I already wrote you a blog for this week. It is completed and ready to go. It is one of those times where I need to put it aside for another time and start from the beginning again. With all the events that have been occurring lately, I felt like I needed to change the focus of what I was writing this week.
I watched on tv as our Mayor discussed the events that occurred in my city. Riots were occurring so close to my home. I felt scared and unsafe and I looked over into my husband’s eyes. The eyes that felt like home from the first moment I looked into them.
I remember the first time I looked into Seth’s eyes like it was yesterday. I smiled realizing that I had found my person. The person I would spend my life with and create a family with. I knew the first day I saw him, and I still know. I still love to look into his beautiful blue eyes. I took some deep breaths as I looked at him. I saw my girls watching the live coverage and jumped outside of myself to realize they were totally freaked out. Parenting makes you forget about yourself as you jump into mama bear mode. “You two need to go in the playroom. You are safe. You are okay. We have an alarm system and a dog, and your parents will keep you safe. I will put you to bed in a few minutes.” Their panic-stricken eyes relaxed and they scattered off to the playroom. Seth and I continued to watch the coverage in total disbelief. “Floyd wouldn’t have wanted this,” I spit out in tears to Seth. How was this honoring his death? This is taking the attention away from the actual issue at hand. I knew people were upset. I know they are angry. This isn’t the way to handle it. Let us protest in a peaceful way. I agree with their anger and hurt but I don’t agree with how they are expressing it. Every life matters. Every person matters. It doesn’t matter what your gender, color or beliefs are, every person is equal and worthy.
I find it hard to believe that this is happening in May of 2020. Haven’t we come so far? Why are we still dealing with any type of racism? Aren’t we beyond this yet? It all starts at home. I encourage my children to be friends with everyone. I encourage them to look at someone’s heart, not the color of their skin or the religion they believe in. Aren’t we all just people? We are all the same.
I see friend after friend either taking a break from Facebook or communicating about how much all the posts they are seeing are disturbing them. I make such a conscious effort to keep my posts as positive as possible. People will accuse you of being fake. I am not being fake. I am making a conscious and mindful decision to put positives out into the universe. I think before I post every single time. “What do I want to spread?” I will ask myself.
I have been talking a lot to Seth about my focus, my control and my mindfulness. You will read more about that in the blog I was going to post today. The theme of my life lately is self control and mindfulness. I have control over all the choices I make every day. The choice to not react in anger. The choice to pause and think before I say whatever I want. Is what I am about to say going to help the situation or make it worse? Is what I am about to eat going to make me healthy or unhealthy? Is what I am about to post going to make people happy or sad?
I am never ever going to achieve perfection. I am a work in progress every day. We all are. I tell myself and others that our goal is to work on being the best versions of ourselves. Every day I can find a way for me to do better the next day. As my 7 year-old tries to tell me a story I can feel myself getting angry with what she is saying. I can usually do a good job staying calm with Max and Ella. My patience with Lillie is not as good. Something for me to continue to work on. I had to understand it before I could work on fixing it.
Seth and I went for our second walk of the day with our dog Tanner. It is our daily date to catch up and talk without the children around. I have so much more time to take walks these days. Walking is something that was making me happy, making me feel like I was getting out, and was making me healthier. Today I took a walk with Tanner, one with Seth and Tanner, and a third walk with Lillie, Ella and Tanner.
Seth had a calm discussion with Lillie and found out whatever was going on with her today. He was telling me all about it and he didn’t understand why I was upset. I started to realize a lot of why I get reactive with her. There is the fact that she constantly needs something from me, there is the fact that she can be super feisty, but there is so much more to it than that. I see so much of myself in her. I have so much to teach her. I reassured myself that she is only 7. There is plenty of time to teach her self confidence. Lillie is so kind and giving. She would do anything to make me happy. If she sees me crying or upset, she is the first to run over to me and ask me what is wrong. I know she would do anything for anyone, and it scares me. I see myself in her. I don’t want her to be willing to do anything for a friend or a future boyfriend or a sibling. There has to be some boundaries. Now that I realized why I am so reactive with her I can do a better job being responsive and helpful instead of reactive and angry. As soon as I get angry, she completely shuts down and won’t talk to me. This is good. I was moving in the right direction. I am always trying to move in the right direction. I can’t fix something until I identify the root of the problem.
The word focus comes up in my mind multiple times every day lately. As I gain more focus, mindfulness and self-control, I will be able to make more progress in my life. I will be able to stay calmer with Lillie. I will be able to make more healthy decisions. I will be able to gain a better me.
The pandemic has led the people in my area to be home since March 16th. Phase two started yesterday so things are beginning to open up. I have been on a roller coaster ride of emotions since March 16th. I have felt almost every emotion. I have plenty of happy days cleaning, cooking, baking, reading, writing, walking, and spending time with my family. I have had days where I feel like I have complete ants in my pants. A walk or a drive usually helps me with that. I have had days where I am so sad for my children. They are missing out on so much. I have days where I just feel thankful that we are healthy and together. I am sure most of you can relate to what I am writing. I am sure you are having good days and not so good days too.
As we head into June, I realize that I am in control of how my days go. I am in control over where my mind and focus are each day. I woke up today at 7:00 and went back to sleep. “Why do I need to get up at 7?” I asked myself as I drifted back to sleep. I’m also going to bed later and later which is leading to later wake up times. At 8:30 my eyes opened again, and I rolled out of bed sad that I had nothing to look forward to today. “Wait. Stop right there. You can choose to make this a great day. This is not a time to be sad. This is a time to think of everything that you are thankful for and all the things that you are able to do today. Every day is a day to be thankful for.” I had just shifted. I was doing it more and more these days. I realized the more I practice something the easier and more automatic it becomes. I am uncomfortable being sad or angry. I like to be happy. I enjoy smiling. I am in control of this. Every day I choose how I feel. I wasn’t going to let my thoughts and feelings control me. I was going to control them.
Watching what is going on in the world right now pushes me even further to spread love, joy, happiness, tolerance and acceptance. I have control over what I am doing, and I have control over teaching my three children to be good people who can spread this too.
As we find ourselves sad with the events we are encountering around us, I want to challenge all of us to do something about it. Every single one of us can make a difference. Here are some of my ideas for you:
- It all starts at home. Teach your children love, tolerance and acceptance of people. Teach them that all people are equal. Remember that they watch your actions more than they hear your words. Be a good role model for your children and everyone around you.
- We are in control of our thoughts and feelings. Practice gaining control and shifting yourself to a positive focus. The world needs positivity!
- Take a moment and pause and think about what you are going to say or post before you do it. What is your desired outcome? What are you looking to achieve with what you are about to say? I choose to try to make people smile.
- Go get involved in politics or helping a politician you believe in. Treat everyone with respect. Even politicians and people that you don’t agree with. Your children are watching and learning from you.
- If you are going to protest, do so peacefully.
- Write letters to your politicians. Advocate for what you believe in.
- Teach your children to go sit with the child sitting alone. That is teaching love right there. That is where it starts.
I am not saying that we can’t be sad or angry. We should always allow ourselves to feel our emotions. What I am saying is that what we focus on expands. What do we want to expand? I want love, patience, tolerance and acceptance to expand. I will spread it every day as much as I can. I believe that one person can make a difference. Go make a difference in this world.
Laughing, Loving, Learning,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R