Although I’ve not read a ton of his work, I find the words of Thich Nhat Hanh to be so gentle, soothing, and universally true. Check out SmileCalm’s full post (link above) for all five mantras and a little explanation of each.
The mantra which resonated for me the most today was the first: “I’m here for you.”
When I read these words this morning, I felt instantly grounded and comforted.
I thought back to a time when Jack was newborn. Adjusting to life with a baby was a surprising and humbling challenge for me. My pregnancy with Jack had been a dream, and we were so excited to welcome him into our home. I was enthralled with the idea of having a son, a beautiful boy-baby, since all the other babies born to siblings on both sides of our families had been female.
When Jack came home to live with us as a part of our family, my dream became a nightmare. I had postpartum anxiety and depression and rapidly became dangerously sleep-deprived.
Jack was tongue-tied, and we had a lot of trouble initiating breast feeding which devastated me since my expectation was that nursing would be the most natural thing in the world.
The roller coaster of hormones had me in a state where I was convinced I’d ruined my life by having a baby.
Fortunately, I got help and very quickly started to recover. My baby and I bonded. I relaxed enough so we could start getting to know one another.
One night, in the very late or very early hours, I heard Jack crying and got up to retrieve him for a feeding. As I walked up to his crib, I instinctively started to coo at him, as only a mother can, to ease his crying.
“Mama’s here,” I said.
Uttering those two words were so empowering to me. I scooped him up, held him close and said again, “Mama’s here.”
It was almost like those two words were a magic spell which transformed me.
Since then, I have said those two words hundreds of times to both my son and my daughter. After they wake from a nightmare. When they are sick or injured. When I walk in the door after a long day apart from them. Sometimes they are said with love and tenderness, sometimes with fatigue, and sometimes with frustration.
They are words I feel blessed and fortunate to be able to say, words that bring grounding and comfort not just to my children, but to me as well. When frustration threatens to drive me right out of my own skin, those words remind me to be present and powerful.
I was grateful to SmileCalm for this reminder today. It might have been just what I needed to read.