All of a sudden I look over and she’s hanging from the monkey bars. I over-estimated her capabilities and underestimated the height of those monkey bars, and I was just a few steps too slow to catch the fall that broke her tiny, little arm.
I knew it as soon as I picked her up and looked at her arm.
Oh dear God.
And just like that, it’s the only thing that matters. Getting her taken care of is the only thing that matters.
As we drive to the emergency room, I offer my screaming little one soothing words, and focus on getting us there safely.
We are led behind double doors into the x-ray room to assess my little ones arm. As we await the results of the x-ray, miraculously, she falls asleep.
The tears come silently as I am overwhelmed with sadness for her pain, and guilt for not being there to catch her fall. How could I not have been there for her? I am flooded with guilt.
After a while, the doctor returns with the x-ray results and confirms that her arm is in fact broken, two bones in her forearm. He informs me they’ll put her arm in a stint until her appointment to get a cast at the children’s hospital in two days. My poor baby!
So, how to work through the guilt of not being there to catch her fall? Well, as much as I wanted to go back in time and change the events of the day to erase what had just happened, clearly that was not possible. So, I let myself stew in that guilt for a few more hours, and then decided that that was not going to elevate the energy of the situation to invite in more healing, and it was leaving me feeling drained and awful, on top of what had already happened.
So, after the girls went to sleep, I got myself into bed, and began some deep breathing with my hands on my heart. After the breathing calmed me and helped me connect to my heart’s center, I began prayers of gratitude for all the parts of the day and people of the day that had helped us through. I then shifted into prayers of gratitude for the prayers that were still in motion; healing for my daughter’s bones, being able to feel compassion and forgiveness for myself… and I started to feel lighter.
The lessons of the day: to be present and tuned into my motherly intuition, to remember the things that are of truest importance in life, and to forgive myself for not being there to catch my daughter’s fall- cause as much as I want to protect her from anything and everything that could potentially cause her harm, life happens and things are not always in my control.
How often are we carrying around guilt and shame for not being the most perfect parents we imagine we should be? More present, more patient, more, more, more, more! But what if we offered ourselves the grace we’d offer to our very best friend, and forgave ourselves and had compassion for ourselves for all of the ways that we were not perfect parents? Oh my gosh! Relief! It doesn’t ease the pain of a child’s broken arm, but it allows us to feel better so that we can offer our little ones the most comfort and love that we can. So, my question for you is, what do you need to let go of, that you’ve been carrying around? And how much better would you feel in this moment if you could offer yourself compassion and forgiveness for the ways that you weren’t perfect as a parent? And now try closing your eyes and breathing deep breaths of compassion and forgiveness for yourself, because you are so worthy of receiving the blessings of compassion and forgiveness!