Today’s #WholeMama invitation is by Jamie Wright Bagley. Everything you want to know is right in there…so read on.
I was sitting in a chair in a small office, opposite a therapist. It was a big step for me to go to a therapist at all. It’s always a big step for me to ask for help. I felt weak, like I had somehow failed, to be admitting to her that this whole motherhood plus personhood thing was almost too much for me. I was overwhelmed. Desperate. And tired of trying to figure things out on my own. So there I sat, willing myself not to retreat from her gentle questions.
She asked me what being healthy would look like for me. “I want to live empowered,” I replied firmly and loudly enough that she raised an eyebrow. The resolution in my voice shocked even me. I had blurted it out without stopping to mull it over, which is not my usual thoughtful style. My whole body shook with the truth. She asked me if I was cold.
“No,” I said. “I just have so many feelings inside, and I don’t know how to let them out.”
She seemed to understand. The desire to live free was so powerful it rattled my frame. I pulled my jacket tight around my shoulders, and looked her in the eye, determined, in spite of my embarrassment at my vulnerability. She returned my gaze with compassion.
We talked some more, and my shaking subsided. She gave me some measurable things to work on, and I felt like I could make it through another week. I had an assignment and somebody to report to. A professional. A doctor. I was taking my first steps into new territory. It was worth it to me, to be able to fulfill my desire to live from an empowered place.
That story is not over, of course, because I am still living it. I am still learning how to be a good mama to three wonderful, loud, wild, love-hungry, messy people, and also be myself. I am still often overwhelmed. If you ask me how I am today, the answer is likely to be either “tired,” or “hanging in there.” Occasionally I get to say “I am doing alright” or “things are going really well today,” and those are the days where I feel more than a little hopeful. Those are the days when I truly feel like being a Whole Mama is in my reach.
The question still remains: How do I live empowered? How do I embrace wholeness and mother my children from the power I carry within?
We do have that power, you know. We are strong. Capable. Smart, and wise, and compassionate. We are nurturers, peacemakers, teachers, protectors, creators. We have a vision for our children that includes their happiness, their growth, and their stability. We work daily, in small ways, to bring this about. This is what it looks like. This is our gift, and our power.
We are not perfect, but we are here. Our presence and love mean more than a host of other accomplishments. Living empowered sometimes means laying down to-do lists in favor of lifting spirits. It means finding solutions when tensions are wound tight. It means resting and caring for ourselves so our children may learn by example how to do the same. It means saying “I’m sorry. Forgive me?” when our heated words press heavily on our children’s hearts.
It also means sometimes being impulsive: interrupting our regularly scheduled programming to play. My kids love it when I enter the world of pretend with them. Let’s be royalty. Let’s be wizards. Let’s be superheros!
There’s an article that was circulating not too long ago that shows actual physical benefits to posing like a superhero.
That’s right. Just become a comic book hero in your imagination. How would you stand? Hands on your waist? Head lifted in resistance? Fists ready for boxing? Apparently, two minutes of being a living action figure can possibly lower stress and raise confidence. Now isn’t that a creative way to live empowered?
Our Whole Mama word for the week is “power,” (or “empowered.”) We’d love to hear what it means to you to live your power…or live empowered.
Do you have a special talent that comes in handy as a mom? Perhaps you can always sing the baby to sleep, or you can tell exactly when your child is into the crayons without even being in the same room. Maybe you tell awesome stories. Maybe your empathy is off the charts. Maybe you have a whole list of #wholemama superpowers. Go ahead and write them down. Fill in the blank just for fun: “My Whole Mama superpower is ______.” Come back for the link-up and share your powerful words with us. We can talk about it on the Fuze call tonight, too! Let’s brainstorm together.
I know we’re dealing with a lot. Grieving. Working. Exhausted. Scattered. Busy. Stressed. Building. Stretching. All the things, and then some. So I’m sending you a virtual hug, or a high five if you prefer, right this second. And then I’m handing out this assignment: Give yourself some room to be whole today.
Show us your superhero stance on Instagram with the #wholemama hashtag so we can find you and celebrate you: Empowered and powerful you.
PS from Esther: We didn’t plan for this word to so closely follow the shooting in Charleston. But we’re not afraid of conversation around those events. Please feel free to let this topic filter through the real world as it is today, for YOU. Whatever that means. When trouble comes…where do we find our power then?
HOW TO JOIN:
- Journal or blog your thoughts on power or “empowered.” If you’re blogging, link it up with us below, so we can read and encourage.
- Read other people’s processing (as links are added to the link-up below) and encourage them.
- Join the Twitter party at 7:30 CST and later. #wholemama
- Join the Fuze call at 8:00 CST: https://www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/55d39ae7/29304234
- And go see what Abby is up to this week with the Whole Mama Love Bomb squad. It’s a whole new thing from last week. Another don’t miss.
- Finally, all week long, post on Twitter and IG. What’s your superpower? How do you live into empowered YOU? Instagram pictures of yourself in superhero garb or poses are entered double for the next drawing.
Last week’s winner is Abby Norman! Yes, that’s our love bomb coordinator!!! Isn’t that cool? I guess that thing about giving to get back is maybe real… One of Abby’s photos was randomly selected from all the #wholemama photos on Instagram, and she is getting a copy of Teach Us to Want, by Jen Pollock Michael.
Post sometime this week on #wholemama — superhero photos count twice! — to be entered in next week’s random-number giveaway.
But enough shenanigans… Whole Mama love to all the moms and all the not-moms. We’re better together.