Be Gentle, Be Present

As I sat down with my spiritual counselor that other day, I was upset with myself. I said, “I seemed and felt so much stronger last year.” She listened patiently to me being so frustrated with myself and said, “Maybe you were. But you are now grieving two babies. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

I talked with my counselor the week before about different things. I said the “should” word. I said, “I feel like I should be…” She quickly said to me, “Stop the “should”. You’re beating up on yourself. Be kind to yourself. Where you are, is where you are supposed to be.” I said, “Yeah, you’re right. We’re so hard on ourselves, huh?” She said, “Yes. Then we beat up on ourselves more because we’re beating up on ourselves.” I chuckled.

And just the other night I attended a baby loss group and there I heard other bereaved parents using the “should” word. “I should be doing this. I should be doing so much better. I should, I should.” The facilitator there pointed it out to us. And encouraged us to get rid of that word from our vocabulary. So, why are we so hard on ourselves? When will we learn that where we are in life is okay? That if we didn’t do “such and such” things, to just let it go. Learn from it, and move forward. We must learn to be kind to ourselves. It is a hard and cruel world out there as it is. Let us all learn kindness to oneself especially as we are grieving.

And with that, learn to be present in the moment. In the day. Tomorrow will have concerns and worries of its own. We are taught this. But to truly live this message from day to day is more difficult. Especially as you are grieving the loss of your baby. Or babies. Worries can consume you. Pretty soon you may be so filled with worries that you forget to look at the rainbows. The rainy days can become common. And that is okay. Remember though, you can have sadness with happiness. They do not have to be equal. But again, they can coexist. Grieve, but engage in life. Live in the moment. Be present.

You can help to be present by acknowledging all that you are feeling, and not push it away. Sure, sometimes you want to push it away, or it is not a “good time” to feel what you are feeling. Honor it. Come back to it if you have to do so. But feel all that you feel. It will help with this grieving thing in the long run. We talked about this at this baby loss group I attended. And pretty soon, as time goes on, less time will be spent on these thoughts. You can feel what you are feeling. Honor it. And then after a few minutes you have to say, “And now I am going to move forward with the next thing.” So that the sadness will not consume you. Because it is easy to have that happen.

Honor yourself and your feelings. Take care of yourself. Be gentle to yourself. Write down three to five things each morning you are thankful for having. Acknowledge your sad feelings, but also see good in every day as hard as sometimes it seems. Be present to each day. For each day is a gift to be opened and discovered. Sometimes you will like what you have opened, other days not. But the important thing is, again to “Be Gentle, Be Present”.