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Grokin' with Myself and a Mother's Celebration

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When embarking on personal growth work in the present, one important practice is to show compassion and empathy for yourself in the past.

We have all experienced trauma and difficulty in our lives, and many of us at times when we didn’t have the tools to deal with what was happening.

This is something I personally experienced when I started my recovery process for an eating disorder developed while I was a teenager. I went back and my mind and tenderly said to my sweet, 13 year old self:

“I love you so much. I completely understand why you’re turning towards food for comfort. You’re in a lot of pain, and you haven’t developed the coping mechanisms to face the adversity you’re facing. Food is giving you solace, and diets are making you feel like you have control in an uncontrollable situation. You’re not sure what else to do, and food/dieting/body obsession is the best way you can take care of yourself.”

Just hearing those words makes me want to give my teenage self a big hug and tell her reassuringly:

“It’s all going to be ok. Later in life you’ll develop ways of self care that don’t include food, and you’re actually gonna feel great in your body, and be grateful for all it has done for you. You’ll even share your story of recovery with others, and it will give them hope.”

This empathy and understanding for our past selves can give us a deeper perspective of who we are today, and help us deal with trauma that may still be impacting our lives under the surface.

Healing and soothing old wounds is an integral part of personal growth, but so is celebrating the good times!

It’s important to revisit times of happiness and achievement, and understand our emotional state then as well. During a recent GROK Party, we were instructed to do just this in a game called Celebration!

The idea is that you think of a situation in your life that brought you joy, gratitude, satisfaction or relief. Then, think back to the precise emotions you felt at the time and choose 5 or 6 Feelings cards that match these emotions.

Next, you look through the Needs cards to find 5 or 6 needs that were fulfilled. By understanding our emotions in good times, and the needs that were fulfilled, we are able to amplify this energy and understand where it comes from in ourselves.

Never one to miss an opportunity to dig deep, I thought about the miracle conception and birth of my daughter.

After unsuccessfully trying to start a family for two years, my husband and I were told by specialists that we had a 2-4% chance of conceiving naturally.

I won’t delve too deep into the despair and heartbreak of infertility, but I will say that navigating those waters was the darkest era of my life and, for perspective, I’ve healed from alcohol addiction and an eating disorder.

When I finally did become pregnant via IVF I cautiously celebrated with my fertility support group, and was showered upon by friends and family.

Then, as the country lit the sky up with fireworks for the fourth of July, fireworks flew from my own heart as we welcomed our baby girl into the world!

I felt her birth had been celebrated by those all around me, but had I really sat with myself and acknowledged all the feelings; understood all of the needs that had been met in the situation? I scanned the Feelings deck and pulled out Ecstatic, Joyful, Amazed, Thankful, Grateful and Encouraged.

Tears streamed down my face as I looked at these big, beautiful feelings.

My daughter’s birth was truly amazing. I was in complete ecstasy meeting her for the first time, and am grateful everyday I get to be her mom. What’s more, I felt encouraged that I’d be able to get pregnant again and expand our family.

Spoiler alert: my daughter is almost 2, and I’m 3 months pregnant with our son, hence the extra emotional emotions!

After this powerful experience with my Feelings cards, it was time for the Needs: time to think about the needs in my life which my daughter helped to fulfill. I selected Love, Hope, Meaning & Purpose, Power in Your World, Trust and Reassurance.

All needs are beautiful, but there is such a special kind of beauty when you’re able to partner met needs with feelings.

The birth of my daughter brought me a love I never knew existed. Meeting her gave me hope, a new purpose, and allowed me to feel empowered. It helped me trust my body and have reassurance that miracles can happen.

Most of all, it reminded me that we’re all more capable than we think we are.

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