The Selfish Art of Worry
If I knew then…
That breastfeeding was not going to be my greatest accomplishment as a mother, I would have cried a lot less tears over my failure to successfully breastfeed…twice. I would have recognized that healthy kids drink formula too, and that my worth was not dependent upon how I fed my children.
That the biting would stop, and my kids were not the only ones on this planet to respond impulsively with their…teeth, I would not have owned their biting behavior, nor owned any of the other misbehaviors that manifested during the following years. I would have held on to the fact that my worth and value as a parent is not dependent upon my children’s successes or failures.
That one day I would not care as much about what everyone else was thinking, I would have spent a lot less time worrying and a lot more time trying to be a friend to someone else. I would have realized that everyone else is worrying about what I’m thinking, too. In reality, we’re all too tired and weary to be thinking about anything but ourselves at all.
There have been so many moments in the past 12 years that I have lain awake at night fretting about what What Everyone Else Must Be Thinking.
I’ve allowed friendships to pass me by, because I was too afraid to open up.
I’ve neglected someone who was just as weary and hurting, because I was too afraid to be honest.
I’ve spent so much time thinking about how I was feeling, that I forgot to consider the feelings of others.
Fear, self-doubt, and worry are inherently selfish behaviors. We spend so much time looking inward, we miss out on all the good going on around us. There are people all around you who are hurting just as much. Who are lonely, and afraid.
The best part? When we stop looking inward at our supposedly miserable lives, and we take the time to get to know the stories of others, we find that our stories are not so very unique.
It’s hard to be lonely when you are standing side-by-side with another parent who is struggling just like you.
It’s hard to be lonely when you know you’re not alone in your worry over your kids.
It’s hard to be lonely when you realize your grief and pain is shared by another whose experiences are similar to your own.
It’s hard to be lonely when you find out that yes, that’s completely normal, and all little boys do that.
The fastest way to close the gap between strangers and friends is to share a story of our broken places. The cracks are how the Light gets through.
When was the last time you took a risk and shared your story with a stranger?
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