Recently I was listening to a podcast where Eckhart Tolle described stress as the gap between what is actually occurring and what our brain tells us should be occurring. He referred to it as the stress gap. When our K’s symptoms begin to appear, there was a big stress gap. In my situation, I was in a constant state of denial. I believed that when I went to bed and awakened, that it would all have corrected itself. I believed that this was just a phase. I realized with time that it wasn’t going to simply correct itself. I had to find ways to get through the day. One of my main practices was gratitude.
I recall a specific coaching session where I spent most of the time verbalizing my disbelief at all that was happening in our lives. At the end of the call, she gently said, “Some people believe that we choose this life. They believe that we choose a life with situations in them to teach us lessons or strengthen areas of weakness.” My response was simple – no way did I choose this. That simple comment left me viewing my situation differently. I started to question, what if I did choose this? What if God did pick this life for me for a reason? I started living as if I did choose to love a child with Schizophrenia and something remarkable happened. I became grateful.
Reading this post may make it sound easy. It may sound like, “Yep! I chose this and it’s fantastic!” Or that it was quick and the next day I woke up feeling happy and giddy at the excitement of what awaited me. Not hardly. What did happen is that I took turtle steps.- not baby steps – but turtle steps. Teeny, tiny, itty, bitty steps towards accepting this life one grateful moment at a time.
In the midst of chaos I would think, I must find gratitude in this… and I would! Sometimes I was grateful that she was eating or drinking or that my husband was home to help and other times, it was simply the beautiful Florida sky. I have read to keep a gratitude journal, write five things down at the end of every day, but reality for me at night was to crawl into bed and immediately fall asleep. I found that making it a habit, in the moment, held power. It held so much power, that I continue to practice gratitude daily.
Commit to taking the next few days and finding gratitude throughout your day. You can write it down or make a mental note. When you start to feel that “stress gap” appear, take notice of your current situation and find something grateful in it. It will change your life.
To share your story and connect with other warrior mom’s navigating life with a mental illness diagnosis of a child, join my Facebook group – Hope Finders.
Until next time,