I've missed you and I apologise for being MIA!.. Our family has just completed a 4-week journey through the magical land of Japan... and it's good to be back home.
I never thought I would say that after a trip.
Usually, I yearn for our travels to be extended. This time around, I couldn't wait to get back to routine and craved some reprieve of what was the most challenging 4 weeks as a mother and a wife.
This trip was different. Everything was planned out. We had booked all the hotels. We mapped out what we were doing each day. We were highly organised.
...and whilst the hotels and travel routes went to plan, I was unprepared for the emotional rollercoaster and turmoil that was within.
Generally - as avid travellers - I love the uncertainty. So not everything is mapped out or booked in advance. We book as we go along - and this gives us flexibility if we wanted to stay in a place a little bit longer.
We thought; "Let's be really organised for a change."
I was so proud of how organised we were - and I was NOT proud of who and how I showed up as a mother and wife.
It truly reinforces that your mindset is everything.
You can be as prepared as you want to be for parenthood - getting the nursery ready, having all the contraptions that you think you may need, read all the books on understanding your child and your baby, plan to have the most amazing delivery.... and what truly counts in the end is your freakin' mindset.
Your state of mind. Your internal sense of self. The mastery of how you can regulate your emotions and feelings.
The mastery over your mind is what determines your experience of reality.
Here's what happened.
- I lost it at Avery. I lost it at John. Several times over the 4 weeks. I didn't even know there was this sense of anger and fury that lived within me. I acted out of fear.
- I became my mum. I became my dad. One of the things I promised myself for myself, was to be accountable and take responsibility for my emotions. I never thought the day would come when I took out my frustration and unleash it on the ones I love. The damage that was, cannot be undone. It is damage to not only the ones I love, but it is also damage to my own sense of wholeness.
- What other people thought of Avery became more important than Avery feeling seen, heard and understood. Japan is a country filled with Zen. It is quiet and peaceful. And there was my 2.5-year-old toddler unable to regulate his emotions and frustrations. I wanted him to be respectful, to adhere to the culture, to not embarrass me - It was all about face value. Something I promised I would never do to our child.
- I compromised what I valued. Parenting and Love.
- I was ungrateful. Fear was addictive and all too consuming. I was frustrated. I was trying to hold it all together.
So what happened?!
I didn't make self-care a priority.
The only way one can act from a place of kindness, compassion, and be generous with another is if you're overflowing with love.
You can't give what you don't have. I was running on empty.
Within 4 days of our 4-week trip, my husband had a snowboarding injury which meant he was in a sling for the entire trip. He too was running on empty mentally and emotionally.
When you have 2 people running on empty - it's predictable that there is chaos. Defensiveness is high. You're contracted. You're in protective mode.
The condition of our mental state was poor. We were not seeing eye-to-eye. We were far from being empathetic to each other; and our son, Avery. We were not on the same team.
It doesn't matter how amazing the setting. Gratitude and joy come from how connected you feel to those around you. Your sense of love, your sense of awe, your sense of wonder is what truly matters.
I compromised my daily meditation practice and it was easier to blame it on my husband and Avery; rather than making it a priority. And I didn't even know I had blamed it on them. It was unconscious.
I acted unconsciously. I didn't know that I didn't know that I was playing the victim and hero/ martyr card. I really didn't. Hindsight told me otherwise. I was trying to "save" John with his arm and take on full responsibility for everything - whilst running on empty. Recipe for absolute disaster.
I felt lonely and didn't ask for what I needed in a way that John could hear it. We didn't realise this until we reflected back at home. I had asked him for help - assuming he knew what I meant, and we were in two different worlds.
Expectation robbed us of joy. I allowed expectations to rob us of joy. When things didn't go to plan, instead of finding beauty and joy in what happened, my energy was actively directed towards fear.
I don't believe in coincidences and I believe that the universe truly delivers what it is that we are meant to learn, to heal, and to transform.
I'm still processing this fury and anger that lives within; I know that there is a gift in understanding these deep wounds. I have been at the receiving end of the fury and anger I felt. It was in my parents. I don't blame them - it is purely unconscious wounds that haven't been healed. I'm choosing to have the wounds end here.
I also believe that when we can create the space to allow ourselves to see the darkest parts of ourselves, we deepen our capacity for empathy.
After we came home, I said to Avery; "I'm really sorry for taking my anger out on you. My anger is not your responsibility. Can I ask for your forgiveness?"
He didn't respond.
"Are you not ready to forgive mummy or have you already forgiven mummy?"
"I already forgive mummy.".
With John, I shared with him how hard it was and took responsibility for the loneliness, the frustration, the blind experience of self-sacrifice.
"I had no idea that you were feeling this way. I wish you had voiced it during our trip. I feel so bad in what you were going through." He responded.
I learnt that there is a new level of vulnerability to be mastered. I thought I had it in the bag.
Maybe the gift of travel isn't always about the awe and wonder of new cultures and experiences; maybe the gift of travel is also in realising the importance of connection, living from love, and knowing that what truly matters is having one another - and Love.
Thank-you if you have read this far.
My intention is this; please make your heart, your mind, your soul a priority. Self-care is the key to experiencing the world from a place of Love and thriving.
In loving yourself first, in understanding and having compassion for your heart - you allow yourself to be flooded by love - to receive and to give.
I love this line from one of my favourite teachers and mentors Dr Joe Dispenza - To give, is to receive. To receive, is to give.
You can't give when you're running on empty. You are unable to receive when your sense of self is compromised.
Grateful for your space. Let me know what you are doing to make self-care a priority.