Your Struggle Is Your Power
I know what it is like to have a direct connection to God, to spirit, to source or whatever it is one might choose to call it. I also think that God is within me, and me within God. I didn’t always know this though. I think in my younger years I often thought God was something distant, an invisible entity who was supposed to guide and watch over you but didn’t always come through. And I suspect sometimes I didn’t think there was a God at all.
I needed God the most when my kids were little. People say women are here to be mothers and it comes naturally, but it didn’t seem to do that for me. The day Matthew was born and they put him in my arms I swore I’d always protect him. But a few months went by and motherhood was nothing like I expected. Matthew cried all the time and all I could do was rock him. He threw up all over me hour after hour and when he would finally fall asleep, which never lasted long, I’d breathe a sigh of relief. I tried and tried to breastfeed but he couldn’t take my milk. I was so exhausted and overwhelmed I felt like a failure. I thought my purpose here was to have children and a happy family and in some ways I hated being a parent. Oddly enough though I loved him fiercely which had me asking what does this mean and why, after I’d felt like I’d been through a lot in life, was God making me deal with this. Why were other mothers totting around there dressed up babies, smiling and looking happy and I was lonely, scared and overwhelmed. I didn’t understand what God was trying to teach me and I really didn’t want to learn whatever lesson therein lied in front of me. I woke up each morning through, scolded myself for not being more energetic and impressive as a mom, and told myself, “Just get through the day. One step at a time Kim.”
Days turned into months and this became my new normal. In the times I got away I suppose I’d drown my sorrows at Target, or one of a number of my other favorite stores, shopping. It was so easy to detach there. To date when I walk into Target and order a coffee from Starbucks in the store a calm sense comes over me. I suppose I am grateful those were my vices, as it could have been much worse.
I eventually decided to get pregnant again. Everyone insisted it would be easier this time around. I was certain that must be true because I was due for some relief. It was my turn to have an easy baby. To actually enjoy the experience rather than flinch every time I heard a baby cry. So I jumped in with the urging of my then husband, who wanted 2 children. We both saw the value of having a sibling to grow up with so we decided to get pregnant. Jack was born on March 15th, 2004. Everything everyone said about it being so much easier the second time around. They were WRONG. Raising Jack would end up topping my list of hard experiences. I had daily episodes of fight or flight moments. I stayed in the space, but it was fucking hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done. The reason it was so hard other than the obvious tiredness, physical work and just being so worn out was that Jack experienced things as he grew that rocked my core. They hit some subconscious frameworks in me that I didn’t even know existed. Memories I had buried resurfaced and man was was it difficult.
One day I found myself sitting in my room, crying and I experienced an anxiety attack. I could not breathe… literally. Since when does this happen, I thought to myself? I’m super even keel and level headed. I actually consider that a strength of mine so you can imagine how taken by surprise I was. It was probably in that moment that I knew I had to figure this shit out. So I took one step. Hypnotherepy type treatments. I took another, shared my story. I took another, began self-care and exercise. And another, forgave myself for not being perfect. Another, started reading books on self-help and spirituality. And so on, and so on. Mostly though, I figured out what the deal with God was. The why of all this. I began to understand my story, my struggle, was my power. It made me. Others have faced greater challenges than I and I have faced far more than some. Regardless, it was my story. God and I sat together one day and we decided we have a direct connection to each other. When I agreed to quiet my mind, God provided answers. They were already in me, but God would shine a light so I could see them. That’s how I got through each day.
I wish I could say that things got easier forever after that. They did get easier, but there were, and still are sometimes, moments of hard. Throughout time I had to lose people, and gain people, and reassess my environment, and make mistakes, and make hard choices. The journey though was a little bit different because after a while I began more and more often to FEEL God. God was within me. Once you see you can never un-see. It’s a blessing really and I think it’s the only way some of us figure out how to make it through. The only way out is through. Through is the journey. It’s where we learn how to BE. To sit with pain and then use it as power. We learn in these circumstances IF we are willing to let fear go to choose love. We learn to accept our dark side and our light. We let go of shame and choose love. Once you choose love for a period of time you get good at it, and it becomes who you are. You are God and God is within you.
So I share this in the hopes that you find it in your heart to love your mother, for whatever she did or did not do for you because ultimately she made you who you are today and you are perfect. And I encourage you to love your kids and know that they are here to teach you what you most need to know. They are here to strengthen you and they will grow into their own perfect selves. We cannot always protect them, but in their hard moments, the ones that make you want to break down a cry from the bottom of your heart, they will learn. That will be their story. That’s their gift. It will become their power someday. It will be woven into the fabric of their life and someday in their own way they will also come to know God.