This is hard.

There’s so much I want to do right now and I’m having a hard time finding the time to do it with the little time I do have.

And I know that’s a limiting belief–not enough time. Because I know that I will make time for the things that are really important to me. So that begs the questions, if I keep saying this is important to me, and I keep complaining and hurting inside because I just don’t have the time to do the things I want, what am I really getting at?

Why don’t I have the time? What have I been telling myself?

-Confusion over where my attention needs to go because I am a Stay-at-home-parent.

-Confusion over how long I’m to be doing this–there’s a lot of anxiety around needing to bring in income and find the next thing.

-Feeling like I ought to devote the waking hours to caring for my children and anything else is a deviation of what I should be doing right now.

-I get side-tracked easily by the many causes that are dear to me.

-I get side-tracked by wanting to write about the many causes that are dear to me and I am having trouble deciding which to focus on.

-I’m still confused at the push and pull–the “when do I let my interests guide me” and “when do I need to get in the driver’s seat and pick a direction.”

-I’m afraid to ask for the time. I know how much my partner needs it, too. And it just feels so hard to walk away when we’re all drowning a bit.

-I feel weak for needing this much.

-I feel guilty for wanting more beyond my kids; that I’m not appreciating this time home with them enough; that I’ll regret if I do anything else (i.e., work) during this period when I could have just focused on them; this time with them is making me realize how unbalanced I feel; this time with them is making me realize how much time I need away from them; this time with them is making me feel how much I need other avenues to pour into; this time is making me realize that I’m not as strong of a parent when I’m with them this much; that I’m not as strong of a parent when my needs aren’t being met.

So, I feel like I am back to that same question–the question that will probably never go away: How do I meet my needs?

What are my needs?
What do I want?
What do I need?

OK, so it’s more like four questions, not one.

. . .

I read something the other night from “Around the Year with Emmet Fox-A Book of Daily Readings.” For May 14th, he wrote, “It is only today’s realization that will demonstrate, never yesterday’s or last year’s.” Before that he says we need to make the “realization serve over and over again.”

In other words, it doesn’t necessarily matter what we learned years, or months, or weeks, or days ago. Just because we have the knowledge it does not mean we will receive its power. Instead, we must choose over and over again, with each new day to consciously bring forth what we know.

On that page I etched my own words to remind myself of this, something, perhaps, I could say each day:

May you help me bring forth all that I know to this new day.

It’s this I most often forget. The intentional choosing.

I just, kinda, expect that I’ll be able to do these things because I learned them before. I expect that I should be able to do them with ease because I learned them before. And when it’s hard…well…I just don’t know what to do.

I react
I blame.
I pity.
I freeze.
I stall.
I crumble.

I realized these past few weeks how hard it’s always been for me to utter the words, “This is hard.” Moreover, how hard it is for me to say that to another person. To admit it. I feel in speaking this aloud I actually have to admit I don’t know. I had the bar too high. I judged too quickly. I now find myself in that situation, and now I feel a bit embarrassed to think I could have been some exception. Especially, especially because, I have consciousness.

Friends, I’ve been watching myself for a while now–thinking I had a safe house with sturdy locks and shelves of resources to help me stay grounded. I’ve been watching how often I tell myself I shouldn’t feel something because I know something else. I’ve heard the term spiritual bypassing before, noted where I might have done it to others, and have kept a tab on it. But, I’m gonna let you in on something I literally just discovered:

I’ve been spiritually bypassing myself!

I didn’t think I was. Rather, I wasn’t sure if that was the case. But I also started to get a little suspicious there might be this intruder in my house.

There was. There is. It comes whenever I tell myself to not feel a certain way because I think I ought to take the higher road, –the positive mindset, –the whatever that would allow me to transcend difficulty.

Moments ago as this thought started to form, I googled, “Can you spiritually bypass yourself?” And the first link that popped up was this article from Dr. Ingrid Clayton titled “Beware of Spiritual Bypass.” You know when you find a passage that just completely validates your entire being?! This article did that for me. If I were reading this in print, I probably would have had the whole damn page highlighted in marker. The line that most resonated most with me because of its simple completeness is:

 Let’s remind others that spirituality can help us rest in the human condition. 

Ingrid Clayton, Ph.D

Rest in the human condition. Read that again…
Rest in the human condition.

I’m writing this in real time and it feels like a weight has just been lifted off of my chest. A reminder that I am not doing anything wrong. That by all of this being hard is actually what it’s supposed to be. Or perhaps, what it’s allowed to be.

I know I can do great things.
I know I can rise above
and see a new world painted.
I can hold the brush
and still be the human
I am not impervious to pain
but with each stroke
I gain
a little more me, a little more be

And so, I’ll say it:

Parenting has been hard. Twins have been hard. Motherhood has been hard. Reconciling my past and learning boundaries has been hard. Learning to forgive and love a little more has been hard. This Pandemic has been hard. Yesterday was hard. Today has been hard.

I’m thankful I’ve finally had the chance to return to therapy (Yes, I will be bringing up this realization at the next appointment..and imagining my therapist smirking in knowing-delight.) Not everyone has this access. If you can, please consider donating to The Loveland Foundation, an organization committed to providing mental health supports to Black women and girls for free. Your contributions help change the world. You can check out their Therapy Fund, Here.

If you’d like some Instagram Inspiration, Jamila Reddy is light. She is a teacher, writer, and coach who just recorded an amazing IGTV video about feelings and healing. You can support her Patreon, Here!

To read Dr. Ingrid Clayon’s full article on Psychology Today, click here–> “Beware of Spiritual Bypass- Why do we avoid rather than accept?”

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