There are times when I feel like giving up, when I wonder why I have to care so much or try to be self aware at all. There are times when I feel exasperated with my kids, when Mo and I disagree and argue, or feel hurt and resentful toward each other. There are times when I wonder why I have decided to take on such a special diet for our family, and how I will ever find the time to take care of everyone and myself. When I feel that way it helps me to spend some time just acknowledging my feeling. Not shutting it down, making excuses or a plan. Treating myself with kindness like I would one of my kids. I am not always able to do that for very long because I always want to jump to what to do next. Then I try to sit down, take a look at what is stressing me out, and evaluate what it is that I actually want. It’s not that I want Mo to do this or that, it’s really that I want to feel close to him. It’s not that I really care whether I can make a grain free birthday cake, it’s that I want to celebrate in a way that is meaningful to my son and helps him feel special.
I find that if I can isolate what is at the core of my desires, I am much more likely to be able to satisfy them. Sometimes when I am craving chocolate, what I really want is a feeling of pleasure and contentment, and maybe a moment of solace. When I want to buy a new dress, am I really trying to buy a better feeling about myself? I’m not saying that there is any problem with enjoying a piece of chocolate or buying a new dress that makes me feel like I look good. The problem is when I keep trying to put a dress or chocolate on a bad feeling. The feeling doesn’t go away, even though I got what I wanted, so what then? More dresses? Better chocolate? I can see that that’s not the answer. Honestly I’m not in a place yet where I’m always able to identify or acknowledge my deepest true desires, let alone find ways to satisfy them. I think the openness and curiosity to discover what they are is the first step and I am hopeful as I continue to dig beneath the surface.