Today has been a tough day in our home. Emotions were being felt and expressed intensely. I had enough of all the big feels. What I observed was, when I’m not OK, our family is not OK. I’ve noticed it so many times, both in my own family, and in so many others, that the mother can often be like the beating heart of a home. If the heart suffers, everything else eventually does too. So it makes sense that we need to take care of and nurture our heart. Yet the message which has been passed down generation after generation is that the right thing to do, the loving and caring thing to do as a woman and mother, is to put your needs aside and ensure you meet the needs of those around you. In doing so, the message for me as a woman and mother is to ignore, dismiss, or minimise my struggle, and for you to ignore, dismiss, and minimise yours.
Yes this may seem loving, giving, and caring. I too observed and learned this through my lineage. This is something however that costs way too much for me. Ladies, abandoning yourself for others is not love. This is not empowerment. This is not strength. Love, empowerment, and strength is looking at my struggle right in the eyes and listening to it so I can use it to heal and grow. Instead of brushing my pain aside and obediently “doing the right thing” by serving others, it’s trying to both serve myself and serve others too.
I know that I can hold the space for my loved ones once I ensure I gift myself with some! I can be present with your emotions once I honour my own. I can empathise and soothe your pain once I can do the same for myself. Ultimately, I can be there fully for others only when I have been fully there for myself.
As a woman, and even more so if you are sensitive, you feel and hold so much for those around you. That container can only hold so much until it spills over. What is spilling over for you? Love, compassion, joy? Or overwhelm, anger, fear, resentment? If it’s the latter, then reflect on whether you are honouring your needs too or just focusing on everyone else’s, following this deeply embedded message that you are born to take care of others, for self sacrifice in the name of love.
Today, stepping into my empowerment looked like putting on the tv for the kids so I could take a breath, cry, and release the built up tension from holding the space for their emotions. It looked like being clear on what was OK for me and not OK for me in our relationship. This is love. This is strength. Looking at what I am holding straight on, feeling it, letting it out safely, and learning from it. Sharing what’s in my heart honestly with my loved ones and affirming what I need in a loving and respectful way so my girls can learn to do the same for themselves.
Stepping into your power may look different for you but you can do it. It may feel intense, painful, and exhausting but it’s also liberating, fulfilling, and healing. You can do this!
Currently, we are living through challenging times where we can be pushed to the very edge of our sanity, when we may need to dig deep and keep going, when we’ve needed to let go of how things were. Take some time to notice though what may just be digging deep right now and what might actually be the old conditioned messages that you need to serve, that in the name of love you should put others before yourself. Perhaps this is the biggest thing to let go of right now!
For now, start with this...
What small ways can you find a little more balance; to listen to and honour your heart’s yearnings and needs in the family equation as well as being there for your loved ones?
You deserve this. You are love. You are strong. You are empowered.