I came across the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote below while browsing the internet and it got me thinking how we all have those days when it seems like the universe is against us.
One morning years ago I fell asleep while my toddler was watching Barney or some other annoying PBS kids show. When I woke up 2hrs had passed! I was mortified. But after seeing that my child was safe I felt relieved. Until I discovered permanent black sharpie marker scrawled all over my white walls, my coffee table, and the living room chairs. Then shortly thereafter, another family member who shall remain nameless, spilled an entire bottle of black nail polish all over the cream shag carpet.
I think at the time I probably pulled a “Linda Blair in The Exorcist” along with a meltdown that would rival any 3yr old with a good set of lungs.
I remember collapsing at the end of that day thinking about what a horrible parent I was, that I handled both the situations in a less than stellar manner. I had yelled. I had yelled a lot.
Now, with a few more years of parenting under my belt, I would probably just throw my arms up in the air and yell, “I SURRENDER!”. I actually did this three years ago when, as I was rushing out the door to go to work, our first floor toilet overflowed for no reason and flooded our back hall with 2 inches of water. I had no towels available other than the ones in our guest bathroom, so I threw those on the floor. I also think I threw down every bit of dirty laundry in the hamper as well to try and absorb the water. I ran out of the front door leaving a sopping mess in the hall and thinking to myself, “Well, I can’t fix it so it will have to wait.” And wait it did. Until I came home 10 hrs later to a house that stank of wet dog smell. We don’t have a dog. And then I just laughed at the absurdity of it all.
In all seriousness, sometimes surrendering is the only way to let it go. It’s a good lesson… letting go. Learning how to do it is hard. Sometimes deep breathing exercises or meditation can help use regroup and become more grounded and centered. It reminds us that at the end of the day we have tried our best. And that is enough.
Yes. I did get the black nail polish out of the carpet!
How do you let things go? How do you surrender?
Here is a meditation from UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center to help you cultivate compassion, love, and kindness for yourself at the end of a long day.