Looking at this mess of wires reminds me of those times in grief when you are just a mess. It is easy to look at yourself and be your worst critic. Other people’s comments will make you question whether you loved your child enough. You will wonder if you were a good enough parent. You will see this jumbled mess of emotions and wonder, am I ready for the world again?
I often hear people remind me to take time for myself. I even have to remind myself once-in-a-while to stop and reorganize the tangled mess of my heart. It is easy to overlook the mess or to push it away because, let’s be real, who wants to untangle those cords? To untangle means to struggle and possibly be angry, upset, or sad. It is only through the time being mindful of our own struggles, that we can feel a more peaceful heart.
For me, some of my self-compassion time comes through this project. For 31 days I have to set aside time to untangle the mess I pretend not to see. Writing forces me to be mindful and understanding that my feelings do change each year. It makes me stop and recognize that my struggles are part of our human existence on this earth. It knocks self-criticism to the curb by showing me that each of our struggles is different and it is okay to feel different. Each year I am reminded that I still have things I want to work on. Reading other’s journeys often sparks things that remind me of something I hadn’t thought of or gives me a different way to look at things.
Each year I use this project to create a book. It is the best feeling in the world to close the back cover and feel a sense of relief. Relief not because I had a month long pity party but because I feel a new sense of calmness. A calmness that can only come from accepting yourself and your feelings. One that comes from seeing your own emotional resilience, learned wisdom, and even a little bit of happiness again. So thank you to my husband and kids who let me use this month to take the time to do what is good for me. In just a few days I will close this year’s book, breath a sigh of relief, and see the nicely organized words that were written from my heart.