I have lost count of the number of times I have found myself bent over a snoring child, in the darkness of a quiet bedroom, showering her face with butterfly kisses while tears stream down my face. My heart filled with regret after a day that I have been overly negative or critical; nagged, berated and yelled too much. I make heartfelt promises to be a better mom tomorrow and beg for her understanding and forgiveness. My child stirs. I accept this as an acknowledgement that she has heard my confession. I sit on the floor, in silence, as the weight of guilt lifts gradually from my aching shoulders. Eventually I get up, walk away slowly and close the door behind me, gently.
I don’t always have great days. It is especially on these exhausted evenings that I am reminded about balancing my passion with personal limits. While it is tempting for the mind to allow thoughts of self-pity or spin convoluted excuses, I will usually put aside all non-essential tasks and spend time with me. I have learnt to recognise that when I have given too much of myself, my spirit is not in equilibrium. I react explosively; I lack patience and speak hurtful words. Yet feel awful guilt afterwards.
It is time for some self-love. I may take a warm bath, sing my heart out to some great music, lose myself in a good book, apply a luxurious face mask, or start writing. On some evenings, I sit in meditation to bring myself back to my centre. I allow thoughts to come and go, try hard not to dwell on them or pass judgement. When an emotion is reluctant to leave, I sit with it and feel deeper into it. Messages, images and physical reactions that occur during such quiet sitting cannot always be rationally understood but our spirit heals nonetheless.
Life is as much a journey of detachment and healing as it is of unconditional love.