In the last episode, we talked about the reality that healing gets a little ugly before it gets better. And we covered the importance of acknowledging what therapy causes to rise to the surface without getting tripped up by it.
Well, in this episode Vanessa’s unpacking a key component we need to do just that. Are you up for a little R & R?
READ THE SHOW NOTES BELOW
Subscribe to Motherhood Unmasked: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | TuneIn | iHeart Radio
Healing the Girl in You
DADDY’S GIRL FOREVER
Real talk about how your relationship with your father affects how you show up as a woman and in your relationships—including your relationship with God.
Identity, security, confidence—it’s all covered here, highlighted by Vanessa’s own story and those of other courageous women who experienced childhood trauma and overcame.
Ready to get real and start to heal?
Hey there Mama Bare. How does a little R&R sound? I know I could use some and I invite you to join me. And if you’re new here, welcome to this gathering of courageous mamas having real conversation. I’m so glad you’re here.
DADDY’S GIRL FOREVER
Before we get into today’s topic, I have a quick question for you. Did you know your womanhood has everything to do with your childhood?
Think about it. What you did or didn’t get growing up informs how you show up and move through life today.
Women, like me, who struggled with insecurity and tried to compensate with perfectionism, found the truths in my book DADDY’s Girl Forever liberating.
And the audiobook is now available on Audible. For a free copy of DADDY’s Girl Forever and a free 30 day trial to enjoy other books on Audible head to bit.ly/dgfaudio. That’s bit.ly/dgfaudio.
Prefer paperback copies of all the books I offer? Then head to vinelifefaith.com/books.
Rest and relaxation is the buzz phrase now that more of us realize the importance of self-care.
I addressed it in episode 10 and in several episodes since because one of the lessons of the pandemic was non-stop hustle is hard on the body.
And the forced rest, though due to public safety, gave us the time to recover.
And now, coming out of the pandemic, so many of us are singing the praises of self-care and are intentional about making room for it on our calendars.
Whether it’s regular massages, nail or hair appointments or overnighters away from home, you know when you’re due because you feel it. Your body gives you signs.
But you are more than a body.
You’re also a soul and a spirit. And all three parts of you need care and attention.
The trauma you experienced didn’t just impact your body, it’s hanging out in your soul where memories and emotions are able to lie undetected.
And as you engage in therapy to process the past in order to heal your present, you’ll need to make room for a different kind of R&R. Let’s call it rest and reflection.
REST UP, BUTTERCUP
Have you ever been prescribed bed rest?
Maybe you experienced preterm labor back in the day when bed rest was the treatment. I understand that’s changed now in favor of limiting strenuous activity rather than total bed rest because of the potential side effects associated with lying still for extended periods of time.
But maybe you’ve had invasive surgery and even if you wanted to get back to life as usual, the pain in your body told you no.
Besides, rest is the body’s natural method for self repair, which is why scientists keep telling us to get the 7-9 hours of sleep per night that eludes far too many of us.
And you instinctively know the importance of rest because it’s your go to the moment you feel ill. You lie down, hopefully take a nap and you wake up the better for it.
So it’s easy to see why you quickly cater to the needs of your body. The fatigue, the pain is palpable and will not be ignored.
But the pain in your soul is another story. That pain you buried under busyness or “shopping therapy” or emotional eating.
Once you begin therapy, however, years of buried pain gets unearthed and with guidance from your therapist, you need to figure out what to do with it.
And that doesn’t happen in a 50-minute session.
Most of your processing of the past happens between sessions as memories resurface and you make connections between present triggers and past trauma.
REST AND REFLECT
And if you’re going to heal well, you’ll need to take the time to rest and reflect. Because, like me, you have limited time and limited energy.
And despite your talent for maintaining a packed social calendar, wounds uncovered in therapy need time to heal.
And just like physical healing that requires energy spent on nonessential activity, be redirected to the business of recovery.
So don’t be surprised by the emotional toll of therapy.
In one session, you can feel the joy of an aha moment and the sorrow of a relived moment.
Not only does the mood swing affect you, it affects your activity level and the people you engage with afterwards.
Because the ride doesn’t stop just because the session is over.
The tears may keep falling for a while. You may sit in shock for a moment, contemplating the magnitude of what you survived.
