I watch as my son chases butterflies around the yard. The clear blue sky glitters above and the temperatures are high. Surprisingly strong wafts of fresh cilantro blow in the breeze from my newly planted starts. My muscles are a good kind of sore from miles and miles of cycling with the kids on my bike. We are getting an early taste of summer. The days are long and light and we are filling them up. There is so much to get out of bed and do. However, it wasn't always like this. There was a day just weeks ago that I felt there was nothing to get up for so I didn't. Anxiety and depression had snuck so far into my life that I couldn't see my blessings, much less count them. Life was more challenging than it had ever felt before. This lasted a long time and I didn't know what to do.
I spoke with my friends who had been there too and read about others. We talked specifically about what we were feeling. There was a wide range, but collectively, it came down to that sneaky devil, self loathing. Myself and my women friends were experiencing a deluge of self criticism and anxious thoughts that stifled our ability to be our own creative and thriving selves. For myself, it felt like a constant track of critical demanding voices that left very little room for even doing the dishes right, let alone being a good mom. This was getting really sad. Hearing from so many of my friends that they feel this way and from my Mom that this "runs in the family." It seemed like an epidemic.
Things began to change slowly with the help of my wonderful naturopath, a lovely family vacaction, the change of seasons, and more daylight. I started to actually listen to those voices of self-criticism. What in those old dingy beliefs that harass me about what-I-am-not-and-what-I'll-never-be is true? The only truth is what I already am. My dear blog has been waiting here for months as mainly a private collection. Now I have committed to using it for what I originally intended this space to be, a public promise to myself.
A vow to change it - this cycle of anxiety and depression. With practice, practice, practice, I will no longer look at what is wrong, but remind myself that we are more than alright, right here right now and here's all the proof. I have a daughter that is growing into a woman. If this is hereditary, or just a bad combination of circumstances, I want her to see how I take care of myself. Instead of listening to the never-good-enoughs, I can learn from my children to watch carefully and see the beautiful in my life, because I know that is exaclty how they are watching me.