So, it has been a while since I posted a blog. The last three weeks has been hectic, and I allowed things that I cannot control, to take control of me. I allowed certain people, circumstances, and emotions to deplete my energy. On The Pearl Blog I have discussed not allowing others to disturb your peace, but there is so much more to not allowing others to disturb your peace. Peace is a state of being that only “YOU” can control. I feel obligated to share how I have regained a new level of PEACE and the lessons I learned over the last three weeks that never clicked before!
Let’s get into my chaotic and draining life over the last three weeks. Firstly, our youngest son was diagnosed with Colic and that led to postpartum depression, and in the beginning, I was not aware that it was PPD because I thought the colic just made me sad. I thought once he got over the colic, I would be better. Boy I was WRONG! The colic started to improve but my emotions were still out of whack, and I felt like I was failing as a mother. What made this situation harder is the fact that I am a mom of four and believe it or not I thought I was an expert on motherhood! Mj for sure has humbled me and made me stronger mentally at the same time. When meditation, prayer, fitness, or taking time alone was not helping… I decided to reach out to my doctor for extra help, and this was the best decision I ever made. Fast forward to today MJ has been teething and crying which has led to less sleep for me, but emotionally I feel an inner peace like never before. Now hold on just a second, because I do not want any of you to be fooled and think that medications just magically made my life better. Medication helped, but what I did about two weeks ago is what changed everything, and we will get to that in a minute!!
Secondly, all at once something was happening with all four of the children. When the children are going through things separately it can be emotionally and mentally draining. Although I have a partner that makes sacrifices to ensure we are all okay; him being superhuman around the house wears him thin. When my husband is stretched thin it throws everything off between us and that sucks because he is “my person” and I hate to see him overworked, exhausted, or sacrificing so much that he does not have anything to give himself. So not only did I feel like a bad mother, I started to feel like I was lacking as a wife. Having a new baby can really take a toll on a marriage, luckily for us we both knew this would be a hard journey. My husband has tried to be understanding, but NO man could ever understand how much work carrying a child, breastfeeding, caring for that child over yourself, and healing from childbirth can really cause a woman to completely breakdown. Over the last two months I had a major breakdown internally and I do not believe anyone around me noticed, because everyone assumes I am so invincible and strong. I get so tired of the “Strong Black Woman Narrative”. I do not want to be the strong black woman anymore. I just want to be a healed woman that loves herself, put herself first, but still is seen as human and need grace like everyone else. Okay enough of that, but I honestly checked out mentally and emotionally and nothing was helping me get through it. Then BOOM, a NARACASTIC shows back up in my life and turns everything upside down even more.
Right when I started to feel mentally better and physically better after covid, a new baby, and just life suckling for a moment… Here comes my Narcissistic ex-husband who hates to see me healing and growing in life. This man has pretended for the last seven years like he was so happy for me, when internally he is dying inside because another man is loving me like he never did, caring for our two boys like he never did, providing like he never did, and not being a manipulative narcissistic like he was when we were married. My ex-husband says he has moved on, but he constantly interjects himself into my life by crossing boundaries and attempting to alienate our children because he is bitter and unhappy with himself. I was so angry when he started to intrude and disturb my peace and I honestly felt like I was being revictimized all over again. I felt like I was being controlled and manipulated. This bothered me for about a week and then I stared reading this new book. The Real Lives of Strong Black Women, which talked about the lives of many different black women who all have dealt with different traumas and circumstances but the one thing they all had in common was figuring out how to be in control of their lives. Then I started researching and came across an article on Self-Reflection and realized I was the problem! Yep, you heard me correctly. All these things were happening around me, but because I did not know my inners self, was not aware of my body reactions to certain situations, and simply unaware of who I was or how to deal with who I have become.
So, it clicked! I needed to do some self-reflection. Self-Reflection requires digging down into your own darkness and learning how to deal with that darkness by unraveling yourself and breaking down your feelings, actions, or thoughts. I started isolating myself and I began learning things about myself, which is why I posted my last post Introducing: Michelle A. Murray. At that point I had accepted myself and reflected on past emotions, present emotions, past behaviors, present behaviors, and the outcome of situations from the past and present. I started to track my emotions in my journal, and noticed that I was triggered by certain people, and certain environments, and even certain words that people were used when speaking with me. I even noticed how my body reacted to certain people and situations and I felt like I had no control over me. Then the last two weeks of January after an inner breakdown, I started some self-reflection practices and slowly began to regain control over my life. Self-Reflection is not easy! While practicing self-reflection I had to accept some hard truths about myself. I accepted that I have been stuck in the past, I accepted that I can be a bitch sometimes, I accepted that I can be overly emotional, I accepted that a lot of people, situations, and circumstances could have been avoided if I had a relationship with the inner me and accepted myself.
As of February 2, 2022 I decided to be in control of my inner-peace. Peace within is when you know yourself so well, and you have mastered self-awareness to the point that no matter what is happening in your environment; nothing or no one can affect the inner peace within you. I have been doing self-reflection exercises, regulating my emotions, and being self-aware. Another huge part of finding inner peace through colic, marital ups and downs, children, toxic ex, or family issues was realizing I really had to remain self-aware and focus on my triggers, behaviors, and feelings. For example, when my ex-husband text me a toxic or rude message and my heart starts beating fast because I want to react off emotions… I put down my phone, breath, recalibrate my thoughts and feelings and then I respond if necessary; in a positive manner because I do not have to be a bitch because someone is a bitch to me! Recognizing my triggers and tracking them has helped more than anything. It is okay to get upset but having anxiety over someone that does not add value to your life is pointless! I have learned slowly to accept what is happening when my children are sick, or my husband and I are not getting along, or I am having a bad day. I allow myself to feel those feelings, then I express them and release them. Holding on to negative feelings will keep you mentally disturbed instead internally at peace.
I said all that to say this, no matter who, what, when, where, or why STOP expecting others to care or think logically when they are continuously hurting you or disturbing your peace. If someone cares for you there will be no ill feelings involved. Remember that you are in control of you, and you cannot control a narcissist, your kids getting sick, your husband’s attitude, or anything else the only thing you have control of is ‘YOU”! If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, anger, or your inner peace being disturbed; try some self-reflecting. There are so may different ways to practice self-reflection. I like to read self-improvement books, track my emotions, and attend therapy regularly. I will post a list of self-reflecting practices below! Also, while I have been MIA here, I have been doing 28 Days of Reclaiming Life Through Healing Series! on my @healingandgrowing Instagram page. Come over and check that out! For the month of March (Women’s’ Month) I will be interviewing different women from different walks of life on their healing journeys. It feels good to catch up with you all and let you know what is happening on my side. I hope this year has been good to you so far! Keep healing and growing, and remember healing is not linear!
-Michelle A. Murray