As care-givers we are often running at full-speed, on low energy and high expectations.
Every once in a while we are able to carve out some alone time–some solitude. Maybe our partner takes the kids, maybe they’re at the other parent’s house for the weekend, maybe a grandparent or a friend has offered to watch them. We find ourselves with this gift of time. And then, we are struck with the fact that it can be so… lonely.
Don’t turn the television on, Mama. Set your phone on silent and put it away. Gently place your bookmark in the seam of the pages, close the cover of your current read and rest it on the book-shelf. Dial the volume on the speaker, or your radio, or your streaming device, down. All the way down. Click it off.
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Softly lower yourself onto your couch, or your bed. Lay back and allow the weight of the world to flatten you. Don’t hold it, let it be. Like quicksand, the burdens of your to-do’s and your realities, and your worries – they are exhausting when you fight them. Sometimes you just have to let go into them. You’ll work your way through them eventually, but not right now.
The work is for another day. Today – we embrace solitude. Today, we heal.
It can be challenging to force gratitude. So maybe we don’t start there. Let’s begin with recognition. The solitude. Checking in and observing. What do you feel? Where in your body do you feel it? Is it a sharp buzz, or a bland ache? Is it in your chest, or your gut, or your throat? Good, acknowledge it.
Now move onto where you are. Observe how you feel in this space. If it isn’t safe, and encouraging and hopeful – leave. Step outside, or into another room–solitude. Sometimes a smaller space is easier to fill – and when we fill a space with our own being rather than distraction, it can be calming. No space is left for worry or want. Look around. What do you see? What memories are held here? What powerful stories and thoughts have been formed inside these walls? What have you created here? Okay, be here.
Breathe fully and deeply. Breathe slowly. Listen intently. Being alone can feel daunting. Inch through the jungle. One planned, light, careful step at a time. Inhale through your nose, fill your lungs, release the tension in your face, and your shoulders and your limbs, and exhale powerfully, through your mouth. Make sure your soul is breathing.
When thoughts come flooding in – because your life is finally quiet enough to hear all of the chatter – acknowledge them, and let them pass. No discussions, no explorations, no planning, no noise. Solitude. Yes, we have these things, these thoughts, these fears. No, they do not make you. You are stardust, and power, and love – with or without these worldly things. It is when you stop struggling, that you float.
The surrender is powerful. So tears might well up and spill over. Chins may quiver. Hearts may ache. Being alone is magic – don’t be frightened by the heightened emotion.
Release, replenish, repeat.
Photo Credit :: Noelle Westcott Photography