Last week I had the blessing of being in Tucson for a business retreat. I won’t go into details, but I will say that it was incredible. If you’ve browsed around my website and blog at all, you would know I am passionate about helping women heal through Postpartum Depression, and also that I love to write and share my experiences of Motherhood. This story today doesn’t specifically involve my boys, Zackery and Brayden, but being a Mother is part of who I am, and I truly believe that my experiences as an individual impact and influence my family.
I never used to think of myself as a crier. Sure, I would shed a few tears here and there when something sad happened or if I got hurt and was in pain, and yes there are those happy tears right after giving birth, but as far as middle-of-the-day-for-no-reason tears… yeah, that never really was anything I claimed – or so I thought.
Looking back, I cried on my wedding day. In fact, I was a blubbering mess and wouldn’t let go of Will’s hands the entire ceremony, until of course it was over, and then I dawned the biggest smile ever. I cried when my Mom passed away, and when my babies were born, and when we moved and on Zackery’s first day of Kindergarten. I cry at commercials on TV and boy do I ever cry when I see a child hurting.
I have big plans for myself. I have a big vision. I have a purpose to go out into the world and help women, help Mothers. In order for me to do that, to be big, I have to make space within myself. To grow my reach, my touch, my mission, my business, I first have to grow myself.
During this past week in Tucson I had the opportunity to challenge myself and once again face my fear. Fear of what? Fear of pain, fear of the unknown, fear of failure… but even more so, fear of success. There was a lot of anxiety brewing over this “exercise” we were presented with. It was not mandatory, it wasn’t anything that had never been done before, and there were nearly 100 other people given the same opportunity.
At first I thought it was a joke, this really isn’t going to happen, we aren’t doing this I thought. And then as we walked to the site of the exercise, it became real. I felt like part of the herd. Just going along with the rest of the group like I was supposed to, not making a decision either way, just following along. Then we watched and learned from our teacher for the exercise, and then our mentor, as she faced her fear and completed the exercise. Okay, well that wasn’t so bad, right? Now it was time for the rest of us.
I filed in at the end of a line for one of the four set up areas, to wait my turn to participate in this exercise. I told myself I wasn’t going to cry. You’re a big girl, Pamela. Don’t cry. You don’t need to do that anymore. Get it together, you’ll be fine. And I kept telling myself this, pepping myself up as I got closer and closer to the front of the line, watching as others before me breezed through the exercise like it was nothing.
As my turn neared, I felt the anxiety and fear building up inside of me, and I knew I couldn’t keep those tears down. Stop it! I demanded myself, but it didn’t work. The woman before me had just gone, and I stepped up to the exercise, trembling. Giant tears just burst out and I covered my face with my hands to hide. The two people next to me, one on each side, held out their arms for support and told me it would be okay. Just breathe. Just breathe.
Four long, slow, calculated steps later, I let out another burst of tears, but this time also dawned that big huge smile. I had just walked across a bed of glass. Never in my mind had I imagined myself doing this, and you know what, it really wasn’t that bad at all. It didn’t hurt, and because I had listened and learned and followed directions, and watched other people before me succeed, I knew what to do, and I had the knowledge and the support of how to do it myself. Not a single cut, not a scrape, not any memento that I even walked over cut, jagged shards of glass – no proof, other than the experience in my mind, and the photos from the photographer.
What I learned, aside from other things, is that often times our fear is worse than the outcome. And that it’s okay to cry…
I learned that I’m a crier. Yep, I’m that girl that breaks down and needs a tissue, and probably sometimes a hug, but you know what, I’m okay with that. Crying tears is my way of clearing space, letting go of something – whatever it is – to make space for something bigger, and for the experience I need to have in that present moment. I’m not perfect (shhh, don’t tell my boys…), and I love myself, quirks and all. I cry, and if it will help you release some anxiety or fear, well then you should just go have a good cry too!
With Love & Mommy Hugs