And you certainly won’t be in the mood to immediately hold a meeting or volunteer at your child’s school or prepare dinner.
Right then, and at other times, you’ll need to take time to do nothing but reflect. And to prioritize that time the same way you do getting a mani/pedi or going for your morning coffee run.
Because you’re fighting a narrative that says you’re not worthy and if you recall in episode 63, I said, “You can’t put a bandaid on something that requires layers of stitches–not if you want to be whole.”
And you are worthy of wholeness, which means putting in the work. Work you’re not used to doing, so you need to prioritize it.
So, for me, that means meal planning a quick and easy dinner on days I have a session—if I cook at all.
Sometimes I delegate making dinner to one of my kids or my husband picks up takeout on the way home.
My kids also know when I’m having a session and they’re old enough to know not to disturb me until I come out of my room.
I’ve been known to take an extra 15 minutes after my session ends to either take notes in my therapy journal while they’re still fresh or to shed some overdue tears.
And giving myself time to do that makes the transition into all of my other roles much easier for everyone.
But rest and reflection can also look like limiting time on social media, which, for all the entertainment it provides, also exacerbates some of the very insecurities uncovered in therapy.
So minimizing time on social media or taking an extended break altogether may be beneficial in your soul healing journey.
And what do you do with all that time you’re not scrolling?
You enjoy the quiet. I’m serious. In the book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, John Mark Comer challenges you to take regular moments of quiet stillness.
No phone, no device of any kind, no book, just silence.
If you’re like me, the first few moments feel uncomfortable because you’re so accustomed to distracting yourself from yourself with a phone.
But the more you sit, whether with your eyes closed or maybe outside watching a sunset—which is my favorite—the more you pay attention to you, the thoughts you think, the feelings that surface and the still small voice of God’s Spirit.
And the peace you feel after making room for stillness outweighs the initial awkwardness.
Real talk, even as I encourage you, I’m reminding myself to regularly prioritize that quiet stillness. Even just 15 minutes once a day does wonders for me.
So, while I’m all for self care in the form of rest and relaxation (I am overdue for a massage actually), I hope I’ve conveyed the importance of rest and reflection on your journey to being whole, spirit, body and soul.
If you want to go deeper, you can find what I affectionately call homework, the work a woman does to build her home and family, in the show notes for this episode at motherhoodunmasked.com/episode65.
So, enjoy your therapy journey. Do the work to honor your worth and prioritize the rest and reflection needed to make that happen. Okay?
As I mentioned earlier, my book DADDY’s Girl Forever is a great resource to include in your quest to heal the little girl in you, along with the related devotional and study guide.
You can find the links to all of them in the show notes at motherhoodunmasked.com/episode65.
And until next time, please remember when it comes to you being the mother of your children. It can feel overwhelming as you navigate your own growth journey. But be sure of this. You are the woman for the job. Take care.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast should not be taken as medical advice. The content here is for informational purposes only, and because each person is so unique, please consult your health care professional for any medical questions.
This Episode’s Homework
Need Help to Heal?
If you’re working through any kind of loss, the journal My Journey Through Grief and Loss helps you acknowledge the significance of your loss while honoring the memories you’ll always cherish.
And if you meet with a counselor or a coach, you need a journal to keep track of session breakthroughs and aha moments in between sessions. A copy of My Reflections Journal for guided post-session review would be perfect for you.
Let’s Stay Connected
Do you know why I call you Mama BARE? Because you’re unmasked and unapologetic in admitting motherhood is tough, and you appreciate conversation that honors that.
So, connect with me for more support, empowering the best version of you as a mom.
For encouraging bi-monthly emails and exclusive access to practical resources that help YOU shine, tap “COUNT ME IN.”
The Motherhood Unmasked Journal
A Journal Worth Your Story
160 pages waiting for you to fill it with the struggles and the wins on your motherhood journey!
And she’s pretty coming and going! Available on Amazon.
Got A Minute to Pray?
New “PrayerTube” channel on YouTube
Features prayers about a minute long written and read by Vanessa. Start your week off right, with a prayer on Monday mornings. Because prayer changes things and you have a minute to spare.
Let’s Be Social!
Ready for MORE Motherhood Unmasked episodes?
Copyright 2022 to date Vanessa A. Harris. All rights reserved.