Today I’d like to share how I am practicing a little bit of self-awareness, and reaping instant benefits from it. How I was stuck in a negativity pattern with my husband, and how, by being mindful and choosing kindness instead, how that negativity quickly turned itself around…
Bob is sick again. He is experiencing a total body exhaustion and profound tiredness that makes it hard for him to function. He sleeps all the time – on the weekend he slept all night and then woke up and fell asleep again and slept all day. This week at work he told me said he has been falling asleep at his desk a lot, something that I know he hates. I think this is one of the effects of his Remicade, and he also has a cold. So it’s a double whammy I guess…
He’s been in a really horrible mood about it, and while it’s completely understandable, he has been snapping at me and our son and even the dog. But mostly at me.
And I Know He Doesn’t Mean It. But it sucks when it’s happening and triggers a lot of fear and anger in me. (You should know that he is incredibly wonderful when he’s not sick.) So while I know he is not being himself, we have a history of negativity and fighting and his now chronic illness (Crohn’s and Lyme Disease) can really test us.
Or, to be more specific and accurate, it really tests ME and my emotional state…
I lost my composure once last weekend and reacted to something he said and dropped the f bomb at him. That really set him off… One thing about my husband, when he doesn’t feel well, he loves to complain about it out loud, for all to hear. Lately he had been going on and on about how no doctors are helping him and no one cares and he feels like he’s dying.
That old part of me – the reaction and fear-based Lisa, the pre-mindful Lisa- got totally caught up in the drama. That old part of me frets and worries that our son continues to see so much negativity and his dad is being such an asshole. Why doesn’t he try helping himself a little, why doesn’t he see that his attitude only creates more stress and problems? Why is he being such a jerk to me?
And when he is sick he reacts negatively to almost anything I say. So I really have to mind myself and not get caught up in what he says, and not react. Which is next to impossible when I’m already sucked in to negativity and drama, which I was…
So Bob’s current crisis has been going on for a few days now. I notice when I get home from work I have been avoiding him as much as I can and I was doing a lot of mindless overeating while I watch reality tv at night. I woke up today feeling sick from last night’s splurge on a big Cinnabon, half a bag of Doritos, and then peanut butter straight out of the jar! 😛 🙁
And all this negativity spilled over into my workday and I had a small panic attack at work on Monday. It sucked! 🙁
So today – on my blessed, peaceful Wednesday, my day off- I decided to collect myself. I knew I have to keep myself focused on goodness and staying self-aware and in the present. And on being loving and kind. I will never ever regret being kind. It can soothe any beast, whether that be my husband or myself 😉
So what did I do today?
First, I decided I could honor myself and my body.
I woke up feeling gross from my food hangover, so I took it easy on my morning walk with Buddy. I usually jog a few miles and work out on my day off, but today I let myself walk and just be mindful of the beautiful sunny morning. It was a nice treat to just slow down. 🙂
I remembered that I can and should always practice kindness towards my husband. The old part of me sees Bob as the enemy. Someone to be avoided at all costs, and even someone to judge and dislike and look down upon because he has a negative attitude. I treat him like he is harming our family on purpose and should know better.
This morning I remembered all the great things about mindfulness, and realized that I could help myself and help Bob too.
So once I got myself centered and feeling composed and well, I sent him a nice text that I meant. I asked him how he was doing and I let him tell me.
Then I texted him some pictures of Buddy in the yard this morning and told him to pick up some AirBorne and to stay hydrated.
I’ve been married to the guy long enough to know that he just wants to be heard. We texted back and forth a bit and I just let him know –not by saying it– but by being concerned for him and listening to him- that no matter how he feels I am there for him.
It’s not even noon yet, and already my day is turned around. I feel better…because I am being kind!
He just texted me that he wants to start opening the pool today when he gets home from work.
Wowie. Cool! 😀
This from a man who hasn’t been able to move in days.
I am sure that me being open and loving towards him is one facet of him feeling some motivation today.
Isn’t that cool? I didn’t really do much, just be there and be kind and helpful a little. Look how just a little self-awareness on my part helped to turn it around for us.
I am so very grateful that I have broken the spell of negativity that had taken me over and consumed me. It’s one thing for my husband to be in a shitty mood. But when I take it on, it ruins my whole world and all my inner peace dries up. I have heard that it only takes one person to create peace in a family. Today I am creating that peace 🙂
I know he will feel better eventually. The acute episodes of pain and tiredness come and go. We have been here before. And by being there for him with no bitterness or resentment or judgment, I can allow him the space to just be. And I know this helps him to heal.
It helps me to heal emotionally too. I want to be a kind and loving partner. I want to support my husband when he feels sick…
I read somewhere that mindfulness is like a superpower. You know something? I really think it is… If not for learning about mindfulness,and learning I have the ability to watch myself and choose my reactions instead of just reacting from impulse, I would be still be avoiding and hating and judging my husband.
Thankfully today I can stop myself and choose to be kind and open and loving instead 🙂
And you? Have you ever been able to avoid a fight or create peace in your family or with your partner by watching your reactions and being kind instead of acting on impulse? I’d love to hear how self awareness works for you too!
xo, Lisa Arcelia
Thank you for reading!
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