When I wrote 'Your Superpower is Love' I was remembering those times that things go badly wrong and I try to suppress my feelings. I try to be calm by pretending that I am calm. That kind of calm is artificial; it doesn't inspire connection or share love or help at all, because it isn't real.
I wrote about feeling the feelings that come up instead, breathing into them, allowing them to be there, and not acting on them yet. As is often the case, I got a chance to practice what I wrote about the same day. Really upset by something that happened at home, I could feel this sort of frozen self take over. I spent a lot of time breathing into it, allowing it, softening into the feelings under it, and being patient with myself. I'm still working on it, slowly.
Soon I'm going to write more about how love toward our kids is our real parenting superpower, but today I'm adding a bit about this practice of loving and nurturing ourselves. It isn't always quick or easy. The pain, fear, anger, or numbness in us has deep roots. You may turn toward yourself, breathing into your feelings and experience relief--a good cry, a softening, comfort. Or you may turn toward yourself with love and feel very little, like I did yesterday. The feelings may seem kind of stuck. The numbness or anger or fear may not budge. That's okay. Stay with it.
We aren't turning toward ourselves with love to make the feelings go away. We are doing it to feel them. When we do deeper work, tapping into the old emotions and conditioning that have been with us for a long, long time and are hard to even sense let alone release, it can take a while. Don't hurry. The only thing to do is feel what you feel (even if it's still anger or numbness) with awareness.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.