Are you asking, “Why Me?”

Are you asking, “Why Me?” …instead of taking in the wonder of life that is happening, right now?

For many of us, the raw transition through childbirth is a vivid memory. Childbirth can be beautiful!

Or, it can be truly awful. And within that experience, here is this tiny, sentient being that greets us. And nurturing your baby helps you to heal.

Sometimes the birth itself is not so bad, but your baby is distressed and needs medical support. So, you must helplessly and anxiously, wait.

And much less frequently, your baby will have an insurmountable problem and pass from your life, leaving your arms empty, and your heart broken.

In times like this, it is easy to lose hope, and feel only the timeless eternity of a living hell, enveloping you.

In life, truly awful things happen.

As you and your baby grow up together, you will witness a greater scope of awfulness in life. You will meet children with cancer, parents with cancer, and survivors of violence, suicide, and house fires. And hopefully, you will be one of the lucky ones who bypasses all you worry about!

My own children sidestepped all the catastrophes I prepared myself and them for.

None were abducted, or drowned. None were bullied to the point of suicide. We had a flood, but it wasn’t that bad. One Grampa died when they were young, but they still grew up with three happy, healthy grandparents who loved them up.

I always thought we would be happily married until the end of our lives. Instead our marriage raged on as a battle that left us all hurt, scared, and scarred, until I left.

Having spent a sizable effort to rebuild a happy and productive life, I have spent a lot of time asking myself, “Why me?” This is what I learned.

Empathy is the way through.

Empathy, first for yourself, then for your children and the others around you. With every experience, you are allowed to feel all the feelings you need to feel. You are supposed to feel bad feelings when bad things happen. It’s normal to cry and rage and plead. It’s human to feel anger and hatred. It’s healthy to take a break and call in sick, when life passes you a super-sized dish of terribleness.

But when you judge yourself, when you feel guilt, when you decide that you had the power to cause this. STOP. Hold yourself in your arms, and give yourself some empathy and loving understanding. Forgive yourself.

We have so little control over what happens in our life.

Yes, we do have some control, over some things, but planning, visualizing and manifesting only takes you so far. You can be having a good life that you manifest and love. You can think positively all you want, but…

Suddenly, it’s “Jesus, take the wheel” time, and you are hurtling through space and time, praying with all your might, that THIS is just a bad dream.

But you did not cause THIS.

You could not cause THIS. And you should not feel guilt that THIS is your fault. It’s not your fault. This is real life, and there is no shame in living a real life, however awful the optics. If you are human and breathing, bad things will happen to you.

Bad things happen, but you don’t have to feel bad all the time.

Feeling bad is another word for grieving. Grief is when you are unhappily comparing two stages of life: what used to be (or what you expected to be), compared to what is actually happening.

When your suffering is acknowledged, then it becomes easier to bear the pain.

You may have to tell your loved ones exactly what you need. If your loved ones can listen, comfort, and can support you through your tragedy, you move through grief in an easier way. When your belief system, your connection with the spiritual, and your higher self gives you perspective, you move through grief more easily.

But, many of us don’t have the emotional tools we need to move through grief.

Some parents have extended periods of grief, depression, or other painful feelings. And there is a danger in wallowing.

Here are some simple things you can do to help yourself:

  • Paying attention to your baby or child can take you out of your head, and help you feel hope.
  • Getting regular body work (massage, chiropractic, physical therapy) can move trauma from your body
  • Setting one small goal like showering every day, or getting out of bed before 8:00 am
  • Setting a timer. You can wallow as often as you need to, but only for 2 or 5 minutes at a time.
  • Feel your feelings and write, draw, run, dance, breathe or scream through them.
  • All those things like eating fruits and vegetables, drinking water, less screen time and regular bedtimes, yeah, they really do work. Pick one and try to do it.

Ugh…THOSE feelings.

There can also be a stage where you start to blame your partner, your parents, or your children, for little things, rather than face your painful feelings. You might find yourself yelling at them, or crying at the slightest disappointment.

None of us are perfect, and we all lose our cool.

Parenting is tough! Kids push your buttons and create chaos–that’s normal! When it’s happening for more than a few weeks, that’s not normal. It’s a sign for you to change things.

Admit your hurtful actions to yourself, first.

Then, talk to your partner or child, and apologize for hurting them. Maybe you weren’t raised this way, but allowing your partner or child to witness your imperfect self and apologies, models a healthier way for them to express their sadness, anger and disappointment.

This spark of beauty shines in all of us. Expressing regrets and shame to others, allows them to complete the cycle with forgiveness. Forgiveness can lead to understanding.

Seeing how grieving affects your loved ones, can help you to seek help. You will do things for other people that you won’t do for yourself.

When wallowing turns into the normal way of life, you need to raise up the white flag.

Call for help. In my darkest days and nights, I had the Grace Smith Domestic Violence helpline on my favorite contacts, and I called them every day. I was too ashamed to tell my friends and parents. If you feel too ashamed to talk to anyone, there is an anonymous 800 telephone helpline that specializes in your problem. They will find you help. You might need a medical doctor, a psychiatrist, a therapist, support group, or even a lactation consultant. But the empathetic support from a trained counselor on the helpline and professional guidance could just save your life.

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