Soak it in, I tell myself.
This has been one of those days. The kind of day that starts out rough and doesn’t let up. The kind of day when my skin is tissue paper thin. The kind of day when everything is catching up to me and I am tired and overwhelmed and fragile.
I have bitten off more than I can chew. I didn’t mean to. I am usually pretty good about knowing my capacity and staying within it. But sometimes I don’t know how much is too much until I am suddenly and surprisingly falling apart.
I won’t go into the sordid details. Suffice to say I did at one point manage to realize I was in a bit too deep. But I have a hard time looking a need in the eye and walking away. And I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but California schools these days are pretty needy.
So I reminded myself to do the best I can. Something is better than nothing, right? Well, today was a day when the best I can was not good enough for some of the people around me.
And I will be honest…..it hurt. When I am genuinely trying to help and I run into someone along the way who would like to tell me how terrible I am because my help is not perfect or leaves them feeling disappointed, I take it personally. I know whatever they are telling me says more about them than me, but still….ouch.
But I also know the people hurting me are just as human as I am. So what do I do with it all?
Just when I think I am going to break, I find myself on my couch with a four-year-old sleeping on top of me. I thought we were headed for disaster as he was waking up cranky from a car-ride nap. I knew I did not have enough in me to make it through that.
But as we snuggled, he fell back asleep. And I don’t have sleeping child moments that often anymore. In fact, hardly ever. And they are some of my favorite moments.
So I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.
The day washed over me. And in and amongst all of the crud, the care of friends stood out. Love through the phone from my sister. Two encouraging emails from people who had no idea how much I needed them.
As I opened my eyes, the smiling faces of my three boys looked back at me from above the piano. Life. My life.
Soak it in, I tell myself. Because this is how you recover from the wounds of life, I say. Not by giving up or hiding under a rock like you are tempted to do today. But seeing these elements of healing mixed in with all the rest and letting them penetrate those painful places.
Listening. Understanding. Encouragement. Perspective. Love.
Soak it in.