It's Just Spilled Milk....or Coffee
Has there ever been a day you started that was so rocky you wondered how you’re going to survive the next 12 hours? Well, that’s me…today. Honestly though, it’s not even the initial downward spiral that made me reconsider waking up this morning; it was reflecting on the culmination of months-long struggles. But now that I’m really thinking about it, it’s not fair to call these moments that have been frequenting my life of late struggles. It has been more like one out-right and continuous battle. Sure me dropping my entire over-priced iced coffee that I’d barely had a sip of was the catalyst for the tears of frustration that came later, but it wasn’t the reason I feel so broken right now.
I’m laughing a little because broken is also an understatement; it’s more like I am relentlessly under attack. Ironically, even though I’m bruised and bloody deep down, I force myself to see and feel the joys all around me. However, other times when it’s harder to find the joy, it sneaks through my repressed tears when I find a note or drawing one of the twins snuck into my work bag that morning. That’s when a light bulb moment occurs and I’m like, my kids are worth this fight. My kids are worth the sleepless nights, months spent writing 300 page books and constant search for doors of opportunity…and so am I.
My entire life it seemed like I lived to please. I guess it’s true though, because I always wanted to make someone happy. Unfortunately a great deal of my time spent making someone else happy came at a cost…my own joy. After living a life where this just became a normal thing, it took me years and quite a few painful lessons to understand that my dedication to making others happy wasn’t necessarily going to be reciprocated. Hence my current conundrum: having to now focus on me, my children and my goals without feeling like the bad guy for the things I may or may not do.
I’ve always sought out to be the perfect mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, and one day wife. It’s hard knowing that none of that will never happen though. I’ll never be perfect in any regard no matter how desperately I try or how much I work to appease others. Another painful lesson I’ve learned from this is that sometimes the ones that you do the most for and try your hardest to save and protect are ultimately the ones that inflict the most damage with not a single care given. Typing and reading that part hurt yes, but I also feel a sense of freedom. It can be freeing when blinders are removed and we’re allowed to see reality amid our own little world; but first you have to allow it to happen.
I tend to say that, even though I possess this incessant need to please the world, I was a born fighter. Yes, I know it sounds like a contradiction, but trust me, it’s not. My battles aren’t just with shield and sword. I fight battles that try and test my faith without end, I fight battles where my one and only goal is to talk another off their own ledge of self destruction, I fight hope-giving battles for myself and others, and I fight battles with and for a thing so simple as peace. You see, even though I’ve learned to reign in the lengths that I’m willing to go to please someone, I still desire to be a good, kind and caring person. I want to live a life that I won’t look back on with regret. And being a malicious, spiteful, cold, self-centered, mean, joyless, unforgiving and/or conniving person will cause just that.
When I started this post I was near tears and choking down a slice of banana bread (because I’d spilled my full cup of ice coffee that I bought to wash it down with). But now there’s a calm over me that I was desperately seeking earlier as I tried to pull myself together. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still upset about to coffee, but over the last 20 minutes or so I had an epiphany: is this one moment worth the spiritual and mental setback that could occur by allowing it to fester and multiply? I can’t say that it is. We have so much control over our mental and emotional state if we only accept the past for what it is and see the future for what it could be. If you dwell on past regret, your future will become one of regret; if you dwell on past pain, your future become one filled with pain; if you focus on joy, your life will be joy filled. If you feel like you’re immobile and drowning in an abyss with no way out, until you realize that you are your own anchor, you will never be free to rise….you will never be free to breathe. Not one of us is promised tomorrow; it would be a sad thing to waste precious moments by allowing yourself to suffocate in the pains of today.