There have been a lot of days lately, where I catch myself holding my breath. When my brain takes over and becomes so congested with all that needs to get done, worry sets in, my anxiety peaks, and I forget that I have to breathe. This has only begun to happen since I became a mother and I wonder often, is that what motherhood is? Holding my breath and hoping I survive the day? Holding my breath, as I lay my little ones to sleep as not to disturb them and have to start the whole process over again? Holding my breath, as I sit down to stare at the computer and completely forget all that needed to get done during nap time (you know, that one precious golden hour that may or may not happen.)? Holding my breath, through the tantrums and tears, teething and colds, first falls and hurt feelings? When will I stop holding my breath in anticipation of the worst scenario, and start to let go and be present for every scenario?
I have been trying to focus on being more present in the little moments, and worry about the future less. It is hard. I anticipate too much, my expectations are sometimes too high, and I constantly beat myself up over not being able to meet them. My mind wanders from one worry to the next. Is that crayon toxic? Does this cracker have gluten? What if they don’t nap today, then am I going to be pulling my hair out by days end? Oh no, my all organic ingredient deodorant has toxins that cause cancer and howdidInotknowaboutthistillNOW!!!!! What should I make for dinner tonight? Salmon sounds good. But what if L won’t eat salmon? Ah I’ll just do takeout (as I eye the mound of dishes in the sink), that will be way easier. My floor is a mess, I need to mop. I need to organize! I need to clean out the car, there are diapers in the trunk that have been there for a week.
These are the thoughts that pass through my mind every minute. This is why I am having trouble breathing, because when it gets too much I just stop. I just hold my breath and hope the moment passes with sanity.
Today, I read a verse that gave me pause. I have read it so many times before, but today, it spoke to me differently. “Be still, and know that I am God”, Psalm 46:10. As I read these words I felt myself breath out, the room became quiet, I could hear myself think, and I got it. I finally got it. He has this, HE is in control, and I am not. I can give myself permission to be tired, and breath out and give myself rest. I have permission to be still.
So during those moments that I catch myself holding my breath. I want to redirect my thinking from anxiousness to stillness. In that moment, I want to be still, and know that He is God, and He’s got this.