Crying in Panera

It happened the other morning. I was sitting trying to catch up on some work and waiting for someone to meet me for tea. I began thinking about what is truly valuable in my life. What really matters to me on a soul level? Not the ego place that longs for comfort, being right, or being recognized; but that place deep in my gut that won't be satiated by any amount of money, belongings or notoriety but can only be filled by love.

My favorite people....

My favorite people....

My children. My husband. My family. The people in my life who drive me crazy, stress me out, make me experience guilt and fear and who I love more than my life. These individuals force me to go outside of my comfort zone and embrace all of the scary things about being alive and loving another person. Plus, I am pregnant so as I sit there I am also feeling new life moving in my belly. Fully loved. Then the tears came. Tears for myself, for my children, for my family, and for all humans. For the suffering that we also must endure if we are brave enough to love another.

When we love this deeply there is always the thought that we might lose the love or that something bad might happen. We are forced to come to terms with the fact that WE are not really in control. We can do everything under the sun to protect our children, but it doesn't matter. Part of the journey of being a human is that we all are going to have challenges to overcome. "Bad" things are going to happen in our children's lives. They will feel sad, they might feel like no one gets them, and they will feel lost on how to navigate this journey. Just think about how much you endured when you were growing up!

They need us to guide them. They need us to carry a positive and growth-focused mindset so that they don't get swept away when the inevitable challenge arises. Trust me -- it will. Life can be thrilling and some moments can be full of bliss or peace of mind. Sometimes life will shake us to the core and make us question everything we believed to be true. We just don't know. That is ok. We don't need to play God. What we need is to be able to learn from every experience that shows up in our journey and teach this to our children.

Take a moment to notice if you have any anxiety about the future. Where is it living in your body? Be with the feeling and do not try to make it leave you. Just accept what is happening right now. Also bring your attention to the fact that all that is really happening right now is your heart is beating, your lungs are beating and your body is fully taking care of and supporting you. Breathe.

Repeat the affirmation: Life is a journey meant to be experienced fully. I do not need to be in control and know that I have all the skills I need to handle any of the challenges that show up for me.

I know that life is hard sometimes. It's ok. Be just where you are at but know that you are loved and that there is beauty in the world everywhere that is just waiting to be noticed.

Jennifer Bronsnick, MSW, LCSW is passionate about supporting moms to be resilient. As a mother of three daughters under 8 and a survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety Jennifer knows exactly how challenging motherhood can be. She also knows that there is hope for all of us and with accurate information, support and inspiration that mothers and families can thrive.

Jennifer’s years of clinical experience as a social worker and her own personal journey gives her the unique ability to guide other moms on their path to health and wellness. You can also learn more about Jennifer, the services she offers and purchase her books on maternal self-care at www.themindfulfamily.com/jennifer.