August 21, 2010

Vulnerability and strength

Good day/Bad day?: Good

No post yesterday b/c I didn't know what to talk about, plus we had our multiple ones with photos the day before--check it out below! Today I am more chatty.

So the day consisted of a craniosacral appt, brief farmer's market tour, and back home with Olive & Ben. Then over to Gene & Kate's for an impromptu pool date (thanks, guys!). Then Ben took me on a hot date to watch flat track motorcycle racing, and we came home and were old and lame. Oh, and we watched part of the Packer game and a Wallace & Gromit movie. Cheese!

So today I had some interesting things to ponder and will share them in a way that may not make sense...

Essentially, the essence of what I'm pondering is a few things. I am at a time when my body is the weakest in many ways and the most vulnerable it's ever been in my life, and this will continue for a while. While I know I'm protected by wonderful people in my life, I still feel like I need to remain strong in my eyes and those of others. I've had many people comment about how amazed they are at how well I'm doing and recovering from the surgery, but I think it's more b/c I WANT to be someone who is doing well than b/c I really am, both for others and for me.

There's an incredible base of people who are sending me good energy and positive thoughts, but I think I'm also realizing that I've let it become more difficult to let out the negative thoughts in the face of such positivity--like a shield of sorts. As much as one can go with the slogans about the power of positive thinking, in a situation like this, to deny the negatives seems inauthentic. I think I need to be mad and sad (without wallowing in it), but I'm also vulnerable then. I need to figure out a way to do that without bringing me and everyone else down.

I realize that I'll get responses from people telling me it's okay to show those feelings and not be positive and strong when I don't want to be. It's one thing to know it intellectually and to hear it, but then I think of the crucial people in my life and think about the burden that puts on them... Again, when I'm vulnerable like that, there will be those who will act as my protectors, but that's hard for them to sustain for as long as I may need it.

I also realize that I'm pushing myself too hard right now, but I still feel like I need to. I know that in a week I'm going to be feeling worse and want to do as much and be as helpful as I can be for that window of time. This is esp hard with Olive care, because I still have about 3 weeks to go for the lifting restriction, too. I can't tell you how hard it is to not be able to walk around holding her in my arms when I want to. It's almost to the point where I want to leave so I don't have to see how much I'm not doing for her. I can't comfort her as well when I need to, and that's a crucial part of mothering to me. Then I just feel like I boss everyone else around to make myself feel involved, which may not be the most helpful!

So yeah, I did say above that it was a good day, and it was! I just need to take some time to digest the big stuff once in a while, because it's too easy to try to move on without giving it its due.
Oh, one more thing I was going to share with you that come from an unexpected place. We had a group come in to work for a self-defense class, and the instructor was talking about an approach to life where you welcome the pain (or the attack in this case) because it puts you at a stronger position and rewrites the outcome. He said that inviting pain in, knowing that it will happen in life, is the way to open yourself up to the blessings that can come with it. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but it struck a chord with me. Okay, goodnight!


Kathy said...

From the heart, Jenny--nothing but good can come from that. Nice picture of the threesome!

I like the idea of inviting the pain in. It goes with being one with the moment, whatever the moment is, living your life, whatever your life is. Being the inviter will help keep you in control even when you're vulnerable.

This applies maybe to the worries you have about being Olive's mother too...Your mothering of Olive will be what it is...and it will be the best you are capable of (From the Tao of Motherhood, V. McClure: What mother hasn't had fearful fantasies of losing her child? This is the hardest time to accept letting go as part of holding on...Only ten percent accept the wheel of life as it is. They are free from fear, for they know that nothing is ever lost. They do not grasp and cling or organize their lives around a fantasy of what might happen. For their children, fear cannot find a place to lodge its blade.)

The above quote in context is more about letting your child be free and mom holding on too tightly...I think it applies in the reverse too when or if mom can't be there as much as she wants. Those who love you will be there helping Olive understand, trying in small ways to fill in for you. Best of all, Ben will have a real chance to to be the dad he can be since many of us moms tend to hog the parent thing at first and only later realize that we should have taken a back seat more often. NOTHING is ever's a powerful concept that I encourage you to believe in.

Last but not least...those who love you understand that you can't always be sweet and loving. Frankly, it's really special to better get to know the real you.

xo MIL

Valerie said...

Looks like you had an awesome appt w/ Treena! She has an amazing gift! I heard the self defense classes were amazing! You will have to tell me all I need to know to keep myself safe :) I am glad you had a good day....the days when you have all these ideas and emotions are often exhausting, but feel so productive don't they?!?! I will be off on Sept 3 and 7...working my last weekend! And really never have Sunday plans! I'm available for any Oatmeal Pancake runs or venting sessions or Olive-sitting that may be needed :) It was great to see you the other day! Sorry I couldn't stop and catch up!