Do you ever get hit directly in the heart with a piercing arrow of gratitude?
Thats how I felt a few minutes ago.
I have always been one to feel fully saturated emotions.
Some people accuse women of being "too emotional" or "too sensitive". I feel very blessed that I can feel things with such force. I'd like to think it leads me to live my life richly, deeply.
Becoming a mother has made me feel things even more. I recently watched this video about empathy vs sympathy (MUST watch). I think becoming a mom has made me more empathetic, not emotional. And maybe the accusation that women are too sensitive or emotional, is wrong, and we're just empathetic? My first reaction is to now climb down the latter and share the experience with the person, instead of poking my head down the hole and trying to find the positive. I find my self tearing up pretty often. Its funny how my body reacts to emotions, I must express it, if not with words or a deliberate action, with it leaking out my eyes?
I took this picture about five seconds ago.
And I was a teary mess.
But for good reasons, let me explain:
I just finished reading a beautiful, sad, moving essay about a still birth.
She writes very raw.
Personally, I have never experienced the loss of a child. I did lose my mother as a child, and I have had a miscarriage (writing that makes me feel like I'm writing down my credentials...so not trying to come across like that). My experience was not the exact same as hers, but the emotions and some of the questions I had during the loss were similar.
Loss is an interesting thing. For a long time I found myself having somewhat of a fatalist mindset. Meaning, that I assumed the people in my life that I love the most, would die before old age. Really, I did believe that. I still have to talk myself down sometimes. Eden's whole pregnancy I was convinced she wasn't going to live. I am getting better. It used to mean I had a hard time really attaching myself to others, to giving my whole heart to them because when you lose someone that has your heart, part of you is lost, too.
But becoming a mother, you have no choice, that baby takes your heart the minute you learn about them. At least for me. Which has been so good for me.
Another interesting thing about loss is trying to not have "fear based gratitude" is what I call it. Being grateful for someone because you never know when they'll leave/die. Being grateful for someone because maybe there is a unseen correlation between how grateful I am and the longevity of life? Am I making sense? Loss has taught me so much. At first it obviously made me very, very guarded. But it has, over time, changed me and refined me to be a better woman.
Back to the picture: I walked into Maggie's room (hello big girl bed!?!) and teared up with gratitude for my husband for snuggling her to sleep, for Maggie and the firecracker she is. For the joy that these two bring into my life. And I got teary because I wasn't scared. My gratitude was pure gratitude, that faint after taste of fear never came. And for me, that is a big deal.