I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I’m sad.
For all of my friends and family reading this please do not be concerned for me, or call me saying “jeez, I didn’t realize.” This is not a call for help. This is a truth telling. A vulnerability sharing. I will let you know if I need you, I promise.
This sadness is a raw sad that my mind says I shouldn’t feel, but my heart knows is truth.
This week after four friends brought babies into the world I hit a breaking point. It was just too much.
After reading Rachel Cole’s post about Mudita, which is so wise, I started thinking about comparison and jealousy. But for me this week is not about jealousy so much, it’s a reminder of what is missing. A reminder of what my heart wants.
It’s like trying to live with your desire for (and lack of) a hot fudge sundae and then four of your friends start eating them in front of you. You may like watching them enjoy their treat, but it really puts in your face how much you would like to enjoy one too.
And then I get a text from one of the mamas, “do you have any newborn clothes we could borrow”?
And I scream in my head “Of course I do, I’ve been prepared for a newborn for over a year.”
But these tiny clothes are just things and I’m not attached, its just a reminder of what isn’t. As I fold Teo’s old onesie and that new, used outfit that I picked up at the second hand store, I feel the pang in my heart and think these were supposed to be worn by our baby.
And of course they still will, with a little more wear and a little more love.
I just want it now and as you know patience is not my forte.
But what I really want to say is how I notice myself being critical of these feelings.
Inner critic voices saying,
“You already have a kid you don’t deserve to feel sad about this.”
“So many parents choose to only have one child”
“You live such a privileged life in so many ways, why get hung up on this?”
“You should be able to get over this, to not let it effect you so much.”
“You chose this. You have no right to be sad.”
But pain is pain and sadness is sadness and so I sit in the sad and know it is a teacher too.
And it’s in this tender place that I find gratitude.
It’s in this vulnerable that I find truth.
It’s in the raw that I find the mudita, or the joy in others joy.
Because I loved holding baby C and seeing him fresh in Teo’s PJs. And there was nothing like watching his parents sitting there watching him with such joy and love and overwhelm and utter bewilderment.
But I felt sad too.
I don’t like being in the uncomfortable (do any of us?) But continuing to return to the pain, return to the suffering, to allow myself to be in the uncomfortable is the only way for me to move through it.
Cheerleading myself to positive or shaming myself into gratitude is not a way through pain it just stuffs it deeper until it festers reeking havoc on all areas of my life.
And so I choose to sit and feel. Feel the sad today and whatever comes tomorrow.
** DISCLAIMER – I suck at spelling and my grammar is even worse, but you know what? I’m not letting my inner perfectionist keep me from writing and posting here on this little blog. I mean come on, it’s a blog, so please excuse any errors and feel free to e-mail me any corrections as long as you are kind and remind me that grammar and spelling are not really measures of intelligence or value, but hey a more polished piece is always nice.