So I am starting the uncomfortable, yet very healing work of feeling. As someone who is sensitive and highly emotional it definitely takes some processing time. Already I am noticing differences in not only how I feel but how I respond to life.
Today I faced one of my most uncomfortable situations. Both of my girls were due for shots and I was the sole parent able to take them...at the same time. My oldest LOVES her doctor and doctor's visits but she was a little nervous about the idea of shots because it has been two years since she had to get any. The little one is avidly and vocally against even going near the doctor's office. I'm talking it took three whole minutes just to get her weight because she fought so hard against being put in (and staying in) the baby scale seat.
Needless to say the nurse and doctor were so awesome and patient as always but it was an emotional challenge for me and the girls. Since the little one was struggling so much with the whole situation and already revved up, they suggested doing her shots first. As you might imagine, my oldest who is also very sensitive (both emotionally and to noises like a screaming sister) suddenly decided her nervousness about a shot was absolutely validated and she started freaking out about having to get one next.
I will admit that in my own frazzled, broken-heart-because-my-babies-are-crying state of mind part of me wanted to just brush all the emotions away. Find a quick fix and get everyone back to quiet and happy. But I also recognized this was a perfect test to the work I have been doing AND a very important teaching moment for the girls.
We did hugs. I took LOTS of deep breaths. I offered that idea to my preschooler a few times who was having none of it. So we sat it out for a few minutes. Then I started doing a body scan out loud for myself. This is when you check in with each part of your body to try to identify how each area is feeling and see if any of it can be shifted.
Out loud I said, "Wow, that was overwhelming and a little scary. Let me check. My head has a little headache. My jaw is a little tight (rubbing it with a free finger). Whew! My shoulders are pulled up and my heart is feeling sad to see my girls sad. What about you?" I walked my preschooler through thinking about each area of her body which gave her a way to move away from the upset of the shot but still stay in tune with how she was feeling. As she calmed down and our voices went back and forth I could feel the baby calming in my arms as well.
My preschoolers tears still came and went for the next couple hours. The baby moved on pretty quickly as she tends to do once we had left the doors of the building. And I was able to stay in the conscious response level of my emotions without ignoring them OR letting them overwhelm me. It was a beautiful win. I won't say it was perfect, it is a work in progress, but I walked out feeling like I had just passed the national exams again.
I'm grateful for this win. I'm grateful to do the work. I'm grateful to be taking time to tune in each day and see what I need emotionally. I'm grateful to be taking a more active and conscious approach to my mental health. I'm grateful for the podcasts and resources I have to support me in this journey. I'm grateful to be there for my girls physically and emotionally. I'm grateful for having a great pediatrician that really connects with my preschooler. I'm grateful to have two sweet kids that are so very very different from each other.
What was your win today? How do you take time to process pain, discomfort, and emotions? What is your favorite technique for staying present?
May today give us the courage for growth. May we do the hard work now to move us forward. Have a beautiful day!