There are many things you get warned about when you about to give birth. But an unexpected one is that you are warned that you will experience what is called “the baby blues”.
You will have a time 3-5 days after the birth when the hormones in your body run wild and you run a roller coaster of emotions, even doubting if you are capable of being a mother or wondering if you can go back.
And the thing is despite the warnings, and the fact that you are ‘somewhat’ mentally prepared, you still have to let the emotions run their course. Even with the second child, when you have already experienced this tornado of emotion and hormones once before, it still hits you just as hard. It is not something you can avoid.
You may not have given birth, but I wonder if you can relate to that feeling? The feeling of holding a precious new-born dream in your hands, but you haven’t quite got the hang of it yet. The questioning why you did this in the first place and whether you can go back, (when clearly you can’t). The emotional roller coaster, the doubts, the questions.
Do you recognise this place? The place where you no longer know if the dream is ever going to be a reality, but also a place where you are so committed that you can’t go back and pretend the dream was never there.
Brené Brown tackles this middle time in chapter two of Rising Strong. The name she gives to this questioning, doubting, ‘what am I doing here’ phase is “Day two”. And it is the phase after you are vulnerable and you take a step in a new adventure. This is the messy phase, the dark phase when nothing is clear anymore.
You’re too far in to turn around and not close enough to the end to see the light
And no matter how many times you are vulnerable and you dare new things this is a necessary stage of the process.
Even today, I am writing this with the thoughts in my head of “Why-ever did I agree to be a part of this book club? What was I thinking? What if no one likes it?” running on repeat through my head.
So then I entered the next phase, “how can I get out of this, and not look like a fool … they have advertised it already. What could I do to not have to make this leap?” Even to the point of trying to avoid writing. (Cleaning my daughter’s room was more important today … gotta love procrastination!). In other words as Brené puts it I have tried to find “all kinds of creative ways to resist the dark”.
Yet in the end it is the wrestling that gets me there. I am scared, I am worried about people’s opinions, I am being vulnerable. But I am comforted (somewhat) by the realisation that this is important. No one skips day two as Brené says:
Experience and success don’t give you easy passage through the middle space of struggle. They only grant you a little grace, a grace that whispers, “This is part of the process. Stay the course.” Experience doesn’t create even a single spark of light in the darkness of the middle space. It only instills in you a little bit of faith in your ability to navigate the dark. The middle is messy but it’s also where the magic happens.
It is in the dark that you understand the lies that you are telling yourself. It is in the dark that you recognise the truth. It is in the dark that you make the decision that will eventually free you.
In the dark I have accepted that I am a people-pleasing person, but in the dark I choose not to let that define me and write anyway. In the dark I am afraid of what others will say about my writing in comparison to Elaine’s and Amanda’s but in the dark I choose to own my voice and believe that the diversity of voices will complement and not compete with each other.
In the dark I am wondering how I got myself involved in this crazy adventure (I blame Amanda … I always blame Amanda!) But in the dark I know that growth is never easy and stretching is often painful and I accept that I want to grow. (So maybe more me than Amanda!).
I am owning my own story, I am wrestling with the lies that I choose to tell myself.
How about you? Is there a new-born dream you held in your hand but have been struck with the questions and doubts of the baby blues? Comment below and join the conversation.
As Brené says, we need to “get honest about the stories we are making up about our struggle, then challenge these confabulations and assumptions to determine what’s truth, what’s self-protection and what needs to change if we want to live more whole-hearted lives”.
PS: If you have missed the other chapters published this month it is easy to catch up. Amanda wrote on the Intro here and Elaine on Chapter One here.
10 thoughts on “You can’t skip day two”
Day Two is not fun!
Jodie, you write about it so well. I can relate so much.
Day Two will become my new mantra when I’m facing something tough.
It reminds me of Easter. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming. Xx
I love that take on it Elaine. Imagine the doubt and the questions that the disciples would have felt on Saturday, their dream had literally died in front of their eyes. How to keep going from that? And yet as you say “Sunday’s coming”.
I am in day two, right now! My passion for essential oils and my dream to support my family with them, starting a business from the ground up. I cannot go back, I cannot. I cannot either see the light at the end of the tunnel. So here I am, one day at a time, working, sharing, doing what I know to do. Thank you for this! Beautifully written XOXO
I love how you say “I cannot go back, I cannot”. Isn’t it amazing Keren, how in the middle of the tough times we still know we can not go back. So we stumble and struggle in the dark tunnel. But there is light at the end, and the struggle is worth it xx
I am hungry to find my truth – after all these years. I am a storyteller from birth, I swear. For
a Pre-Primary Teacher this is a good thing. It is becoming clear that it hasn’t been – when used to self protect or avoid change. Comes down to a choice to sit still long enough and still enough to really contemplate what sort of stories I tell myself and not only about myself but also about those around me that I love more than life. The realization is both frightening and freeing. Ready for the changes that will bring freedom – a God sort of freedom – complete – ready to pay the price – do the work – now – today – that is the reality of it – too many tomorrows have vanished – I have new hope for all my tomorrows leading me an amazing today.
I love how you say it is both “frightening and freeing”. The hard work of working through the stories we tell ourselves, confronting the lies, and speaking out the truth. It’s not fun Kath, is it?! But that hard work yields fruit in the end. Praying peace and answers for you xx
Hello there ladies…it’s so enjoyable being apart of this conversation. In these short few days of reading Brene’s book and following the blogs I’ve seen the names of people following the conversation that I either know and see around the traps, or have heard of but have not actually met, or have met but have not seen in ages. All of that say it leaves me feeling connected, excited and encouraged to be doing the Rising Strong journey with you all.
What Brene talks about in Chapter 2 and Jodie what you have commented on is very powerful stuff because it’s so applicable to our daily lives. As Brene queried for herself, “Would the rising strong process/power be somehow diminished if we applied it to smaller events, like the fight at the lake?” To which she answered no…and to which I thankfully answer with a resounding no.
She talks about getting honest, so if I’m honest, it’s not that hard for me to recall exchanges (last night and today in fact) where I’ve found myself in the dark having a “not-so-good-mummy-moment” with my kids or a conversation with my husband where I made “confabulations and assumptions” (I was in the wrong damn it!).
However, with a new sense of hope I feel I’m being handed some tools, even a lens through which I can effectively look at my daily exchanges with the people in my life. To echo the words that some of you have already said in earlier postings, “I’m all in!”. I want to be wholehearted. I want to write a new ending so that it changes how I interact with the world around me, and ultimately so that it “transforms the way I live, love, parent and lead”.
Thank you Brene for your research and thank you “old and new friends” for sharing your thoughts.
So glad that you could join the conversation, Tanya. I too love that the “Rising Strong” process is not just for the big things in our lives, but also for our everyday struggles. And joining you with honesty, with school holidays, I too am having some “not-so-good-mummy-moments”!
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