To many, and especially moms, this sounds completely surreal. Yes, I thought that too, and honestly, it took me a lot of trial and error to get here. Luckily for you, I bared the brunt of the suffering, so now I can teach you the shortcut.
I have had many, and I mean MANY moments in my life where I fought the shit out of the wave that was falling over me. It got to the point where I was drowning as I punched the waves, exhausted, borderline drowning, and miserable beyond belief.
Even when I rose from rock bottom and started to work on myself, and things got better, I still felt like there was a hole inside of me, or there was something that was not totally satisfied deep within my being.
I’d have thoughts like, “Why do I have to do this?” or “Is this all life is, responsibilities and doing shit you don’t want to do so one day when you are senile you can?”
Sorry, but f*ck that.
It brought me to an internal crossroads, in which I had to truly ask myself, what the hell do I want? Do I want to live for now, or live for a moment that doesn’t even exist? I chose to live now because any time in my life I ever decided to be fully present it was the happiest I had ever been. What’s there to lose in being right where you are, fully?
That’s step 1 – choose to live only in the NOW.
Not in the past with your traumas, and not in the future with your attachment to expectations. Just here, at this moment, while you read this article, this is your priority.
To actually do this, wholeheartedly, is easier said than done, but we’ll get to that a little bit later. First, in order to stop clinging to your past, you need to acknowledge it. It’s time to go inward and to finally see all of the moments in your life that hurt you, that stole hope from you, and that instilled crippling fear in you.
When you acknowledge it, it bubbles up to the surface and that can be overwhelming and terrifying, but that’s okay because the present you has got your back. They won’t let you fall, they will not allow what haunts you to happen again. The present you, the one who is choosing to live only in the now, can hear your wounds, see them for what they are, and they are just experiences that have shaped you, good or bad. They are the reason for your survival mechanisms and your defenses, which at one point saved you, acknowledge those too.
Once you have identified your wounds, and understand how they have shaped you and the way you perceive your reality, it’s time to let them go. Let them go with all the love in your heart, and thank them for getting you to this moment, right now.
Now that you have done the work to commit to a life in the present, your energy already feels lighter, doesn’t it? Let’s keep going.
Release all responsibility that’s not yours.
At first glance you might think, I can’t I have to. NO YOU DON’T. This is a CHOICE. This is the difference between choosing yourself, and self-sacrificing, and newsflash, no one is asking you to become a martyr.
I grew up in a family that not only left me to take care of myself but expected me to take care of everyone else as I got older because I had demonstrated I was responsible, without realizing that it was just me surviving the environment I was put in.
Stop taking care of people. Stop taking on extra work at your job because you’re capable or the best at what you do. Stop putting your entire family, including your children before you, because not even children want you to give up on yourself.
When my mother died, I bent over backward to take care of everything. I took on all the financial responsibility, the logistics of her funeral and belongings, and also her children and subsequent family members who couldn’t keep it together.
I was a shoulder to cry on, the one signing the checks, and the person taking custody in court. Meanwhile, I was completely ignoring my husband and newly adopted child at home, while I cried in the shower and drank a bottle of wine to myself every night.
Everyone was taken care of except me – and I was the only one who paid the price for it. When I started to do my shadow work (step 1) I vowed to let go of all of the responsibility that was mine, but actually was not. So I had to identify what was my responsibility.
I decided that my only responsibilities in this life were myself, and my biological son. Everything else had to go. I let the job I hated go, and looked for one in the passion I was avoiding for a decade because I thought it wouldn’t make me money.
I gave away the pet that I didn’t even like and admitted I just didn’t want to take care of anything additional, I needed to take care of myself for a change.
I stopped taking calls from cousins and aunts who only called me when they needed something, I cut off friends who only gave me one-sided relationships. I set boundaries with my close family members.
You may say, okay but there are things I don’t want to do but they are still my responsibility. Well, I am going to challenge you again to reconsider that, and perhaps it’s a perception change that needs to happen.
When my mom first died, I did a coaching session to help me grieve her death, and she asked me something I was shocked to hear, “Do you think you should be the one to take custody of your brother?”
I felt sick and in disbelief when she asked me that because it triggered me and I had never even considered the question before. I dismissed it and told her of course it’s what I wanted, I have never been happier to be his guardian.
Years later when I found myself asking that question organically, I realized that I hadn’t taken on responsibility because I wanted it of my own free will, I did it as a duty to my mother.
This responsibility, especially in my case was not mine to take, yet it sent me down a very circuitous timeline that was still beautiful but holy shit was it hard. Because, all along, he already had a second mother who was there from the beginning and wanted to take him full time. I told her no, I fought her, I distanced her from him even though time and time again he would tell me he’d like to be with her.
Four years later, as we came to a crossroads in our life I realized that I was now actually holding him back by forcing a family dynamic for the sake of responsibility. Neither of us was happy. It was hard for me to admit this, yet in this newfound perception I didn’t hesitate, and so I picked up the phone and called his second mother.
It was the best decision I ever made because he is now the happiest he’s ever been – I just had to be honest with myself.
When something comes up, before taking it on, ask yourself, is this truly my responsibility? Do I want to be responsible?
Once I did this I noticed I had so much more time in my day to do things that brought me joy, to slow down and focus on the few things that mattered. I also had less things doing laps in my head, I had this ease inside my body, a rejuvenation I never thought just simplifying my life would do.
Every day I wake up and ask myself, what do I need today? Not, what does my child or partner need, ME. And I frame my entire day around that answer.
If I am feeling sick or maybe just in a funk, I take the day off. If I need a connection, I book a coffee date with a girlfriend. If I want to take an hour shower, I make the time.
Every time I did this, I noticed that things I needed to get done, were done in their own time. It was as if I created my own clock, and even if I did what I wanted all morning, I’d still get everything done that afternoon.
Yes, I still worked, but guess what – I love work so much I always want to do it. This way of life creates a synergy, and that symbiotic flow is the vibration of ABUNDANCE.
I’ve got time, this is important right NOW.
I can invest in this program for myself because it’s what I need right NOW.
I won’t be afraid to take off work or go for my dream job because it’s what I want right NOW.
When we put out that level of FAITH, we call in abundance like a boomerang, and you’d be surprised how much God has got your back.
Lean into this, this is the way to free yourself.