I have to admit, that this is a highly personal and painful story for me to share with you, but I thought it was important to do so. Perhaps my experience can help prevent you from going through something similar...
Last night I woke up at 4 am. I saw a text from my daughter, Sophia, that she had sent at 10 pm. She told me that she wanted some cough medicine (she has had a cold for the past few days). I didn’t wake up to receive the text and she didn’t come into my room to physically wake me up. I felt bad that she would have preferred to stay up coughing then wake me up to ask for medicine.
For many years now, she hasn’t wanted to ask me (or anyone else) for help, and I think I know why…
When she was 7 and 8 years old, she went through a period where she didn’t want to sleep alone. She said she was scared but wasn’t able to tell me what she was afraid of. Despite her pleas, I wouldn’t let her sleep with me or in my room.
My justification was that Sophia was a wild sleeper and would flip around and kick me in the head, causing me to barely sleep. At that time, I was working 60+ hours a week and felt so much stress to perform at work. If I were to go without sleep, I could barely function. I was afraid that if I wasn’t at the top of my game at work, I would be fired, and I wouldn’t be able to take care of Sophia and I.
This was just two years after my husband and I separated and I had an irrational fear of not being able to care for the two of us. Looking back now, I see there were deep feelings of abandonment that I wasn’t aware of, and therefore, unable to deal with constructively.
Yet, last night and 6 years later, I was haunted by her 8-year old screams, “MAMA! PLEASE! PLEASE LET ME SLEEP WITH YOU!” I sobbed at the memory, wishing I would have made a different choice. If I had let her sleep with me, perhaps she wouldn’t be afraid of asking me for help now. How could I not let her sleep with me?! I felt so much shame, guilt, disgust at my unwillingness to give my daughter the love she was asking for in that moment and I hate that she's suffering the repercussions of my actions in her life today.
But I was afraid…afraid of so many things. I was afraid of ghosts of my past and they were impacting my ability to make good decisions in the present. That irrational fear of being fired remained a part of me throughout most of my 7 years with that company. I lost so much of myself during my time there, not because it was an awful place, but because I let fear rule and refused to be true to myself. I pushed down my heart’s desire to hold my crying little one at 1:00 am because of the story that I created for myself that my job, and more specifically, the money I got from my job, was more important. That was an act of defiance to my true self, because, ultimately, nothing was more important than giving my daughter love in that moment.
So, at 4 am this morning, I turned on my light, grabbed my journal, and attempted to work through this issue for the millionth time. I know that guilt and shame are useless emotions and only serve to keep me stuck in the past. I needed to forgive myself. It was an unfortunate time of my life, one fraught with challenges, but I am no longer that fearful woman. I learned so much from her, but it was necessary to forgive completely, once and for all, and let it go.
So I journaled to the Lara of 6 years ago. I told her that I know she was going through a very hard time and did the best she could. I forgave her and asked the Universe to take any lingering feelings of shame and guilt from me.
Then, I rewrote the story. I imagined myself carrying my sweetums into my bed and cuddling her, letting her know that she was protected, safe, and loved. I fell asleep next to her, confident in my ability to always have enough resources to care for her and I, no matter what happened at this particular job. I am always divinely protected by the Universe. As long as I stay true to myself and stay aligned with love, all is well. (If you have never done this – rewrote a painful memory from the past – I invite you to do so. It is incredibly healing!)
I invite you to examine any areas in your life where you are struggling:
Is your struggle the result of an alignment with fear instead of love?
How is your fear affecting yourself and your relationships with others?
Are your fears nothing more than ghosts from the past, keeping you from truly enjoying your present?
Are there small things that you can do to realign with your true self, with love?
How might making changes now prevent even greater damage in the future?
Small life re-alignments are much easier to make than complete life overhauls. If you think you might need a tune-up, please book a free complimentary 30-minute session today!
Love and Light,