There I was having cleaned all weekend, up and down the stairs doing ten loads of laundry. The rest of the time was spent meticulously cleaning the house, taking care of a cat fresh out of surgery and doing head checks on myself, my toddler and partner so often I may need new glasses. We had been exposed to lice a common rite of passage for children I guess. Our cat cut the side of his body open the same weekend and almost died. I was stressed but I wasn’t feeling because I was in problem solving mode.
Then at night, as most toddlers do when routine is thrown off, my son decided he wouldn’t go to sleep. As introverted mom, with not even a second to myself for over three days, I was about to lose it. And then I did. After the fourth time I tried to put him to sleep, after he pulled my hair and bit me (which he hadn’t done in over two months), I started having a breakdown. I said “no more nurse” and then started crying and begging him just to go to sleep. He pulled my hair again and then started laughing which only made me plead more. My partner was in the other room, later stating that he was immobilized because our sick cat was on his lap. Hmm. Then my son finally said “Awww” like I was an unfortunate creature and kissed and hugged me. I realized how utterly ridiculous I was being, but as humans do we sometimes need to lose our shit. I was humiliated in front of a toddler, my toddler who I felt I had let down.
I grew up in a yelling household. I will never forget how it shook me so I keep a very close eye on my strong emotions. I tend to be a pretty calm person thankfully, with a very long fuse. The thing is when that fuse is burnt out; burnt to a crisp by the demands of things like being a mother, it goes off. And though I didn’t yell at my son, I showed him these out of control emotions and I’m not sure how I feel about that or how I should feel about that. Right now I feel pretty damn guilty. I feel like maybe he will lose confidence in me as a mom. I feel that my partner has also lost confidence in me. This is one of my biggest fears, people not trusting my capability.
Many would take a look at my background and offerings and say “yes this is a spiritual person”. I mean I practice yoga and chant and shit. I even say that I am an advocate for spiritual empowerment. Shouldn’t I then be held to a different standard? But what is it to be spiritual? And if we are spiritual are we allowed to lose our shit?
No. Everything and Anything. Yes.
To me spirituality is one aspect of health in the larger scope of health. And honestly not just to me. In my public health studies, we often discussed mental and spiritual health as part of the big picture of health. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” There is a difference between mental and spiritual health of course, but it isn't included in their main definition. It is further discussed by the WHO Health Assembly and agreed that “ The spiritual dimension plays a great role in motivating people’s achievement in all aspects of life.”
So I would argue that ALL of us have a spiritual aspect of health to nurture. I am not proud of losing my shit, but all humans lose their shit and all humans are spiritual. Being spiritual is not a right that only certain people have attained. It’s just a realm of our being. There are systems of spirituality I have learned and I teach, but they are only systems. They break. We break. Breaking is necessary. Why? I mean we always hear that don’t we? Breaking is part of life. It just is. To be more clear, breaking reminds us of our humanity...especially those of us soaring high with lofty spiritual goals. Breaking reminds us of our roots, our dirty, stinky selves. Breaking causes us to remember what it is like on earth. Breaking teaches us compassion if we let it. Breaking causes us to say “me too” when someone expresses their shame. Breaking is our root. Spirit is our crown. To muddy our crown with our humanity is truly beautiful as it is ugly.
As I worry about how I, a spiritual teacher (shudder am I really?) a yogini, a positive, attached parenting vegan could lose my shit, I let myself feel my humanity. I feel fully my guilt and my shame and do not avoid and numb out..though it is tempting. I broadcast it here so that you may feel that it’s ok to feel your humanity. Maybe you more readily flow between the mud and the heavens. Teach those around you, people like me who are so damn hard on ourselves. I plan on examining further why I lost my shit. I mean that is spiritual work to me, examination, but for now I feel the sickening feeling and disappointment in myself. I am sitting with the ick.