WKND Parenting Tips: Discovering yourself while navigating parenthood
Columnist Kavita Srinivasan on the journey of parenthood and reconnecting with your lost self
I had a moment that took my breath away this morning. That sharp gasp of inhaled air swept me off my feet. And I was floored — rooted with profound realisation.
Here’s how it happened. Here is what actually happened… I used to feel alone a lot. I craved intimacy. I walked around sparking deep and meaningful conversation, rubbing my words against others’, hoping to spark a connection. And I felt it in flickers… a shared thought, a cherished secret, a heart full of compassion… and I felt full for a second till the flame died out. And I was alone again.
I’m not alone in feeling alone. And I know I’m not the first to wake up feeling like this but my moment of profound realisation felt like a first love — THAT moment when I fully realised I didn’t need to seek conversation, I didn’t need to forge a connection, I didn’t need a shoulder to cry on, I didn’t need anyone. My other half is me. My other third is me. My first love is me.
I had no one to blame.
I had no one to need.
I had no heartbreak anymore.
I had rubbed words, poured a full cup of feeling and cheered with a heart full of acceptance…
From me to me.
And the world suddenly became this beautiful stranger. I welcomed each person home, fed them with friendship and received their love with an open heart. But when they left my doorstep, their muddied footprints were wiped clean off my floor.
My home remained mine. No one had the power to mark it.
You are not alone.
You’ve never been.
You only feel like you are because you haven’t embraced the one person who is your belonging… YOU.
Look at yourself every day, straight into your eyes without grimacing. And just say ‘hi’. Do it for a few seconds, the first day. Then up the seconds, up them to minutes. When you stop flinching, close your eyes.
Close your eyes and feel you.
Let every thought that passes through you be a treasure.
Listen for a few seconds, then up them to minutes.
Rub your thoughts with words, with understanding and empathy.
This is intimacy.
We spend our lives with noise in our heads.
We spend our lives paying attention to the outside.
To the words, opinions and worth the world gives us.
And if those words hurt, if there isn’t enough love,
We feel barren.
We feel alone.
What if you replace those words with only yours?
What if the only love and acceptance you needed was yours all along?
When you try to complete yourself with pieces outside of you, nothing will fit.
Nothing will click.
Your missing piece was made by you, for you.
THIS is the truth.
THIS is freedom.
I shut the door to outside noise about five months ago. It hasn’t been that long.
But now that I have, there’s no going back. I am free, you see. I am no longer chained to anyone. I am a treasure. I won’t hand my riches to anyone else to squander. I won’t let anyone waste my lustre. There is only one of me. And any brokenness I feel is because I forgot that the missing half to my jagged shard lies within me. No one has what is MINE.
You are a shining, WHOLE heart.
You are only yours.
Speak to yourself like the rare treasure you are…
And blind the world with the light you release from within.
THIS is how you parent.
THIS is how you love.
By being AL-ONE. By being ALL-ONE.