When that little voice says, “You messed up again,”
Remember every tear you ever wiped,
Every knee you ever dusted off,
Every broken heart you ever mended,
Every disaster you ever fixed,
So someone else could be put back together.
When that little voice says, “You lost it again,”
Remember all the times you waited outside the school doors,
waited in the audience,
waited on the sidelines,
waited in the waiting room,
waited in the cold,
So someone else could be found.
When that little voice says, “You can do better,”
Remember all the times you put someone’s needs before your own,
Sacrificed sleep so someone else could rest,
Pushed away hunger so someone else could eat,
Gave everything you ever had,
So someone else could triumph.
When that little voice says, “You are missing out,”
Remember when you juggled a million things so you could be there.
When you smiled through your exhaustion,
When you crawled in the bed at midnight,
When you held a shaking hand,
So someone else could feel unalone.
When that little voice says, “You are ugly,”
Remember all the times you pushed your body beyond its limits.
When you endured the pain,
When you bore the weight,
When you ripped,
When you healed,
When you survived,
So someone else could live.
When that little voice says, “You are a failure,”
Remember all the times you protected,
You offered to lay down your life,
So someone else could be sheltered.
When that little voice says, “You might as well give up,”
Remember all the times you believed,
You rose to your feet and cheered with tears in your eyes,
So someone else could overcome.
When that little voice says, “No one needs you,”
Remember this: Someone does.
Someone counts on you to be there when he wakes up,
When she goes to sleep,
When he is scared,
When she is happy,
When he is sad.
Someone counts on you to be there.
Not toned, fit, and styled.
To be there.
Not always calm.
Not always smiling.
Not always pretty.
To be there.
Trying and sometimes failing, but getting back up and trying again,
Hoping to do a little better than the day before.
So when that little voice says, “It’s not enough.”
Gather all the strength you have in your weary soul and say these three words loud and clear, once and for all:
I am here.
I am here.
Someone is counting on me to be here, and I am.
And today, that is enough.
Last week’s post, “The Bully Too Close to Home,” is resonating deeply and has been viewed nearly four million times. In sharing my own painful truths, people have responded by sharing theirs. Through hundreds of comments on the blog post and in personal email messages, many of you have described the cruel things the bully in your head says and the way it spills out, hurting the people you love.
In reading your painful admissions, I was reminded of where I was a few years ago. The phrase I heard in my head several times a day was: “You are a bad mom.” My “Stop Technique” of “Only Love Today” was one way I overcame those negative thoughts. I also began making an effort to notice the positive things I did. Just as I was doing for my daughter, I started looking for the good in myself. I hope today’s post will help you realize all the good that you do each day, even if the only thing you did was show up. Showing up matters to the people who love and count on us.
Thank you to all who have pre-ordered Hands Free Mama. Through my forthcoming book, I am able to share exactly how I let go of perfection, distraction, and silenced my inner critic. Thanks to your support, the book was an Amazon #1 Best Seller in three categories last week and the price was lowered to under $10. It brings me great joy to see so many people joining the Hands Free journey to let go of distraction & grasp what matters.
Many of you requested we add “Only Love Today” in our line of Live Hands Free leather bracelets. I am thrilled to say we are working on it and should have them in a few weeks. Your support is a tremendous blessing.
For those needing more extensive help with their inner critic …
I have received hundreds of email messages from people whose inner bullies have lead to some very serious problems within themselves and in their children that I am not equipped to answer. Thankfully, I know someone who is. Sandra Blackard, award-winning author and parenting/life coach has graciously helped me provide answers to many readers in very troubling situations over the past week. Sandra and her colleagues have kindly offered their contact information so people can reach out directly to them about issues they are facing. It is not too late to change, to heal, to try and mend your broken relationships. There is hope.
If you feel like there should be something you can do to turn things around but you don’t know what it is, feel lost, stuck or overwhelmed, contact:
Sandra & Eva, parenting/life coaching
If you feel hopeless like nothing you do will ever work, or if you or your child are experiencing depression, anxiety, grief, trauma, attention problems, self-inflicted injury, suicidal thoughts, or are simply wishing for healing, contact:
Theresa PhD, licensed psychologist
In light of the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy and another school shooting in Colorado last Friday, let us continue being real with ourselves and real with each other. Let us keep working on loving ourselves so we can give our children the love & acceptance they need to flourish. Let us keep sharing our imperfections and struggles so our children know it is okay to reach out for help in times of despair.
I leave you with a powerful reader message written in response to “The Bully Too Close to Home.” Sara has graciously given me permission to share her story and asked that I use her real name. Sara shows that hope & healing are possible right now, today:
“Conviction filled me as I finished reading your article and I made a point to send it on to my husband for him to read. We both made the decision that we wanted to take what you said and apply it to our own children. Although we have said before that we know we need to be better, this time it caused us to take action.
We sat down the very night of reading your article and began by expressing to our children how sorry we were for times we’ve yelled, screamed, or hurt their feelings by things we said, the way we said them, or the way we handled past situations. We expressed our love for these God-given gifts and asked for their forgiveness of our faults. We then told them we wanted to build a better family and we wanted to be better for them as parents. My daughters cried. My son, who is only five, was glad to hear that we wouldn’t be yelling anymore. We gave them the opportunity to open up to us and tell us of any times they ever felt we hurt them and we did not make it right with them. This was such a healing thing for all of us. I believe we opened up a door of trust and safety with our kids that possibly might not have been there before.
We are going on day three of our new home motto, Building a Better Family. It’s not easy. There are moments I would rather raise my voice than sit and talk through a rough situation. But it is stretching my ability as a parent. It’s helping create in me a patience and a love that I know I have never attempted. I believe my kids feel they have the freedom to now be children in our home, not adults in a child’s body. I know that there will still be times when I may fail them, but I can say that my husband and I are now on a better path of parenting all because we read your article and it moved us to action.”
Friends, thank you for being a part of The Hands Free Revolution. I’d be grateful if you would share today’s post so others can find hope too.