I berated myself as I wiped the counter tops, the oven tops, and the refrigerator doors. I dumped out the freezer, throwing away 75% of its contents, and asked, “How on earth did I let it get like this?” I wiped walls and baseboards making a note that a new layer of paint would be nice. I scoffed at my bank accounts as I examined exactly how I spent my stimulus payments – lots of eating out, lots of clothes, and lots of fun “experiences.”
The money was gone – all of it. The house was a mess. Summer was in full swing, and I would be spending it putting myself back together. Again.
I did this last summer…and the summer before that…and the summer before that. How had things gotten like this? … Again.
And there was my answer in black and white.
Forgive yourself for what you did in survival mode. (Source)
You were teaching Algebra 1. You were coaching track. You were raising your children. You were SURVIVING. You were treading water. You were answering the call. You were walking in obedience.
You will not berate the girl that gave you all the luxuries you now enjoy. You will not tell her that she is not now nor was she ever enough. She was out there changing the world – one child at a time – starting right where she lives. She woke up to children. She spent her day with other people’s children. Then she went to bed taking care of children. You will not make her feel less than because she did not have the time to figure out how to get the layers of dirt off the base boards or soap scum out of the tubs.
That was NOT urgent. Urgent was setting her phone down because someone stopped by, walked in her classroom unannounced during her planning period, sat down and began to unload the worries of the day because life had not been kind. And that person could really use an ear, and your classroom was safe. Urgent was tracking down a student, with time you did not have, who did not “belong to you,” so you could attempt to talk some sense into a senseless situation. Urgent was scrolling down mindless rabbit holes of Instagram to see the pretty pictures and hear the voices that sounds like angels from choirs of Jesus himself while eating your overpriced sushi. You needed a moment to decompress and sweeping the stairs could wait.
You will not tear her down. She was busy burning out trying to be exactly who God asked her to be. She was the only way you are here, and you have the nerve to insult her. You got some rest because God forced you to stay home and sit down. Now you have the nerve to look at your former self with condescension at how you could allow things to get like this.
Yes, you are stronger. Yes you have learned so many lessons that will help you going forward, but don’t you for one second forget that SHE IS THE REASON.
You needed her. And yes, you will absolutely do better going forward. And yes, you can be sorry for mistakes you made along the way, but you WILL NOT belittle yourself for being who you needed at the time – who you needed, who your home needed, who your job needed, who your friends needed, and who your coworkers needed.
Now, turn around, smile and tell her thank you. Tell her she’s beautiful, and then tell her you are sorry about the way you talked to her. Forgive her for not being who you wanted her to be in SURVIVAL. And keep it moving. These mountains are not going to move themselves.
Tell me ways you are working to forgive yourself.
Leave your email so that I can send more forgive yourself strategies straight to your inbox.
Check out some other pieces about life and motherhood:
- How to Avoid Burnout: Learn to Rest NOT Quit
- Decluttering Your Schedule: Overcoming Overwhelmed
- Journey to Self-Love – Give Yourself Grace
If you liked what you read today, feel free to share with family and friends.