From the comments I am receiving from my readers, many of you are experiencing feelings of shock, disappointment, and tremendous sorrow when you fully realize the valuable cost of daily distraction in your life.
You have told me of your tears. You have told me of your anger. Someone even told me that it was so painful to face that she had to look away.
But through my own experience, I have found that the Breakdown is necessary for the Breakthrough.
I still vividly recall the moment I fully realized how much “living” I had missed by focusing on the wrong things.
At the time of that realization, I was running. And if you have read the “About Hands Free” page you will know that my Breakdown-Breakthrough moment came when I finally allowed myself the REAL answer to the question I was asked over and over again: “How do you do it all, Rachel?” The painful three-word answer circled round and round in my head at the same pace as my feet hit the pavement. I. Miss. Out. I. Miss. Out. I. Miss. Out. After three rounds, the tears were coming so hard and so fast that I couldn’t see the road ahead of me. I stopped running, and in a disheartened voice, I spoke these words out loud: I Miss Out…on life.
That was six months ago. Since then I have realized that in order to truly be Hands Free, I must forgive myself for what could have been. By the grace of God, I have realized that without those mistakes, I would not be where I am today.
In conjunction with self-forgiveness is to recognize the positives. As a teacher, I always strived to see the strengths in each of my students. I always pointed out what they were doing right before I ever made a suggestion for improvement. This strategy produced tremendous results; therefore, I have tried to apply it to myself.
It might surprise you to know that this Hands Free process for me is about acknowledging some of the things I have been doing right. And today I am going to tell you about one of those things.
It very much pleases me to tell you about “talk time.” I have tried to create clever, catchy phrases for each of the categories of my Hands Free narratives and tactics, but not this one. You see, I am not the one who came up with this phrase, and I am not about to change something so right.
When my oldest daughter was three, I turned out the lights after our nightly bedtime story and she asked, “Can we have a little talk time?” Not really sure what that would entail, I said, “Sure.” Since then, we have been having “talk time” every night for the past four years.
What is talk time? It is softness in the glow of a nightlight. It is hushed whispers and muffled giggles. It is blankets and warmth. It is cozy and safe. It is human connection at its purest and most beautiful form.
It is where she voices her dreams of being a teacher…in a classroom with me as her assistant.
It is where we laugh about her extraordinary baby talents like being able to color pictures at age two while the other babies ate their crayons.
It is where I found out she was being bullied.
It is where she told me she wanted to live in my house with me forever…would that be alright?
It is where she asked if parents still see their kids after they go to college.
It is where her heart does its talking.
It is where I feel most at peace.
It is where time stands still.
I may have just recently discovered the Hands Free way of life. But thank God I wasn’t too distracted to realize that the closest thing I have to paradise is a full-size bed with a flower comforter and a little girl in her fuzzy pajamas ready to have “talk time.”
What is one thing you have been doing “right” all along? What is something special you do that makes your heart happy? Claim it as your own. Give it a name. Then do it. And then keep on doing it.