Integrity, Mindfulness and Letting Go

I have been brooding. Mulling. Ruminating. Meditating. Longing. Cringing. Reaching out. Holding breath. Extending the proverbial olive branch. Waiting. Retreating. Drawing lines in the sand. And letting go.

I’ve played out this ritual vis-a-vis two situations in my life and lives touching my own recently. Doing so required me to find in myself what felt right and follow it, despite the potential costs (costs being inevitable no matter what I did or declined to do). I hope I have done the right thing in each instance. And I accept that in one case I may not and in the other I will never know.

Scenario one involved a friendship.

Scenario two involved a baby (not mine).

I am awaiting the latter’s imminent birth.

I am accepting the former’s demise. Or at least my choice to participate in it which de facto ought to spell its demise.

And so life goes. On and on. Meanwhile I struggle to divine my place in it, my path forward and that of my family.

I return to work soon. I am not excited. My metaphorical feet are itchy. I feel out-of-place. Out-of-step. The Monkey Mind has had its way with me.

Birth and a successful pregnancy – my second amidst too many failures – together with parenting challenges that bring me to my knees have changed me. Fundamentally. Again. My compassion for other parents has grown in the past four-plus months since baby Azulito’s birth. Exponentially. My anguish over the relentless cruelty of infertility and infant/pregnancy loss I witness far too frequently has deepened and etched welts upon my heart. At the same time, inexplicably – or perhaps not so inexplicably – my tolerance for what I perceive as a threat to either or both of my children or to my own fragile existence has withered and died. Its death has come recently and by my own hand.

I have grown selfish and fierce. Broken by compassion for others and the enduring truth of both my own suffering and my apparent triumph (I have two living children after all, right?). I am simple. I am human. I am afraid every day. Afraid of my children coming to harm. Afraid of me or the LP orphaning them too soon. From these admissions flow even simpler truths.

I need to live each day in the here and now. I wish to accept what I cannot change and let go of what serves only to detract and distract me from being present with and for me and my family. Here. Now.

And so life goes. On and on.

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14 thoughts on “Integrity, Mindfulness and Letting Go

  1. I fear for my children every day. Miscarriage changes you forever and recurrent miscarriage especially makes you hypersensitive to any potential danger/threat and how close we all live alongside death. My children are 5 and 4 and I still check that they are breathing every single night before I go to sleep. I hate it when I am away from them, I see the danger in everything they do, and more relaxed parents leave me bewildered. I hope you can find some peace inside and that you make the right decisions for yourself and your little ones. It is not easy having lived through so much loss – not easy at all. X

  2. I wrote about this not too long ago – worrying about my own mortality and what that would mean for Evelyn, if I died prematurely.

    But what I didn’t write about (and I’m too afraid to) is how afraid I am for anything to happen to HER. Do you suppose this is just a part of motherhood? The worrying, the terrible thoughts of horrific scenarios? I still check Evelyn every night to make sure she’s breathing, like the above poster!

    • Yes I think part of it is motherhood. I check both boys every time I wake up – several times a night. But I don’t think the nightmares of me trying to rescue the MT as he faces certain danger and likely death are normal. I hope in time they go away but once I’m back at work and earning a proper income again I think I’m going to seek some professional help to identify and resolve whatever trauma is being dredged up here. A lot of the dreams involve drowning or water (most recent is a bunch of killer whales pretending to be nice and luring him into the sea where they will eat him – wtf?!?) and I can’t help wondering if this has something to do with my mom’s first son drowning as a young boy.

  3. I am with Faye — I still check that Lettie is breathing all the time. I get this fear, so much. I hope that you can find peace with everything, even as you go through this very tumultuous time. Xoxo.

  4. Being widowed makes one feel about a new husband the way you feel about your babies after having had a miscarriage. I check to see if he’s breathing. If I hear odd sounds in the house where he is, I have him prostrate with a heart attack when in fact he just exclaimed loudly over a football play. Loss creates a fear of loss, evidently. How could it not?

    If you have allowed a friendship to end, then you are clear and courageous. If you worry about your children, you’re a mother. If you are fierce, you’re a mother. If you were selfish, you wouldn’t be writing this blog because you would think only of yourself and process life in terms only of yourself. You are the extreme opposite of that.

  5. These are the things that make you who you are. Kind, loving, full of compassion, thoughtful. Having lived, we have learned lessons we cannot unlearn. Being selfish and fierce is ok, when it is for the things you love and protect. Hold your head high as you represent the best parts of us all.

  6. Beautiful and passionate, as ever.

    I, too, am a mother who checks to make sure her children are breathing every single night. Once, I was exhausted and feeling awful and actually forgot. At some ungodly hour, I bolted up in bed, and panicked. I rushed in to check on them, because I knew if I didn’t I would never go back to sleep. In the early weeks/months, I did this for fear of SIDS. But even when that risk has passed, that fear is still there. The curse of motherhood, I suppose. Though my husband does the same ritual each night.

    I’ve been a terrible correspondent and blog participant lately, but I hope you know that doesn’t mean you have left my thoughts or my heart for a moment.

  7. I can totally relate to your struggles. In my last appointment with my therapist she asked me how I thought it would be if I finally managed to have a baby. I told her I’d probably be freaking out all the time and be too hard on myself for not achieving the impossible parenting perfection. She said it’s pretty common to be like that when we have such a hard time having a baby. I just hope it will get better with time for you and you find peace. I’m sure you’re a wonderful mother.

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