Reflecting on the Journey
I am not going to lie. This was a tough summer. I gave everything I could to parenting my son – making his summer months fun and memorable; and then adulting in-between (work, running a household, being a wife, etc.). There was no time for self-love or for self-reflection. I did not have a moment’s breath for me. It was not given to me, and I was not in a position to be able to take it. The consequences to that are now affecting me. I am tired. I am frustrated. I am spent. I feel like I have nothing left to give, but yet I am expected to just keep on giving…
I don’t mean to reflect poorly on these past two months. In fact, this summer was monumental. A significant shift occurred within mine and my son’s relationship. After weeks of of being on the receiving end of his daily tempers, tears, and tantrums, I broke down. I sat at the table and sobbed. It shocked him. He did not know what to do or how to react. Mommy was not just crying, she was full-body sobbing. And when I was ready and able to talk, he actually listened. He listened so intently, and thought about my words. In the weeks that followed I recognized that he altered his behaviour. It was astounding. My little son became courteous, thoughtful, kind, silly, respectful, and communicative. We connected on a whole new level. It was – is – profound.
He is growing up.
And as difficult as this summer was, I am truly grateful that I was home to parent my child. We would not have reached this new height in our relationship at such an early stage in his life. And we had fun as mommy and son. As mentioned in my previous post [Hot Time Summer in the City], we created an August ‘To Do’ List. We did things together. Some outings were carefully planned, and others were spontaneous. As a result, the remaining weeks flew by amidst smiles and laughter.
Yet here I am, just 3 days into the new school year feeling the overwhelming emotions of angst and frustration. What happened?
In our final week of summer vacation we went north to the French River. I had hoped that my time on the shores of this majestic river would nullify my muddled emotions. It did not. I loved my time up north. It was calming. It was peaceful. It was harmonious. But it was not restorative. It was not healing. And I cannot pinpoint the reason for this. Why didn’t the time away help me as it had the previous summer? Why?
And then, whilst writing this post and reflecting on these thoughts, I realize – it is because my journey has altered.
My journey has altered. After reflecting upon this, I have come to realize that I am no longer healing. At least, not in the same way I was one year ago. In some aspects, my healing is complete. I have closed doors without truly realizing; and I have changed because my journey has changed. I have chosen to work through the grief, the anger, the fear that comes with a cancer diagnosis, and allowed these emotions to ebb and flow and release. I have had the courage to acknowledge how I am feeling and allow others (e.g., my son) to bear witness to my vulnerability. By doing this, I have altered. My relationships have altered. My journey is not the same, therefore my process to achieve inner calm will not be the same.
Cancer marks your life. It does change the dynamics of your relationship with yourself and with others. It is difficult. It is daunting. It is very frightening. But, this journey can be surprising. This journey, if you allow it, can be monumental, credulous, and very intimate. It is your decision how you want this journey to impact on your life. Whatever your journey may be.
And so, as tired, frustrated, anxious, and spent I am currently feeling, I do know that these feelings – with a little self-love – will subside. I know that I will achieve a safe place within my parameters that will allow me to continue giving to myself and to those I love. I know this because of the journey I have traversed.
Life is complex as is this journey.
Reflecting on the Journey. Published by Crystal Joy Hall