Fires & Floods – Words of Encouragement

Let’s talk about the fires and the floods.

The fires, that pop up around us: social conflict, pressure at work, the bills, the to-do list, the self-care, the mistakes made, the bigger picture and the little ones too–those individual events with potential to grow into a bigger problem if we don’t get it taken care of. And of course, the constant “I” can do this alone, “I can handle this myself.

“I” the mystical, all controlling problem solver of life, right?


But as we tend to one fire another pops up, seemingly out of no where. Eventually its all flames, so we sit helpless and watch it all burn down. Well, either that or turn to our phones, alcohol and drugs, shopping, over-obsession or desperate housewives marathons to distract us.

But with fires often comes the floods. Of emotion, of course. Out of no where and all at once.  And not just over the flames before but for every fire that has ever come and gone.

I personally hate to let my kids see me cry, but its become one of those things these little boys can recognize whether I’m releasing a full sob session into a pillow or trying to hide it in the car. They immediately know. Baffled: “Mom are you crying again?” I don’t know whether this is funny or tragic.

But this is a great teaching moment–especially for young men who perhaps need it the most–about the normalcy and healthy benefits of crying. I love to share my favorite factoid that I don’t know is actually true but what was told to me by a woman who was born without tear ducts and had never shed a single tear her whole entire life.  She said that there are chemicals that are released in tears and when you cry it rolls down your face but also down your throat and into your belly, making you feel better. It this is false, please don’t tell me.

Despite how healthy it is to be sad a lot and cry, it still doesn’t sit right with me, to do so in front of my children. Maybe its the research I’ve read about children of depressed mothers… Once again, my own therapeutic training gets in the way of my own emotional wellbeing. Theres no research about children of mothers who share a healthy show of emotion. Either way. Dammit, sons, your mother is both a human and a poet. A woman and a wordsmith. I feel all the feels and some healthy cry sessions will be a part of your upbringing, I suppose.

So back to the fires and the floods and somehow these two things are both canceling each other out and making a bigger mess.

I guess I’m writing this for those sitting somewhere between burning down, keeping your head above water or sitting in ashes, soaking wet. Metaphorically, of course.

Something I routinely tell my children, who come to me for lost lego pieces, socks, ipad chargers, etc., is that the best way to find something is to start cleaning up. This is a proven method that has earned me free room cleaning sessions and rewarded them with their lost crap valuables.

So what do you seek amongst the messes that have resulted from fires and floods? What are you missing? What do you want?

I’ll give you a minute to truly answer that for yourself.

I promise you, babes, that if you slowly begin to clean things up. Just one at a time, you will eventually find what it is you are looking for, and it may not even be what you answered above. Do one thing on your list and feel the lifting and enlightening sensation of having done so. Discover new things beneath the ash.  Clear the way for new growth.  New fires will for sure pop out, look it right in the face while being honest about how you feel and your personal responsibility for it. Tend to what you can.

And while you are in the process of clearing the ruins what choice do you have but to either drop your head back and let out the sound of your heart or a big hearty laugh? Sing songs and have a sense of humor if possible.  Like crying, the release of emotion is sure to loosen things up and lighten your tender heart. Let your sorrow and sheer joy inspire positive movement through the ash, and receding waters.


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