(Sorry about the blocked link to last week’s post. It’s been resolved now. You can access the post and the audio meditation here)
In our Western world we are taught that when someone says no it means you stop and when someone needs space you give it to them. In other words you respect another person’s individuality and personal space and needs.
And then you become a parent.
She said, “I remember being with my two-year-old and feeling totally drained. I remember saying, ‘Ok that’s enough. I need some time. I can’t anymore’ and he just pulled on my leg and said ‘Mama, come see this’ as if I hadn’t said anything. And I thought, what do you mean ‘Mama come?’ I just told you I can’t anymore!”
It’s a shocker – those moments when you have NOTHING left in you. You’ve spent the day catering to, nurturing, loving, giving, organising, schlepping and carrying – all because you want to have done all that. Some of it you enjoyed, some of it not, but you were ok about doing all of it. And now you are done. DONE. You need to lie on the floor and stare at the ceiling like a catatonic patient for a while. That sounds nice.
Maybe you are even one of those rare creatures who has learned to express your needs and ask for help, so you say what you need. Hooray!
But wait, what is this? Your beautifully expressed needs are falling on deaf ears. Not so much deaf as they really don’t understand or care what you’ve just said. THEY have needs and that’s what they’reconcerned with (I’m talking about the kids here people not your partner – different lesson there…)
So when you say, “Ok little beloveds. That was fun and now I have reached the bottom of the barrel. I am sapped. Tired out. I have no more ‘play with you/ give you attention’ funds left for today”, their response is, “So what? I have needs. Go into overdraft”.
And you must. The alternative is walking away from children with needs – and it takes a certain kind of breaking point to do that. Luckily that’s only a once-in-a-while point;
There are so many shades of grey before then…
So you just do it. You get on with it. You go beyond where you thought you could and hey presto, another lesson learned. You can do a LOT more than you assumed you could. Your limitations were not actually where you placed them but further on.
So here’s the important bit: We all know that we can learn reluctantly or learn appreciatively. And the reason this is an important point, is because it can impact quite substantially on the state of your energy ‘overdraft’.
If you say, “Hey what do you know? I have an overdraft facility. How cool”, you can you use the extra energy and make sure you are kind to yourself later so that you get back out of energy debt. This way you might find that in a day or so you have more in your energy account than ever before and you walk around knowing you can do more than you thought. Quite exciting actually.
But if you say, “Oh no I’m in overdraft! Panic stations! That’s terrible. It’s dangerous. How could they do this to me?” you can spend the next while worrying about it, angry about it, complaining about it and defending against it happening again (I know you know what I mean). This way you use more of your funds to complain and be angry so you get tireder and tireder and increasingly despondent and resentful. (Folks, sadly I know this from personal experience and the results ain’t pretty.)
When they push you beyond where you thought you could go, try to just celebrate your new capacity.
It might take a few attempts…