I (Jody) put off something that I needed to do for a long time. I’m sure other moms can relate to that.
The decision was to either get some counseling or some spiritual direction with a paid professional. I’m a huge advocate for others doing that but put it off for myself for a long time. With the encouragement of my amazing husband I finally scheduled that call. 2020 had made it very clear that some things were boiling under the surface and I needed to deal with them. Life under pressure has a way of doing that.
After my first couple of appointments my spiritual director recommended a course she was doing called Learning the Art of Self-Compassion and Wholebody Wisdom. She thought it would be just the thing I needed and turns out she was right.
My goal, or hope if you will, was to end this crazy year more anchored. More grounded and at peace and less pissy if I’m honest. After 5 weeks I can tell you that’s exactly what happened. I’m more anchored to the Lord AND to myself. There’s so much I could share but I want to pass on one particular thing that was VERY helpful.
It’s simple and yet profound. When I feel emotions bubbling it is simply the practice of stopping to pause and notice. Then use the statement “A part of me feels……” “A part of me feels frustrated (or insert feeling). I’m aware that a part of me feels frustrated.” Then sit with it. Acknowledge it’s there and see if you can feel where it is in your body. If this is all we do, it actually dissipates the frustration some. (I highly recommend doing the course with my friend Paula. This is just scratching the surface of all I learned.)
As an enneagram One, I can lean towards black and white thinking, right or wrong, this or that, all or nothing. Maybe you can relate to that too. To be able to identify and acknowledge thoughts and feelings is so crucial to staying healthy. Adding that statement to it has also made all the difference in my life the past 8 weeks. I can say, “A part of me feels angry” “A part of me feels sad.” “A part of me feels disappointed.” I can acknowledge that it’s there and that it’s not ALL of me, it’s only part of me. There is rarely anything that is ALL one thing. This practice keeps me from being consumed, from spiraling into the shame shit storm that Breńe Brown talks about.
We are rarely ALL of anything. We are so much more complex than that. It’s helped me to extend more grace to myself but also to others, especially when it comes to politics. I’m still deeply grappling with this one because some of it feels so connected to my core values and faith. However, I can now say more freely “A part of me doesn’t agree with a part of them.” “That is not all of who they are, it’s a part of them.” This has released the anger/sadness/disappointments in many ways for me and brought deeper freedom, peace and joy. Maybe this will help you this week too. Give it a try.
“It is the ‘Sacrament of the Present Moment’ that will teach us how to actually experience our experiences, whether good, bad, or ugly, and how to let them transform us.” ~ Richard Rohr
May we all choose to put into practice things that will help us be present and thrive in this current world we live in and not just survive.