I’ve cleaned my house from top to bottom, designed an exercise schedule, and created a daily plan. The gardens are next and the car will finally get the detailing it so desperately requires.
But all of this is just a welcome distraction from the real work required at this time.
I am alone.
You see in this past year, I’ve navigated the journey of amicable separation (a blog piece for another day). And for the first time I have no where to escape this feeling of aloneness that relentlessly sits deep in my genetic
To be fair, it’s always been there. As a young child I would drive my parents crazy constantly asking them if they actually loved me. It left me susceptible to things as I grew up and in my teen years, set up camp with mental health issues that lead to depression and attempting suicide.
In my young (and not-so-young) adult years, I chose partners that validated this belief of never being quite good enough, and the loneliness just deepened.
And whilst over the past 8-9 years, I’ve torn myself apart and put myself back together more times than I can remember, THIS belief has sat deep in the shadows, just out of sight but rarely out of mind.
But now there’s no escape. Current world events have stripped away almost all of the distractions. I’ve no longer family and friends to keep me company, to offer the tactile escape I so need in the form of a hug or a touch. No more coffee dates, sitting with friends for hours solving the problems of the world…..hell I can’t even escape to the beach anymore!
The past 8 or 9 years has well equipped me for this internal journey. I’ve all the tools, techniques and strategies required, but it doesn’t make the work any more appealing.
It would be very easy to whitewash, affirm and “love and light” myself into a happier place; but that isn’t how emotional intelligence works. It’s not all unicorns farting rainbows and pretending the darkness doesn’t exist.
It’s about having the confidence to sit in that dark, to not try to escape and to actually “feel” what it is I’m feeling.
It’s relishing this journey, no matter how badly it hurts or how long it takes, all the while knowing, in the peripheral, that there’s light and it’s going to be ok.
Healing isn’t pretty…..well it is, but it’s actually pretty ugly.
It’s often sleepless nights, crying until you’re so full of snot you can’t breathe, feeling confused, sad and even scared…..and for me involves cramped hands and fingers from all the writing.
But even in its ugliness healing is beautiful, because it takes courage, strength and an infallible determination. It’s resilience and confidence, knowing that by sitting in the dark, by finding the exquisiteness in the pain, you don’t have to stay here as long as you would if you’d tried to bury it a little deeper.
That you can feel, process and release, no longer carrying that weight around with you.
Being emotionally intelligent doesn’t mean there isn’t struggle; it doesn’t mean you don’t feel the big, uncomfortable and hard-to-process feelings.
Allowing these feelings, giving them permission and resting in them. It’s finding the lessons and learning, embracing their uncomfortableness. And it’s not trying to run.
Not trying to distract, with wine, or tv, or shopping. It’s not projecting on to those around you, and asking forgiveness when you inevitably do. It’s knowing that it isn’t forever, and the less I fight, the more allowing I am, the shorter the journey.
Life is hard. It’s full of bumps and turns, and often has the most challenging of plot twists. Our kids need to know how to manoeuvre these in a healthy way. How to not distract from the big feelings or fall into despair; to have to confidence to know “I’ve got this”, even when they’re sitting with the most ugly side of themselves.
And for us, us adults, us parents…..well we need it too. Because it’s our responsibility to model that for them, and no matter how hard the journey, it is worth it.
The spring sun always feels warmer when the winter has been its harshest…
Trinity Kids Australia