Are you afraid of the dark?
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of recording my very first podcast episode with my good friend Sarah. She has a new show called Messy Roads to Motherhood where her goal is to bring women on to talk about the messy parts of our journeys to motherhood, including unmet expectations, loss, heartbreak, complications, and more. I think many of the discussions she shares can be applicable in so many areas of our lives, and I love that the foundation of Messy Roads is that every woman’s story is worthy of being told.
When Sarah told me she was putting out this podcast, I immediately signed up to participate and share my story. I knew that it meant that I’d have to get really vulnerable, but that it was worth it because by sharing the things I’ve struggled with I would have the opportunity to let other women know they’re not alone.
We spend so much time curating beautiful lives (hello pretty Instagram feeds!), but in order to grow and evolve into the women we’re meant to be, we need to embrace the shitty cards we’ve been dealt, too.
The more we hide the “bad” thoughts, feelings, and emotions away, the more we breed shame. And the more shameful we feel, the less we want to share about it because we’re afraid we’ll be rejected by the people we care about - or sometimes even society as a whole.
I’ve always felt like an outcast in many social situations, and as I step into the woman who I’m meant to be I realize that there’s been a reason for this. I’ve had to deal with a lot of uncomfortable thoughts, feelings, and situations, including not being comfortable in my own skin, so that I can learn how to deal with the darker, heavier energy we come up against and help others do the same.
We need to break this cycle of staying quiet about the tough stuff for both ourselves and the global community.
We need to openly acknowledge and discuss the shadow parts of ourselves so that we can understand one another and show each other empathy and compassion.
We need to acknowledge our messy roads because they’re what make us emotionally intelligent humans and feel connected with others.
In our chat, Sarah and I talked about my experience in dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, including the shame and guilt that I butted heads with, and what’s changed in my life since then. This shit is not easy to open up about and share with the world, but it’s necessary.
I know that by letting the shadow feelings come to the surface for myself, it helps me deal with and overcome them. I can choose to acknowledge them and let them go. And when we heal ourselves, we help to heal the world, too.
When I became pregnant a little over two years ago, I thought my life was over. I didn’t feel ready to be a mom because my life didn’t look anything like I wanted it to yet. I had just opened my business and was trying to figure out how to make it work.
I struggled with a lot of embarrassment around having a baby out of wedlock, even though I don’t believe that marriage is a requirement to bring a baby into the world.
I struggled with guilt because I desperately wanted a baby girl and was gifted a little boy. I was resentful of the “as long as the baby’s healthy, I’m ok with a boy or girl” saying, because that wasn’t how I was feeling at the time and didn’t want to lie to myself or anyone else.
I had to figure out how to be a good mom while not having a relationship with my own mother.
I struggled with postpartum anxiety without recognizing it until I was pretty much out of it.
I had to learn how to ask for help. But first, I had to recognize that I was worthy of receiving the help I needed so that I could become comfortable asking for it.
One of the best tools that’s helped me work through the feelings I share in this episode is my meditation practice. I used this as a tool before my son was born, soaking in the tub and connecting with this little soul who was inside of me so that we could begin to get to know one another. Now I use it as a tool when life gets really crazy and I need a timeout, or when I’m seeking answers to something.
When you sit with yourself without distraction, you have an opportunity to tune into the knowledge and guidance of your body and of your intuition. You don’t need the latest app, beauty product, diet plan, or anything else - you just need to connect with yourself regularly to affect positive change in your life.
Becoming more mindful in your day-to-day and meditating regularly is a wonderful practice that will lead you down the path to living a more fulfilling life. You’ll feel more connected to yourself and will be encouraged to listen to your body and give yourself what you need.
Meditation allows us to bring light and love to the shadow parts of ourselves so that we can illuminate the dark corners of our minds and deal with the bad thoughts and feelings instead of ruminating on them forever.
With mindfulness, you can start to distinguish between reality and the stories you’re telling yourself that are acting as roadblocks between where you are and where you want to go.
If you’re curious about mindfulness and meditation and how they might serve you, sign up for my free online workshop that’s happening next Thursday, November 16th at 8pm EST. If you’re not able to attend live, no problem! You’ll receive a recording of the workshop in your inbox as long as you’re signed up.
My conversation with Sarah is both messy and beautiful. It was deeply healing for me to share my story and listen back to it. It’s allowed me to finally give myself credit for how far I’ve come on my journey to becoming a mom. Even though I felt terribly raw when she told me that it was out there for people to listen to, I have faith that it will fall on the ears of those who need it most. I hope you’ll consider taking the time to listen to my story and share it with someone who might benefit from it.