I was recently sitting in a café and my heart broke a little.
Surrounding me, were my three little peeps, in various stages of drawing, reading, eating, arguing, fighting, whinging…..a pretty normal scene for any mother with a 9, 7 and 5-year-old.
My heart was not breaking because my kids where being, well kids. No my heart was breaking as I over-heard a conversation between a mother and daughter. The mother, was doting on her 6-month-old grandchild, who was looking ever so cute in a high-chair shoving bits of food into her mouth, giggling and being all sorts of adorable.
The daughter, looked exhausted. The daughter was lost, bewildered, disappointed, ashamed, inadequate, disheartened.
I know what this young woman was thinking because I ‘know’ stuff, particularly what people are feeling. I sense it. I feel it. Sometimes in my physical body. Sometimes as just a sense of energy / emotion overwhelming me. It is not uncommon in my treatment room, when working 1:1 with clients for my eyes to well with tears, my throat become constricted, my voice hoarse with emotion, my heart aching (I’m personally not a fan of this, as it often REALLY HURTS).
Is it weird?
A bit. But it is something that has developed gradually (with ease and grace….just the way I like it!) and therefore it is something that I have got quite use to. Sometimes I know my clients get a little weirded out, when I ask particular questions seemingly from nowhere, or start to weep a little or grab my chest because the intensity of the emotion is so painful. And while it’s a little intense at times, I have quite wisely been guided by mentors to create clear boundaries around when this ‘gift’ is on and when it is off, so to speak. And most of the time it works really well.
I go into my treatment room and start working with clients (face to face or via Skype) or into a workshop and start facilitating and it immediately gets switched ON. And when I leave those spaces, it is OFF. So when I’m in the school playground dropping off my kids or picking them up, I’m not feeling or knowing other mothers, teachers, children’s ‘stuff’. When I am with my friends, I’m just being a friend, when I’m with my family I’m just being the sister, daughter, aunty etc that I’ve always been.
The truth is, I don’t want to ‘know‘ or feel everyone’s stuff. I know other people who walk down the street and they are acutely aware of what complete strangers are feeling. To be honest, I don’t want this! It is far too overwhelming for me. And unless I can help them in some way, it is pointless me knowing and feeling their ‘stuff’.
And then there are days like the day, when sitting in the café, somehow I ended up deeply connected to the conversation at the table beside me.
Again truth be told, I would have much preferred to have read my book, chatted to my kids and enjoyed my coffee. Yet, the fact that I was so in-tune with the young mother adjacent to me, told me there was something I was to take from this experience. And so, I sat there acutely feeling the pain of this young mother. I could see she adored her baby girl, and that she found comfort in the fact that her own mother was engaging so heartedly with her daughter. And at the same time, I felt her shame.
Shame that she does not connect with her baby girl in THAT way. The way she dreamed she would. The way she believed all other mothers do.
‘No’, I wanted to gently tell her. ‘It’s not true you are not alone. Not all mothers have that deep connection to their baby. Most mothers struggle at some time or another.’
I glance at my babes around me. My babes, who are babes no more. And I remember those moments of struggle. I recall my own times of struggle these days.
Yet I KNOW that these moments pass.
They come. They go.
They are but moments in time, with emotions attached to them. And as the moment passes, so does the emotion. Well this is how it works for me now. But it wasn’t always this way.
I remember the days when the emotions all rolled into one.
I remember the days when the moments all rolled into one.
I remember the days when it felt like the struggle will never end. I previously wrote about that here.
And I want to reach out and tell her all of this because I sense the anguish and despair overwhelming her. I sense her fear. Fear that she is failing this whole mother thing. Fear that she is failing her daughter. Fear that she is just failing life and a rising panic because she doesn’t know how to change it.
And as she tells her mother about how she hadn’t slept for more than 30 minutes at a time for the last week, because her baby girl had been so unsettled, I can feel she is craving support. She is needing support. She is scared that she can’t do this alone, that she can’t hold it together much longer. I feel her shame again. Shame because she is getting angry with her baby girl. Yelling at her baby girl. Shame that she resents her baby girl for throwing her life into disarray.
And her mother misses it all. She doesn’t hear her. She doesn’t really hear her.
She misses her daughters silent shameful plea for support and instead unwittingly reinforces her own beliefs;
‘Oh, it’s normal, she’s just going through a stage.
It doesn’t get any easier you know.
It’s just being a mother.
It’s the hardest job in the world’.
It is these sort of beliefs about mothering, that end up creating so much stress for mothers. Beliefs that are passed down from well-meaning family members; friends and society in general. Combine this with the beliefs that are carried within the energy body from ancestors and past lives, then the programming can become deeply embedded and difficult to ignore. They contribute to the feelings of mothers being trapped in a vicious cycle. The vicious cycle of being a mother, that is so contrary to the one the social media world tells us is all ‘smelling roses’ and loved up moments. And this inconsistency creates huge feelings of inadequacy within mothers.
It is THIS reason I include teaching REFRAMING techniques in my Emotional Energy Reboot Workshop for Mums. Our thoughts moment to moment create our experiences. And when mothers have thoughts like these that are holding them in a negative space and continue to create further negative experiences, then any tool to bring them out of this is an essential for all mothers!
I like to think of thoughts as simple vibrations that we project out into the Universe. And according to the Law of Attraction, these thoughts, whether conscious or subconsciously held, attract the same vibration. I feel a real sense of concern when I think of mothers thinking ‘It doesn’t get any easier’ day after day. That must feel like a life sentence! And anyone who is thinking that it is not going to get any easier than no more than 30 minute stretches of sleep at a time, must feel like it is a life sentence of pure torture.
I found it so hard to sit there with this young woman’s feelings and knowing her struggle, yet feeling so powerless to help her. Over the last few years, I have learnt to create boundaries and I have learnt to respect others boundaries. It was not my place to help this young woman. But I know that I was in this situation and feeling it so intensely so that I would be reminded of the importance of creating workshops and tools to help other mothers who are finding the whole experience a bit – or a lot, tough!
As I left the café and walked past this young woman, with my three little peeps in toe, I couldn’t help but gently place my hand on her shoulder and tell her that ‘it does get easier and I think you are amazing.’
It was nothing but maybe it could be enough.
Enough to break the limiting thoughts.
Enough to break the emotion cycle.
Enough to break a moment in time.
Enough to plant a seed.
Enough to create hope.
My next Emotional Energy Reboot Workshop for mums is on Saturday May 20, find all details here. It’s my way of helping other mums navigate motherhood with more calm, confidence and connectedness.
And for any mother reading this, I just have to tell you a few things, and I want you to repeat these to yourself daily – all day every day if you need too!
You are amazing (I am amazing)
You are valued (I am valued)
You are important (I am important)
You are loved (I am loved)
You are an extraordinary mother (I am an extraordinary mother)
You are getting it right (I am getting it right)
You are heard (I am heard)
You are seen (I am seen)
You can do this (I can do this)
You have got this (I have got this)
You are not alone (I am not alone)
I love, honour and respect myself exactly as I am.
Here’s a printable copy just for you!
If you would like some more Affirmations to help you through your day, make sure to subscribe to my mailing list for a free set of Affirmation Cards (your sign up is right at the bottom of this page).