family court, mental health, self-care

Weathering the Storm

mvmv storm trees quote featuredSometimes the Universe conspires to meet you where you are, push you forward to where you need to be. Two weeks ago a series of family court decisions rocked our house. While in the end nothing really changed for the time, we had hope and peace ripped out from under us and I think we have all struggled to recover. Forget getting out of bed in the morning, just opening my eyes seems to take more than I have to offer.

Still, more needs to be done. After I filed an emergency motion XN’s attorney filed another, putting us before a judge one week later. I had just a few days to file my response amidst back-to-back holiday parties at our home. I got the papers filed, albeit they are flawed and poorly formatted, only to find that opposing counsel’s request to adjourn was granted. Another week to pace and worry while seeming to drown in a sea of uncertainty.

My daughter feels completely powerless to change anything in her life, and she is. While I try to encourage her to speak up for herself and be true to who she is, I know that even doing that won’t change her situation. Though I may feel powerless, there are things I can at least do to try to make things better for her, but they require action. The kind of action that takes clarity of mind and determination of spirit. These things are hard to muster right now.

Feeling guilty and also determined to find some Christmas cheer, I left work a couple of hours early yesterday so I could decorate a gingerbread house with Beatrice, the one holiday activity she had requested. We turned on the Christmas Hits Spotify station and set ourselves to work, under the watchful eye of our elf, Sprinkles, who looked on from under a wine glass in the curio, where she had placed herself the night before. Focusing on the magic of the season and practicing gratitude with and for my family helped.

I woke up this morning utterly exhausted. I have very little left to give anyone right now and am very grateful that I have a job that keeps me on my toes and allows me to show up at the office looking like a schlub. Today, I opted for my Oscar the Grouch shirt that reads “HUMBUG!” in big, red, glittery letters. While I may be struggling to maintain my holiday cheer, I know in my soul I am a member of the Street Gang, so even if I’m feeling a little humbuggy, I’m reminded of who I am. I’m trying.

Meditation has quite possibly saved my life in the last year. It is times like these that I find it hard to sit myself down and be still. My breath is too short, my eyes too heavy, and my hands too shaky to imagine being able to get anything out of a practice. But I did it this morning anyway. I was pleasantly surprised to see the Daily Calm title: “Storms.” I settled in and managed to find moments where I wasn’t overwhelmed with the neverending reel of possibilities for what awaits in court on Friday. The minutes of guidance at the end of today’s Daily Calm was about exactly what I am feeling right now. The Universe conspired to meet me.

While I won’t bore you with my meditation practice, I do want to remind you to trust the process, a reminder I need daily. Remember that you have the strength to weather the storm that’s either coming or the one that you are already facing. Every day, I find myself saying “I can’t do this anymore. I have nothing left to give.” Today, I got a welcome reminder from the Universe that I can and I do. While my little girl may not have power right now, I do, or at least have to try to find it and as long as she needs me to, I will come back to my cushion, surrender, and let the Universe guide me to where I need to be. Carry on, warriors.

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