Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bigger Picture Moment: On Being Kind to Ourselves

Just days after I felt like my body had gone haywire, miscarrying the baby we'd hoped would be snuggled in our arms come May, I felt the need to snatch up some sort of control and make the best of things.

So I jumped right back into active dieting on the Curves Complete program, vowing to lose the last of my 10 pounds ... while I was still in the middle of miscarrying.

In retrospect, it was a poor attempt at trying to grasp onto some control over my body and its functioning.

Also it was a poor attempt at listening to what my body really needed: healing.

The last thing my body needed was to be thrust into living off of restricted calories and engulfed in so many added self-imposed "rules" while I was in the process of recovering from such an emotional and physical trauma.

It only {ha} took the stress of E shoving playdough up his nose followed by a super-sized panic attack complete with an entire weekend's worth of tightness running through my chest while my heart beat erratically, breaths short, mind and body exhausted to give me the hint that maybe I should just.let.go and rest.

I tweeted my intentions to allow my body rest, complete with the #EatPrayLose hashtag on Twitter.

Kamille, a soul-sister of sorts, a fellow sojourner on the very same unfortunate journey of loss, messaged me saying that she could sense a peace in that decision.

And that these next few weeks?

These next few weeks were about extending kindness to ourselves, bathing in grace and rest, not throwing all of the hard work of getting healthy by the waste side, but freeing ourselves from living under the stressors of more rules and expectations than what are actually necessary in our jobs as wives and mothers of small children.

And then, in an almost eerie but soul-refreshing fashion, another friend and then another  and then another {!} reminded me -- all in separate communications -- that I needed to be kind to myself, patient, gentle ... none of which I'm really all that great at acting out, especially toward my own body.

I demand a lot from these muscles, this mind, this heart, and demand must give way to rest, prolonged rest, especially after great strain and stress.

Probably, I won't be eating chocolate cake every night after dinner, but this past weekend when John and I were celebrating our anniversary, which actually turned out to be a restoration getaway, I said yes to tea and dessert together.

Sure, it was still relatively healthy-- greek yogurt ice cream and fresh blueberry sauce -- but what I really said yes to had nothing to do with food and everything to do with kindness toward myself; what I really said yes to was relaxing while sipping tea with my husband, enjoying his conversation amid candlelight and freshly-pressed white linen table cloths while letting go of the expectations I'd barraged against an ailing heart and body.

Just as we must know when to be self-disciplined for the good of giving ourselves health, we, too, must also know when to show our selves kindness to help our bodies heal.

And, actually, I don't know of anything that ever healed without it.

Simple BPM

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