Yesterday, I felt it.

I felt … good. Peaceful, content, happy.

How often do you feel that way? Truly feel that way?

For me, during the large majority of my life, it has not been often. I was mainly on a journey of avoiding what I felt, trying to obtain unobtainable things and numbing myself with alcohol.

And then I fell off a cliff.

Okay, I didn’t actually fall off a cliff, only metaphorically, but stupid choices and not believing in myself pushed me over the edge where I fell quite a distance. Bloodied and battered, hanging on to a ledge, I have been pulling myself up, inch by inch.

I held that peaceful feeling gently yesterday and sat there in awe and appreciation. Hello, old friend. I have missed you. It is really good to see you.

I thought in wonder that once you have figured out how to find that feeling again, like a green shoot in spring, you can water it and provide it with sunshine, and it will grow.

That has been a large part of my journey, figuring out how to rewire my brain and create synapses of joy rather than doom and gloom.

Check out Arna Baartz’s I Am Change online course as a great way to start that green shoot of possibility.

The feeling did not last long yesterday. My mother called. And the call was short and pleasant enough, but not what I wanted. I wanted what I have always wanted from her; something she does not know how to give.

You see that has been another integral part of my journey. I have four children aged two to fourteen.  At the same time that I am in the busy, chaotic midst of raising them, I am figuring out how to mother myself and give myself the things I needed but did not get.

The other day on Face book a friend that I grew up with but do not have much contact with told me to ‘quit whining’. It was like a punch in the gut, and it brought back so many memories of being told that I am ‘too sensitive’, ‘God, get over it, Karen’, ‘stop being so emotional’.

It brought back all of those times I was told or looked at in exasperation as ‘too much’.

But life is filled with so many learning opportunities when you are ready.

Yesterday, I also read this post by Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery on her facebook page:

Last year at a family meeting, the speaking stick was passed to Tish and she looked right at me and said: “Mommy, you’re gone too much for work. I need you home.”

I asked Chase and Amma if they felt the same way.They shook their heads. They felt good about our schedule as it was. But Tish did not feel okay. She had needs that weren’t being met. And instead of wallowing or retreating or feeling ashamed of her needs: she spoke them to her people. She did not assume that something was wrong with her because she didn’t like the way things were arranged. She assumed there was something wrong with the way things were arranged. And she trusted her people to help rearrange them. I was so proud of her.

This, too, prompted a gutteral reaction in me, thinking to myself, ‘oh, my, to be told that your thoughts matter!! That they are valid, and how can we fix this?’ What I wouldn’t give for that!

And so I slowly fight to provide it for myself.

Because you see you cannot give away what you don’t have.

And I watch this video over and over. I have no idea who this man is, but I look in his eyes, and I tell myself that yes, I am worthy and beautiful and kind and all of those things.

And I will find that woman and set her free.

You see I have learned that my emotions and feelings make me who I am. As a ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ (20% of the population), I feel things deeply. And life is all about balance. You cannot deny the negative and feel the positive.

And so in my mid-40’s, I am learning how to move through the negative emotions … in order to find the positive ones.

Better late than never. How about you?