By Jill Hope
I want to share a story with you. This story isn’t specifically about parenting, but what I learned could bring some ease to your life, as it has to mine. At the end of this story, you will find the 6 important lessons I learned from this experience. I am going to warn you, this story is a little long, so if you are short on time, please scroll down so you at least see the 6 important lessons.
I had an epiphany of sorts over the past 2 weeks. For a while I had been in a place energetically where I felt my wheels spinning in a million different directions. My response was to go into reaction mode, where I would do whatever action-based idea popped into my mind in the moment just so I could stay on top of every situation I was facing.
This went on for several weeks until I had the “Mack truck” experience.
I’ve written about the Mack truck experience before. It is when the universe tries to get your attention by giving you subtle clues that you’re not facing something you need to pay attention to. Instead of looking into the situation by taking time in solitude, you either ignore the hint or you take an action that masks the deeper issue.
But the universe doesn’t give up because it SO wants to keep you on a positive path. So it gives you another hint, not so subtle the next time. This pattern continues, with the hints growing in intensity, until you actually stop and pay attention to the root cause of the problem, rather than continuing to ignore or mask it.
The Mack truck experience happens when the hints get so loud that you literally feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck…..it forces you to pay attention. Some people experience this by getting sick, losing a job, or experiencing some other disruptive influence. I also refer to this as a parallel universe situation, because when it happens, it can sometimes feel like you literally stepped out of your life into another universe.
So what did I learn during my most recent “Mack truck” experience?
In my effort to be all things to all people I became nothing to myself. While I appeared to be keeping everything going on the outside, the inside of me was suffering. My organized, dare I say, Type A personality was not allowing me to see that I needed some help. I realized that I was trying to help everyone else, but giving nothing to myself and the healing that I needed on the inside.
Still clueless that this was happening, I started feeling really awful emotionally. I noticed myself having more thoughts that were negative rather than positive in nature, which is definitely not my normal way of being.
Then a friend reached out to me. When she told me what she was observing, it really shook me.
She said “You’re kind of like an island”.
What she meant by that is that I had built up this overly competent façade, like there were no other people in the world but the ones I needed to care for. It hadn’t dawned on me that perhaps there were people who cared for me too and who were ready to hop on the boat and rescue me off the island I had carefully created around me, if I would only just ask. I had shut myself away on an emotional island. I was not reaching out.
In the 2 weeks following this revelation, a couple of friends and someone I consider a mentor started giving to me, filling me up with their love and attention. I was able to talk about how I was feeling on the inside, and they were listening.
I started asking for what I needed. I realized I had to search within and seek answers that only my higher self could give me, and this meant me spending time with ME. I told my husband that I needed to be in “receiving mode” for a while. It became a cute joke between us. He’d come into the room where I was reading or relaxing and ask “Are you still in receiving mode?” I’d say “Yep” and he’d proceed to do whatever needed to be done next.
So here are the lessons I wanted to share from my experience:
1) It is OKAY to receive….yes, even if you are a mom. ESPECIALLY if you are a mom!
2) There are people on this planet for a reason – we all need community! I don’t care how efficient or effective or organized or introverted you are….we all need people! It is part of our nature as human beings. Being an introvert myself, I had to learn this the hard way. I needed people to give to me too.
3) Sometimes you do have to ask for what you need. Everyone is busy in their own lives, but most people would be willing to drop everything to help a friend in need. Learn to reach out, and don’t feel guilty about it. You deserve as much as anyone else to take up space in this world.
4) Asking for and receiving help is so important, but be prepared to reciprocate. What you give comes back to you. Be on the lookout for people in your life who may be their own island, and reach out to them.
5) No amount of “doing” on the outside can match “doing” on the inside. When you change from within, you see results without. Sometimes this takes time though, so learn to ask for the time you need.
6) And my personal favorite, borrowing a line from a movie “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” So true, so true. Do what it takes to make YOU happy. It will go a long way toward raising the happiness factor in your family.
What nudges are the universe sending you right now that you might not be paying attention to? What kind of help do you need? Who around you might need help, but are afraid to ask? These are some thoughts I invite you to sit with this week.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Are you afraid to reach out when you need help? Do you struggle to recognize you need help until it’s too late?
Please share – we are a community and together we can bring light to each other’s world!