Friday, October 18, 2013

Selfish Season

there's a fine line between "doing what you need to do" and just being plain 'ol selfish. and i'm riding it.

example. someone asked me the other day if i wanted to see pictures of her newborn granddaughter. 

um, not really.

i would be all too thrilled to ooh and ahh over precious babes...had i never experienced a lossbut i have. i lost my newborn baby. so seeing pictures of babies noah's age are incredibly difficult for me right now. maybe one of the hardest things. so i pretty much avoid looking at all costs. it's just so painful. 

so what do i do in this situation? say, "no, thank you" and sound like the rudest person on the planet, but at least not deal with unbearable heart pain the rest of the day. (literally, it feels like a 300 pound weight crushing my chest.)

or suck it up, tell myself, "it's not all about you, mccayla" and just take one minute to let someone show off their joy, even if it causes me more pain.

i find myself in this tug of war often. 

because all the grief counselors and books i read say to basically do, or don't do, whatever i need to right now. 

take care of yourself

if you don't really feel like doing something, then don't do it. (the exceptions to this "rule" however, are eating well, getting some exercise and keeping it legal.)

but there comes a point where all that just feels gross, because it's straight up selfish.

canceling a fro-yo date with students because i don't want to leave the house.

not returning a call from a friend for months because i flat out forgot.

unexpectedly leaving early from a gathering of friends because my energy is drained at a lightning's pace.

calling in sick to work only because i'm heartsick and don't want to go.

putting my needs before others. it doesn't feel right, but is happening a lot these last few months. because this is what we call a "selfish season." (it sounds more fun than it is. it's actually makes me feel like an awful person a majority of the time.)

it's a season of vulnerability, of heightened sensitivity. 

i have a crushed and broken heart that's going through complete reconstruction. i have to be selfish to survive.

however, seasons don't last forever. thank God spring always follows winter. so little by little i believe, i hope, this selfish season will pass and i'll be able to one day put my needs aside for others and not have to think of myself so much.

to go back to being an innate people pleaser.

or maybe i'll actually learn a little something from grief and follow my heart a bit more. to do what's best for my spirit, instead of caring so much about what other people think.

maybe i will come out the other side of grief a stronger, more confident woman. a woman who can say, "no, thank you" more often.

maybe i'll also simultaneously transition into a woman who, despite the circumstances, loves deeply. a woman who is capable of making sacrifices for others no matter what the costs are. 

we'll see how it all shakes out. 

here's what i do know for sure - spring is coming.

new life. a season for God to show off his wild creativity.

i'm desperately looking forward to that sweet season for myself and everyone experiencing this desolate winter without noah. 

and we'll all be better for it.


  1. It takes so much more strength than yo realize to be gentle with yourself during this selfish season. Taking care of yourself and doing what's right for you is how you survive. No, it won't last forever. But be proud of yourself for taking the space you need now. Sending love,

  2. Someday you will feel like doing more. And the students, friends, co-workers and new grandma will have learned something about how to love the grieving. Spring is coming.

  3. Sweet McCayla, I think it shows what a giving and selfless person you are that you feel like you are being selfish for taking care of yourself. I know I have personally felt loved and served by you in the last few months, and that is pretty amazing and shows what a strong and loving person you are. Just keep doing what you need to do, and don't every feel bad for being as nice and gracious to yourself as you are to those around you. :)

  4. It may not be selfish, just self-caring. luv

  5. Take your much as you need. Rest in our Lord, and embrace your love and memories for Noah. Hold them close to your hearts .Time heals, slowly, but with the Lord at your side, the healing will be beautiful and you will bless others too. Noah.. beautiful child that is God's thought,made by His hands..a blessing. Sometimes we don't know why things happen,but God does....He is bigger than our understanding..and with this there is Trust in Him.
    I personally will be holding you close in my prayers...bless you!!! May God's rest be upon you on this holiday season..
    Patty W ( I lost my 15 y/o son several years ago~~ when spring came at that time and comes each year, I honor my son by planting a garden for him...with his plaque called "Josh's Secret Garden" :) )