Find Balance Within Chaos

27 03 2009

On my recent trip to Mexico I was reminded of the necessity of being able to be calm and balanced in the middle of a whirlwind of negativity. It was a yoga retreat and we did yoga for three hours every day. It had been a while since I’d done any power yoga so I was sore and tired. My muscles shook and my mind fought me the entire way. “You can’t do this! Give up! You’re too tired. You’re not strong enough!”

It reminded me of what happens in stepfamilies and to stepmoms. When you’re living in a home that is filled with challenges from the people you live with and those connected to them, it can be tough to maintain your cool. But it’s essential to learn how to find a place of peace in your heart or you will lose your balance in no time.

Here are some things I’m experimenting with to keep my balance:

Dealing with my own stuff.Since I am a player in this family, I have to be responsible for my own emotional baggage. It’s my job to realize why things are upsetting me. And I am the one who needs to communicate with my family if I am feeling marginalized in unacceptable ways. I also have to make sure that I’m not taking things out on my family that are my own issues to resolve.

Asking for help. I simply can’t do it all. I can’t be a good wife, mother, stepmother or friend if I am strung out all the time with too much to do. There is absolutely no shame in asking for the help you need.

Having a laugh. There’s nothing like laughter to heal the soul.



One response

29 03 2009

One thing in your post that jumps out at me is the point you make about owning our own stuff rather than blaming it on another family member’s actions.

This is real to me today because I am a little under the weather with flu and very irritable. When anything in the house goes slightly awry when I am in this diminished state of emotion, my mind immediately looks for someone to blame the shortfall on.

I have been fighting with myself to not blame because I know my inclinations to do so are borne out of impaired judgement currently due to the flu.

It has been a fascinating challenge internally to immediately redirect any inclinations to blame and instead, look hard in the mirror to see where I am going wrong with the situation or my reactions thereto.

I find that step kids become immediate and default recipients of blame if something is missing or broken mysteriously in the house. Not sure why. Maybe because I am still fairly new in their lives and my subconscious says “well if I were raising them…. I would have done it this way or that way etc.”. I think it is a natural trap to fall into.

Glad to say I keep these reactions in my head rather than say anything. And if I am feeling miserable like today, my approach is simply to let my wife know in as gentle a way as possible and then just keep to myself until I am feeling better so I don’t react.

It is funny though how I am quicker to blame my step kids than my own…. internally that is…. I do not externalize any of this.

I still have lots of work and adjusting to do. They are all great kids and their Mom has done a great job of raising them largely on her own. Just funny where the reactions want to go though.

Glad to see it so I can do something about it. It is my issue. Not theirs. And I guess that was your point.



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