Fear and Gratitude
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Yesterday I had to take my precious little one to the ER. And he is little. Just over 13 pounds. Thats less than I have to loose to be at my prebaby weight (making this blog relevant for Spark). So, yesterday I took him to the ER and I felt fear. And pain. Several times over. Since he, after all, felt fear and pain.
I also felt pain this morning as I did Sylwia Wysenberg's Tonique dvd. Squat after squat after squat after squat after- you get the idea. In this case, I chose the pain, and could make it stop at any point, whereas yesterday I couldnt stop the pain. Thus the fear.
Its so easy to see how the 'pain' I felt in my workout is 'redemptive', but what about yesterday? What does a new mom do in the face of her child's pain, besides ache and reel inside as she tries to be calm for her screaming babe? Can the question of evil be resolved here now? No.
Its amazing though how facing pain, or fears, can build your strength and make tackling the next, new fear a little easier. And furthermore, what is the fruit of enduring and swallowing that concoction of fear and pain? Surprisingly for me yesterday it was gratitude.
As I held my little boy that night his smell and sound were ever more precious. Suddenly aspects of our daily routine were brought into sharp focus, and I could see how precious, sweet and beautiful they were and how truly amazing it is to be his mom. Its probably trite, but you dont appreciate something until you might loose it. Of course, I appreciated and loved my little boy with fire since the first day he was born. I also felt, reasonably and udnerstandably fatigued. I dont feel guilty about that- thats normal. But the disillusionment and petty annoyance I would sometimes feel when he was endlessly fussy was burned away, at least for now, because I know I would give anything to have it all back if it were lost. And because it had value even if I couldnt see or feel it and yesterday cleared my vision. I could see clearly how precious to me all those fussy moments are, really.
So out of fear and pain grew gratitude. And from there strength. Which gets me thinking, about how out of that experience came growth. Then this morning, all those squats- that, too, will 'grow' me, my muscles, to be exact, my endurance and my limits. Much like motherhood- where every day I reach a limit and am asked to go beyond it, and I so do because thats just love (happens all the time, not just with moms, of course!). it seems that only by moving past our boundaries into the unknown are we able to experience growth.
Should it follow that we should have a strength building 'regimen' to train ourselves like we train our muscles? Not for the sake of the pain or the fear, but for its fruit, strength and gratitude? Its amazing how facing one small fear enlivens your ability to face the next.
What, reader, or self, have you done to scare yourself a little?
1. Facing our fears neednt be about rashness. You dont need to jump out of an airplane, or let alone, off your steps. Fear-facing can be a mindful practice, one that grows with practice.
2. You absolutely must laugh. And forgive. This reminds yourself that you are human, and that being beyond our boundaries, lifting more than we are used to carrying, can make you fumble and fall. Laughing and forgiving can make facing 'fearlessness' an easier task.
I am afraid of so much of what it means to be a mom. So I relinquish myself to my fears and am committing to training regimen of fear-facing. A patient, slow study of fear- a dance that will allow me to go deeper and farther into the unknown.
What fears do you have? What small practices can you engage in to strengthen you for those moments that are truly frightful? How free are you?