My little girl has now soothed herself to sleep three nights in a row plus two day time naps!
I cannot fully express how much relief this brings me!
Never again will I have to rock and bounce her til she falls asleep!
Never again will I fight exhaustion to get her to stop crying!
This is so amazing. This is a miracle! And I owe it all to changing my focus from the burden of “getting her to sleep” to the love and appreciation of “helping her self-soothe to sleep”.
This is life-changing. When I look back on this Happiness series, I look forward to appreciating all over again how a year of sleep-deprivation and struggle so easily gave way to our 1yo learning to fall asleep all by herself.
And all it took was for me to be so exhausted I had no choice but to allow things to improve.
Yep. It was my own resistance. I was so set on being diligent and “in control”. I wanted it to be easy, but found it easier to put in effort than to actually focus on feeling better.
This is profound.
Rocking her to sleep I felt good that I could make things easier. But it was the relief of managing an unwanted situation, not the relief of moving towards a wanted one.
The truth is that I spent a lot of my past focusing on the unwanted and trying to escape it. I didn’t put much effort into defining what I did want.
The positive aspect is that I had great faith everything would work out. I would find the one answer that would fix everything.
But I kept fixating on the problems rather than the solutions. I kept picking at the question and all the evidence of unwanted things in my life. I kept reminding myself of why I wanted to escape, rather than looking at where I was escaping to.
In other words I was trying to manage all the unwanted things in life rather than moving toward the wanted.
Managing the unwanted implies acceptance of it, keeping it alive even while trying not to suffer from it.
Focusing on the wanted is like entering a totally different reality. Changing “I don’t want to go!” into “I want to go there.”
It’s a melancholic thing to not really know what you want. But it just takes us a little longer to make our minds up, work out what is possible, and finally resolve to push beyond that!
Our feelings don’t recognise limitations or impossibilities. It just takes us a little while to accept the truth and power of those feelings!