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Be Real: Be Kind to Yourself

Following the sudden death of my Dad, it’s been a whirlwind of emotions. Incredible sadness, mixed with anxiety, concern for my children, concern for my mom, fear, lackluster attitude, no energy, and this feeling that maybe I should just disappear into the wilderness and never return.

I’ve always battled with my emotions – I just have so many of them! And, I’ve always struggled with staying in one place and not bouncing around from job to job or place to place. I guess it’s wanderlust that just lives deep in my soul. And, I’ve battled with anxiety – so much anxiety.

Then, when a life-changing event happens, all of that and more bubbles up to the surface.

I read somewhere that losing a father is like losing your rudder. While losing a mother is like losing a never-ending source of love – or a friend.

I totally feel like I have no rudder. I can’t seem to get my spark back or find my place or even remember where I was going with this specific blog!

 

Positive Self Talk

What I have found works the best for me as an individual – and perhaps works best for my family – is to simply keep reminding myself that it’s OK. It’s OK to take a little longer getting ready in the morning if you need to take a few moments of meditation or silent reflection. It’s OK to cry in your car every morning. It’s OK that you didn’t get to weeding those flower beds if you really just needed to sit on the couch and hug your kids.

I am used to being that person who shows up every day and knocks it out of the park. My brain was like an arrow. I could multi-task and complete those tasks so quickly and easily.

Now, I’m not that person anymore. I am the person that reflects a little more. The person who is just a tad slower at getting things done – both at work and at home. I might return to that other person, but I might also stay here as this new person – and either way is OK.

Be gentle with yourself. Take the time you need. Remind yourself that you are more important than those tasks.

 

Grounding in Nature

After my Dad’s memorial service in Pennsylvania in April, the family members traveled to the farm where we grew up. It’s different than how it was when I was a child, but in some ways I could still see “us.”

In the barn rafters, I could still see the outline of wooden mountains that we created for one of Dad’s companies that sold Laotian handmade items and egg rolls at various fairs and festivals in southern PA. I saw the trees still standing that were there and that I likely tried to climb. In the corner of one of the barns was an oil pressing machine that Dad used when he was making his own bio-fuel out of sunflower seeds.

Pieces were there …. But not the whole, because Dad made us whole. We will find a new whole but it won’t be like it was. And, that’s OK. It has to be OK.

Walking around the farm fields where I used to run and roll down hills was cathartic for me because I could still feel home – I could breathe the fresh air, see the rolling hills and neighboring farms, feel that spring breeze on my face.

It was also great to show my children the place where I grew up. It might be the last time we visit that special place.

Alex and Jane were able to run and climb – the same as I did as a child. They could feel the magic, just like I felt the magic many moons ago.

Life is good. I’m still here. I can still make a difference. I can still feel the grass on my bare feet. I can show my kids how amazing the world is.

I can still be me – even if it is a new version of me.

 

Note: The picture that accompanies this blog is my son at the farm where I grew up. I was able to show him that I actually WAS raised in a barn!

Rachel Swick Mavity

Rachel Swick Mavity

Rachel Swick Mavity, MS, is the Digital Content Coordinator for Beebe Healthcare and is a freelance writer. She lives in Milford with her husband and two children. Her passions include storytelling, photography, healthy products, and coffee.