I sent a dramatic SOS text message to my husband this afternoon. One in which I sadly stated that I might need to dissociate to be able to manage the remainder of my day. One son had yelled/cried at me most of the morning and the other was in his room throwing things and grunting, which honestly is an improvement from what used to be. Naptime was just around the corner but the threat of my children not sleeping made me feel an intense sense of desperation.I sat for a minute and then humbly walked into the bedroom to apologize for the response that had fueled the meltdown and my son slowly began to settle. I tucked both of them in bed, exchanged “I love you’s”, then quietly stepped into the kitchen.
I knew exactly what was needed. As the water came to a boil, I reached for my favorite cup and picked my tea. I crawled up in bed, grabbed my comfy pajamas and a book, not sure what exactly I was feeling. Then, it came, like a steady rain. Tears streamed down my face and was in touch again with all that I had been carrying.
How am I already holding and carrying this much?
It’s January, the start of the year. Fresh, clean, new. Although all of this is true, I still hold within me all the beautifully, glorious, mess of what it means to be me. For that, I am grateful, most of the time.
I recently was tackling a corner of my basement when I came across a tattered and worn bag. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what was inside so I decided to bring it upstairs to rummage through the contents. The top of the bag was filled with cards, invitations, and letters from our wedding and the remainder of the bag had a large stack of printed emails my mom had saved from all the weekly updates that I had shared with our families when I was pregnant with our first born.
I love words.
I love the connection and the memories that are so tangible as I read through each and every paper in that three pound bag.
Those words that filled page after page invited me to feel, to remember, and to return to times of connectedness and beauty both as I prepared to become a wife and again as I prepared to become a mom. Over time, my memory has become more like a toddler’s version of a watercolor painting. Full of color and blended stories with little clarity. I am however always amazed at the way that feelings are so vividly attached to the written word for me.
As I’ve thought about the theme of “returning” these words wash over me time and time again.
“I lost myself in the process of finding myself but I am finding myself in the process of losing myself.”
We are born with an intense desire to explore, dream, and uncover what it means to exist here on earth. Somehow, in growing up, we often become worn out, beat down, and passionless, losing touch with who we really are. How do we do the things we were designed to do when life looks so different?
Although, in this season, I may give more time to my kids than I do to myself, I realize that it is still crucial for me to grow, to explore my passions, and to cultivate the things that are uniquely me. There has to be time allowed for me to stay grounded as a woman. What helps you stay grounded? Are you willing to set aside some time today to remember what it is that makes you, you? This is your life. Are you who you want to be?
Bethany Cabell is a Texas transplant, residing in Michigan with her husband and their two young boys. A lover of beauty, she lives life chasing after wide-open spaces: sharing her heart with others, in relationship with Jesus, and through music and photography. She tells her story here.