I open my eyes before the alarm goes off. I am still tired, yet I cannot go back to sleep. I can already feel it… the dreading sensation that you are heading for a fall, for failure… I try to count my blessings… I know there are many but right now I feel like they are too few to count.
I am missing my husband. I decide to blame him for being away for so long, for leaving me to do it all by myself, to blame him for my bad mood. He shouldn’t have left us. Like he had a choice… I hear myself judging my thoughts. “How dare you blame your husband; he is doing what he can. You are lucky to have someone like him by your side. You don’t deserve him.” I recognise those words, they were said by someone very close to me many years ago, and I have since adopted them as mine.
My voice tells me: “Stay in bed, you are tired. Don’t do anything. Stay here with me. Just for today, do nothing. You deserve some rest. Let me tell about all the reasons why life sucks”. I breathe deeply, and somehow manage to get up. I go straight to the balcony and look at the sky – yet again another beautiful sunrise. It makes me smile; it makes me feel like this new day may bring with it hopeful moments. My little voice stops for a while whilst I manage to get the kids up and get breakfast going.
I can hear the kids in the background, playing. I know I should be happy about the sounds their laughs make, but I’m not. I can feel the anger starting to build up within myself. “Here we go again; instead of helping you, the only thing they care about is themselves”. My voice is back, with unwelcomed familiarity. “You are all alone, and nobody cares. Your children just need you to care for them, to be their nanny, but they don’t love you the way you love them”. I start feeling really bad about myself, and before I know it, anger turns into rage. I walk into the kid’s bedroom and start yelling at them so they can hurry up and get ready. Now I feel really disappointed with myself. Last night, I made a promise to myself that I would try to go all day without yelling at my kids, because I love them with all my heart, and because I know that they are just kids, good kids, acting normal. I know the issue is with me. Now I am really judging myself and feeling quite low. I can already tell that I am about to spiral out of control. I am angry at myself. I have been awake for only 30 minutes, and already, I feel like quitting this day, and escaping from it all.
“You are a coach for crying out loud. Pull yourself together”. I am ready to kick this bloody voice to the curb… “You can’t do anything right!”. As I let that last statement start to consume me, I come across a piece of paper sitting on the kitchen bench. I recognize the writing. It is my daughter’s. It says: “You are my angel mum, and nothing changes that”. I feel how my heart shrinks quickly, and then expands with joy. I feel this warm, fuzzy sensation all over my face, and let go fully, allowing the tears to run down my face.
I am home. I feel myself come back into alignment, alive, vibrant. “Be kind with yourself” I hear. Now this voice I like much more. I am also used to this voice. I know this voice has my back, and loves me no matter what. For the first time this morning I feel like I am fully awake, and I give myself a chance to make different choices.
First, I thank my ugly voice, I know deep down it is trying to keep me safe and protected under our current family circumstances. Then, I allow it to go back into the dark shadows where it came from, as I tell it that all is well.
Next, I go to my children, and as I stare at their little faces, I apologise for my behaviour, and then give them a long hug. I tell them that I love them and I allow their love for me to fill my heart. I feel joy. I feel complete. I feel like today couldn’t go any better.
The rest of my day goes really well. Better than that. I feel proud of myself for having achieved all that I set out to achieve. At home. At work. With my kids. With myself. I feel satisfied that I gave myself a chance to be better and do better. And I did. And so can you.
So next time you catch yourself failing, making mistakes, or judging yourself, be kind to yourself. We are only human, and we are entitled to slip out many times. Every day brings a new opportunity to take a chance on ourselves. So don’t quit; just keep going. Then, as you forgive yourself for your errors, give yourself a second chance. You are worth it. You deserve it.