It's ok to feel sad.

 Here we were in Italy, a year ago, getting ready to say goodbye to some of our closest friends and a life we had grown to love. It took a year to normalize after that move, and we were about to start all over again. 

Here we were in Italy, a year ago, getting ready to say goodbye to some of our closest friends and a life we had grown to love. It took a year to normalize after that move, and we were about to start all over again. 

This is my third attempt at this post. I wish it were just writer's block, but I just realized I'm trying to work through the emotions as I write and I keep getting stuck on the pain and frustration. My patient and loving husband, Josh has helped me rehash and refine the message and intention for this post over the past week. I could probably go on about this for pages and pages, but for the sake of brevity (and due to a sneaking suspicion you all just might want the short version), here goes:

Last week's post about moving with kids, ended up opening my own Pandora's box of emotions! Turns out, I've been carrying around a little bit of sadness and frustration about how difficult this past move had been for myself and the kids to make connections with new friends.

Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs? After physiological and safety needs, the emotional need of belonging is comprised of family, friends, and community. Without much of a family growing up, and a lack of community with our transient military lifestyle, I subconsciously try to meet that need with deep soul-filling friendships. And I realize that as a homeschooling extroverted mother I think I feel this gaping void of friendship more than most.

Since moving back to the States, I've been running around trying to involve ourselves in as many groups, activities, churches, and events as possible, trying to make new connections that will hopefully lead to new friendships. While these efforts have certainly helped and we are finally beginning to settle into our new community, there was a good bit of stress and anxiety along the way. I realize now this was because I was operating out of an intense fear of loneliness.

For myself, feelings of loneliness run deep. It triggers all sorts of memories of being an only child raised by a working and emotionally despondent single mother. My past experiences create extra sensitivity for my own children's association with loneliness. And that fear is set off whenever they express sadness with not being able to see some of their closest friends or artiuclete they're frustrated they haven't found new ones they can see on a regular basis. 

Just like in the airplane, I'm learning to put on my own oxygen mask first. So I'm saving my efforts to help the kids for another post. It takes everything I have to empathize with them and provide the emotional support they need from me. Because inside, my old tendencies of trying to avoid difficult feelings and find ways to redirect their emotions still arise. 

That has always been my emotional coping tool. Just like, running from the past. Whenever I bump up against the pain, I want to run. Numb it. Find a way not to feel it. But, I'm learning now... 

It's ok to feel sad. 

And once I create awareness around the emotion, accept it, and somehow share it, it begins to dissolve. Like some divine magic, I see it vanishing. It's grip loosens, and I'm able to move back towards, peace, love and joy!  

I'm not saying I enjoy the feeling or want to remain there, but once I stop resisting and accept what is, I'm able to find liberation. 

And just because we often find the frequent moving difficult at times, I'm not complaining about the Army or about our choice to serve in the military. Just like most things, there are both benefits are drawbacks and there is peace to be found with the awareness and acceptance of both. 

I may have failed on the brevity, but I'm already feeling better! Thank you for holding space for me.  

Sending you all love and light with whatever you may be feeling today. 

Mara 


Photo Credit: Darya Kamalova of Thecablookfotolab.