“You are strong when you know your weaknesses. You are beautiful when you appreciate your flaws. You are wise when you learn from your mistakes.” ~Unknown
I spend a lot of time during my week telling people they are going to be okay. And a lot of times, the response I get back is “I just can’t help but feel like I’m not doing enough. Like I’m missing something. My mind is filled with this.” Then they might tell me that people tell them to ‘just stop it’.
Well, I don’t know about you, but the most annoying thing for me is to hear someone tell me, “Just stop it!” whenever I am frustrated or discouraged and looking for answers and solutions.
When you’re anxious, and someone tells you, “Stop worrying, it will all be fine…” these words only add fuel to the fire and often make you angry. At least this is true for me. So, I’ve learned to be more careful when I utter the words, “It’s going to be okay.”
If only it were that easy to help you feel better and just stop worrying and overthinking all of the issues and requirements you feel as a special needs parent.
But I know it’s not. You can’t just stop a feeling, especially one that tells you “you are not good enough.”
And that is the most debilitating feeling of all when you are faced with the daily challenges of being a special needs parent. It’s not on the good days that this is a problem. It’s on the bad days, when everything seems to fall apart and you think “I must be missing something. Or maybe I’m not good enough”.
So, what can you do when your inner voice is telling you this and you sense you are losing your grip?
Well, first of all, you need to acknowledge what you’re feeling. When you accept your feelings instead of trying to change them, they have less power over you, and can even serve you by encouraging your growth.
When you look your insecurity in the eyes, it often reveals an opportunity for fulfillment or improvement. Don’t deny it; listen to it. That doesn’t mean you engage in the emotions it produces—the feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, and shame; just listen to what it has to say.
Then accept the fact that you know what, you are always going to wonder if you are good enough or doing enough. But it doesn’t have to weigh you down, it can quietly keep you hungry for seeking more, but in a non-destructive way.
Because today, we can’t know EVERYTHING and be EVERYTHING. But that doesn’t mean we are not doing everything we can.
And it doesn’t mean we are not good enough for TODAY. Yes, you’ll wrestle with weakness and be confounded by your struggles, but those can bring you to the other side of your strength.
It’s like one mom said to me last night, “When someone asks me if I’ve tried something, I tell them it is only because I’ve never heard of it.”