Summer/ Belonging/ Fear/ Mom Life/ By Trisha Goodall
“Mommy, I don’t belong here.” It came while listening to Tom Petty’s Wildflowers in the car. It led to a beautiful discussion about what it means to belong, to be free, to be able to just be themselves. I paid close attention to the places they said they feel free, “At home, at the pool, not at school...” And I made sure to keep those places close and a part of our lives.
If you belong among the wildflowers - somewhere you feel free, do you belong here? How does freedom change as we grow up and shift into our roles as a mother, a friend, a partner, an employee, and a business owner?
Where do you belong?
I was reminded about a client that I had worked with while she was dealing with a separation. She had experienced hardship growing up with her mother grieving a divorce. Those memories plagued her but also gave her the drive to put first things first - “I can’t do that to my kids. I need to keep it together no matter what.”
Over our weeks of working together, we did a deep dive into logistics, schedules, weighing options, and breaking things down into manageable pieces, alleviating her overwhelm. But what she gained was beyond what she thought possible. “I just wanted to be able to show up for them; I never expected to feel so solidly confident and at peace with myself too.” Yes. She was free. While her fear and love of her children drove her to seek support, it was love for herself that she discovered would only enhance her care for her children. She didn’t have to ignore her own needs.
Do you feel free?
So my question to you is, do you feel free? Do you feel like you’re trapped in the tedium of life? What is driving you? Of course, you love your children. But is there fear there too? Where can you make space to love you too? How can you face the fear and thank the fear? Yes, thank it.
Marie Kondo teaches families to show gratitude for the space and the physical possessions, even in letting them go. “Does it spark joy.” I’ll leave you to discover just what she means by that, but I propose you evaluate your fear, your need for control, your inability to prioritize yourself in that lens.
When we run from a feeling or a scenario, “I shouldn’t think that.” “I shouldn’t need that.” then we unwittingly trap ourselves. It’s when we face those feelings, thoughts, and scenarios that we can see - what is there?
How can you thank your fear?
Perhaps your fear is trying to protect you - you’ve experienced something related to this in the past and so your incredible intelligent body and mind are trying to warn you. Would you banish a friend that tried to protect you? As fear rises, that is the bat signal for compassion. What are you really afraid of? Face it, talk to it, and if it’s right then thank it and listen. But if it’s misinformed, let it know, while you thank it still.
Thank you for trying to protect me.
We are okay.
I am strong enough for this.
You don’t need to step in here.
I’ve got this.
Let it go. So that you can be free, and among the wildflowers.
What are your wildflowers?
This feeling is one of the reasons we love our pool so much. My kids feel free. And I’m not fearful for their safety there. But it doesn’t always have to be a physical place.
What scenarios, what pattern of behavior, what scheduling, what routines help you to feel free? And we have the luxury of talking not about physical freedom, but about emotional, and mental freedom. When we live by fear and allow our lives to be run by outside forces, we give up our empowered selves.