3/29/10

Comfort

"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.
That's why it's a comfort to go hand-in-hand."

{Emily Kimbrough}





Motherhood has shown me how little I know about much of anything. It started right away. I thought I would know exactly what to do {pffft}, but I second-guessed everything. So much of the time, this unknowledge loomed over me, past and present and future. I knew instantly that I desperately wanted control of everything and I had control of nothing. It was terrifying. To fiercely want to protect while feeling so helpless.

Sometimes it feels like all I've done since we had our boys is stand in one place trying to figure things out. Thinking about how to do right by them or fix this or that while all the clashing thoughts bounce around my head and heart. Most often, by the time I work through the mess and come up the best possible response, the moment has passed. The child has moved on, feeling better or not, issue resolved or not. Life does its speedy thing and I'm the only one still standing there.

Motherhood, like sobriety, is humbling in the best possible way, because it forces me to reach out for help. It demands that I ask for peace and then for the healing of even the things that have already passed by while I stood there, numb and worrying.

I'm slowly learning to stand and worry less and to trust my gut more. I call it my heart-gut, and I may not know much, but I know God speaks there. I also know I will always be there for my boys. I'll be there, asking for help and giving it, moment by moment. And even when I stall and stand numb with life whizzing by, I have these things to wake me up to my need. They are sobriety and motherhood, so tangible it's as if they actually reach out a firm hand and give me a good shove in the right direction. In the direction of help.

These two labels on my life are definitely looming and so big and also gifts. I am a mother and I am an alcoholic. Those two words are reminders to surrender to today and to listen to my heart-gut. That is where I find comfort, and then give it to my boys.



23 clicked right here to comment:

Ronda's Rants said...

I have missed you...I went away for awhile but I am back. I miss my community...and I am listening once again to my "heart-gut" too! I love that phrase...I am going to steal it! :)

Keyona said...

We all need help. I know that no one has gotten where they are without help. My hand is here if you ever need to reach out for comfort. :)

Lindsey said...

We all stumble.
Thank you, yet again, for your fierce honesty and elegant writing, which makes me feel less alone in my stumbling. And that, my friend, is worth the world.
xo

One Crafty Mother said...

Heart-gut. That's exactly what it is. And you're right - God does speak there. I don't think I've ever heard it put so beautifully.

I'm still a little jolted by my heart-gut - I spent so many years numbing it down, telling it to "shhhhhhh" - because it scared me. Now when it speaks to me loud and clear I'm always a little startled. And a lot grateful.


-Ellie

Kaycee said...

Oh that picture and that quote. I needed those and this post. Thanks for sharing it.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

heart-gut. Absolutely. Perfect description of that place we can rely on and guide us, because yes, I do think He speaks to us there.

Motherboard said...

I love your blog and I love you. You are a shining example of what I want to become: Good.

becca said...

Isn't it amazing how we KNOW everything about everything until we actually DO it? Humbling, that's what that is. Great thoughts.

Kelly said...

Trusting yourself is the hardest, most painful lesson to learn... but once we do -- once we believe in our heart-gut -- the whole world changes (slowly, without your notice).

L.T. Elliot said...

That is one of the most touching pictures I've ever seen, Heather. Added with your beautiful words...I'm all a mess. *hugs*

Heidi Ashworth said...

For some reason, I can't view the photo (the problem is on my end, not yours)but if Laura says it's touching, it must be. I feel that I have been a bit of an under-reactive mom, myself. I am not sure that is a bad thing. Often, just being there is enough. When we act impulsively, our choice is often wrong or hurtful. I do like to give things time to resolve themselves, to give the child a chance to work it out on his own . . .Doctors know that if I am concerned about something, it's for real b/c I am not running to them every time my child hiccups (you know what I mean). Like you said, you will always be there for them and that is really the only thing any parent can promise their child with any kind of surety for as long as they live. And I truly think it is what children need most--just to be there for them.

Lisa Page Rosenberg said...

Beautiful.

It took me so long to understand that vulnerability is the place to go to learn things. (I have a lot to learn.)

swonderful said...

You are so lovely. And smart. Really. I don't just go around saying that to people unless I mean it. Knowing you don't know for sure but are willing to find out is most of the battle, right?

Julie said...

A wise friend once told me "You only have what is in your heart to offer. Don't worry so much about having the right answer just know that what you are giving comes from your experience and what you know at that moment." I have found this helpful...don't sweat having to "KNOW" the right answer. I love your posts and I learn so much from you and your journey!

Tooj said...

It's such a struggle to want control and realize that sometimes our kids don't want us to have control of anything. They just want our hugs. Or our laps. Or our smiles. They know nothing of the control we seek and what grabs us and paralyzes our actions, at times. They're such feelers, those little people....and I think that's how it should be.

Happy Monday.

Kazzy said...

It is totally humbling. I have really enjoyed living around a lot of old women that always wait until I ask, and then give me great advice/ help.

angelynn said...

This was beautiful, and so true. Every word of it. Listening to yourself and trusting that you're making the right decision can be so hard. After admitting I was an alcoholic I almost feel like I'm starting over as a mom. Without that crutch it's very different. Being sober has provided clarity in a way I never could have imagined. Reading your words helps me feel less alone. Thank you for sharing this.

Sarah said...

you're some kind of awesome in your self-reflection, heather. some kind of awesome.

Heather Dessinger said...

So glad I read this post on potty training day. I usually feel pretty confident trusting my gut in making decisions regarding my daughter, but I feel totally under-qualified for this. In reading your post I am reminded that relationship is more important than results. Thank you.

deb said...

read this yesterday, when the picture problems were still rampant, so I had to come back
And I'm so glad I did. It's truly remarkable. As are you.

I remember when my kids were small, and I was a ranting maniac. Feeling lost and terrified.
And not asking for help. Putting on the smile for everyone.

Ann's Rants said...

and my favorite exercise in humility is saying to the kids

I made a mistake

I changed my mind

I'm so sorry I scared you. I scared me too.

and

I guess its okay for you to make terrible pictures that say "Mommy Kant Komeen" on your door or "I hate Mom" and crumple them up and throw them at me. It's better than hurting someone or destroying property.

xo

p.s. That photo is magnificent.

Elaine A. said...

Love the quote. Love your words. As usual. :)

Unknown Mami said...

You are wise.

I had no idea what motherhood would do to me. I no longer strive to be perfect, I just strive to be present.

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