
Take responsibility for how you feel, and know that you have the power to change it. It doesn’t need to be as daunting as a New Year, just start with today being a new day.
On another page I found this list which I just felt was so perfect for this post and this month. It was something I wrote at 5 months postpartum with Aggie. I can remember so vividly breaking down to Jeff in tears and just feeling like I needed and was craving time and space for myself but not really knowing how to call that in. I think the list says it all.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
ASK FOR HELP
GO TO 1 YOGA CLASS A WEEK FOR 4 WEEKS
GO TO 1 THERAPY SESSION A WEEK FOR 4 WEEKS
BREATHE AT LEAST ONCE A DAY WHILE AGGIE NAPS
What is something that you find yourself wishing you were doing? Or what is something that you continually keep pressing yourself to do but maybe it’s just not happening? Allow yourself the space to find a way to make it work for you instead of shaming or blaming or creating negativity around it and constantly wondering what the heck is going on. Slow down, honour who you are in this moment – wild and free? at home with a baby? massively pregnant? stagnant at work? stuck in a cycle of feeling like you’ll never have a baby? wanting to move?
Let’s create tiny pockets of adventure and love and goodness each day that feel golden to us so that we can relish in the fact that we are in fact walking in (or towards) the way we want to honour our whole self.