My Every Other Sunday’s have changed a little lately. Instead of thinking about who isn’t here with me, I now see it as time I get to spend with myself. I’ve spent the last year working on my relationship with myself, which sounded ridiculous to me when it began, but now I see that it’s the one I should have been working on the hardest all along.
Motherhood has created this wonderful mirror for me to see myself as a defender and a protector. It is so easy for me to love my children even when I am angry with them or disappointed in their actions, but it has never been easy for me to love myself when it was me I was upset with. I haven’t defended and protected myself the way I should have in the past on a consistent basis. I was more of a “run over me all you want until I snap and totally go off on you” kind of person. Now I’m getting better at doing and taking what I need to take care of this other person I am responsible for – me!
The other day my neighbor criticized my children for being afraid of his dog and I defended them and was ready for my own attack on him for talking this way to my kids. I knew that if he had been criticizing me this way, I would have listened to his words and somehow agreed that something must be wrong with me for being afraid of a dog. So I made sure to tell my kids that everyone is afraid of something and shaming people for their fears is just insecurity coming out in the speaker. I love how my words can make my kids feel better, and amazed at how I need to listen to them, too.
Until I found Pilates and Yoga, I was an abuser of my body. I tried to push it as far as it would go and tried to fit it into a mold it didn’t belong in. The results were injuries and pain, so I embraced a way to be kind to the body I was living in and I can’t imagine treating my body any other way now. On my mat, I listen to and honor my body and never feel compelled to do something that would mistreat it. It has taken a lot longer for me to learn that I have been doing the same thing to the woman living inside of this body and now it’s time to be kind to her, as well.
My brief time doing this work has helped me to feel more capable and strong and respected. I am learning the power of my words and my silence. Some days this work is harder than any arm balance I’ve ever tried, but in this short time I can already see that I am building healthier relationships all around me by creating a healthy one with myself.