Saving Yourself: In Trauma

I Can’t, I Just Can’t

One bag of peanut M&Ms, a large Diet Coke, half a bag of chips and salsa, a handful of ibuprofen, and I think we hit about 8:15 AM! Waaaaaaahhhhh, I can’t, I just can’t today.

Floor covered in broken, stomped on, and more than likely half chewed cereal, spilled juice that’s starting to turn into sweet glue, a smell that seems to be radiating from my unclean body, and a toddler who is 3 hours late for his nap! I can’t, I just can’t today.

 

If your days are just as hectic and crazy and disheartening and painful then maybe you can relate to the horrible way I realized I had been treating myself.

It wasn’t until I started doing all these jobs completely alone that I found out that the only one rendering me completely useless at the end of each day was ME. My kids are still young and yes their needs are great, but what I didn’t see was that mine SHOULD be greater. So, I thought, “How do I fill my cup? Or Bucket? Or Bathtub? Or Olympic sized swimming pool?” Whatever the size your vessel is currently, how are you filing it? Or do you even see that it’s half empty?

A woman needs to be nourished and supported and cared for. Though we would love for someone else (my money’s still on Prince Charming) to take care of most of these needs, I found that really no one can truly give me what I need except for me. Because I’m the only one smart enough, capable enough and caring enough to make it happen. And, of course, I’m the only one who can choose happy for me.

So, How Do We turn our “I Can’t” days into “I Can” days?!

Focus on Mind, Body, and Spirit.

 

Mind

You know exactly what you need. Put your mind in a space to be calm that offers opportunities for it to wander and find its way to your happy place. Once you’re there, look around, notice what it feels like, looks like and what else is there.

I know for me, creating these times of reflection happened best after putting all the kids to bed and I actually turned off all the electronics and picked up a pen and a notebook. After starting out with the list of mundane tasks, I started to write down things that frustrated me and things I wanted to change. Which led me to think…”Why can’t I change some of those things?!”

Damn straight mind! Why can’t I change things about my life to make it more enjoyable? OF COURSE I CAN!!!
SO CAN YOU!!

So I made a list of all the ways I wanted to be good to myself and set easy short-term goals for achieving them. And guess what my friends??? I did most of them and I started to feel happier, more calm, more confident and I’m pretty sure my self esteem went up by like 1,000 points.

 

Body

One area I needed to start on was taking care of my body.

We normally do so much to make sure kids, spouses, friends, neighbors, fellow church members, grocery store clerks, teachers, Target employees, mail man, person standing behind us in the checkout, and the stranger standing on the corner…all have their needs met before we even stop to think if we fed ourselves today. WHY?! That is SOOOOO stupid of us. So. Very. Stupid.

We cannot function if our bodies don’t move correctly due to extra weight, our minds are foggy because we aren’t properly nourished, and we just can’t get out of bed because our physical habits translate to depression. Who in the world are we going to be able to care for if we cannot care for ourselves?!

Now if you LOVE to be a martyr and you want to continue eating a family size bag of chips, half a pizza and a whole box of Girl Scout cookies all in one sitting, right before bed…then go ahead, be a freaking Zombie and never change a thing. OR you can look yourself in the mirror and tell your body that you are beautiful and you are better than this.

I started by getting a fitness tracker so that I could physically have a machine tell me how lazy I am! And it worked, 2,000 steps a day baby. Hmmmm, shame, shame. This prompted my current goal to do an easy 30min workout/walk every day. Any kind of heart pumping movement to activate the feel good juices in my brain will do the trick.

Then I actually began paying attention to what I was putting in my body and when. Junk food out. Fresh yummy food in. Eating after the kids go to bed is a No-No and drinking way more water is a MUST!!

 

Spirit

Since I was always so busy caring for everyone else of course I rarely had time to nourish my spirituality. Not only was it something I didn’t have time for, it was something that required (duh, duh, duh…) effort. Effort is like the sister of motivation and I had been lacking BOTH.

First line of business was to increase personal prayer or meditation time. The impact of quiet communion with a higher power or energy helps to ground us and allow us to feel more grateful for the things and people around us.

I know that I can’t do this life alone. I need spiritual reinforcements to help me along the way. I began to learn from friends and servants of God that I could ask God for blessings, to send angels to protect and help me and my kids, to better my health, and expand my understanding of my current situation. One of the most important ideas that came to me while exploring this new spiritual path was; I needed to give up my idea of control and let a higher power lead the way.

“Let your Faith be bigger than your fear.” Being willing to take a step without knowing what the next step will be is one of the scariest and hardest things that I do in my life. But I’m sure you could testify with me that this concept ALWAYS works. As my co-author mom Sunny has stated in one of her previous posts “It always works out. Always.” There’s a reason for that, God loves you and He’s helping you walk a path closer to Him.

Turning my thoughts towards God was another step that leads me to reading more of His word, listening to uplifting and inspiring books and talks. Watching YouTube videos that helped me identify with me and that gave me strength. I replaced the crappy radio music with CDs of artists that helped me feel happy and made it easier to choose to live a higher standard.

In the end I noticed that it wasn’t one big unattainable thing but so many little changes that have been making all the difference.

 

…I Can

16oz of water drunk, a horse pill of a woman’s energy multivitamin, lots of deep breathing, and a freshly cleaned shirt! Well, maybe today, I can.

I’m in recovery from the trauma in my life that I’ve allowed to break me down and place such ugly, restrictive burdens on me.

I’m breaking free!

I CAN take each day with a positive and confident attitude about who I am and the great capabilities I have.

I CAN fill my cup with the simple things that make me a stronger mother, stronger friend and a stronger follower of Christ.

I am not afraid, I am enough and damn right I CAN!!

 

-Charlotte