Sometimes you just need to have a good cry. I feel like I have been avoiding it forever now. Everything just builds and builds and builds.
I have been feeling a lot of stress on my plate these days. Sometimes life is like that. We lose ourselves. We fall out of balance and it is hard to get back on track. It is also the middle of winter here in Canada, so I am giving myself a break.
Life has been stressful. Or shall I say, I have been carrying around stress and worry. With Serafina’s autism, homeschooling and keeping up with the house, I sometimes feel like I can lose my perspective. That is why I miss this space. I miss reflecting and being me. When life starts to seem stressful, to take the time to sit and reflect and connect with like-minded souls, remember what is important, and to get back on track again.
I’ve been feeling a lot of judgement these days about why we homeschool and have been under a lot of pressure to consider stopping homeschooling the girls now that Serafina has been diagnosed with autism. It is the closest that I have actually come to considering putting them into public school, filling my mind with worry and feeling the fear of, what if I can’t do it all?
Forget that. I already know that I can’t. But I can try. I can give my best and I can hold a heart full of gratitude for what we do accomplish and what my girls are learning every day even if we aren’t technically “doing school.” When my mind starts to go there, I remember why we started this homschool journey in the first place. It wasn’t about being like school, it was about being free.
Even if my girls aren’t learning what they would be learning in a school setting, they are still learning all day long and have time to pursue other interests too, like music, reading, videography, and making up plays. We also love to cook and bake together and to get outside as much as we can. While I have been too busy with Serafina some days to teach Autumn as I would like to, she has been teaching herself how to play piano by watching youtube videos. Both girls have been obsessed with the Frozen movie these days and Autumn is determined to learn to play the songs from the movie on the piano. She impresses everyone with her imagination, determination, and talent. People who hear her play ask if she is taking lessons and I tell them that she taught herself. She amazes us all!
This afternoon I took some time to cry. I needed that. I feel like for years I have held onto so much. Things from my childhood, hurtful words and actions said and done, old relationship pains, Serafina’s autism and the fears I have about her life, plus the fear of raising my children to be all that they can be and protect them from some of the things in the world without isolating them from it. I have been afraid for a while to let out my emotions and admit them to myself. Not the deep ones anyway. I’ve been pretty good at running from them and pretending that they don’t exist (especially when I am not writing), and I know that is unhealthy.
I am a writer. I love to put thoughts into words and to share those words with whoever cares to read them. It feels so good to be human and to share that humanness. I love connecting on that human level.
These days I have been thinking of ways that I can put myself back together and be the full human that I am. Writing is one of those things for me, as is painting, photography, recipes, teaching, sharing, crafting, and reading. Anything that keeps me creative and expressive. It is no good to hide our creative gifts from the world, stay in isolation and live in fear. We all go there from time to time, but it is no good to stay there.
I have my spirit in tune with the messages being sent to me and for months Autumn and Kesa have continually been singing, “Let It Go,” from the movie Frozen. I get the message loud and clear, especially since I hear it from the moment they awake, til the moment they fall asleep about a hundred times during my day. “Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore.”
Yes, I know, but how?
I think that emotional release for me this afternoon of laying down and crying into my pillow was it. At least I hope it was. I haven’t heard the “Let It Go” song sung around here today yet. I am hoping that the message has hit home for me. “Let it go.” Letting go does not necessarily mean something outer, I think it more often has an inner meaning for us to let go of something that we are holding onto in our consciousness and our emotions, such as worry, anger, fear, guilt, or shame. All of those do nothing to benefit us and keep us healthy.
So today I am letting go. I am shaking off that fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame about myself and about being the perfect mother and wife. I am accepting where I am at in this moment, reflecting on my life with gratitude, and reminding myself that everything happens for a reason and that there are no mistakes in life. I remind myself once again to live in the moment and to take life one day, one moment at a time. I know that I am the artist, life is my canvas and that a bright and beautiful future awaits me and my family, even with autism as a part of it.
I also started a blog about our journey with Serafina’s autism here, for those who may be interested. I don’t have much time to sit and blog these days, but I do want to find more time to share with the world and hopefully connect to other mothers and families who have autism as a part of their life.