Psst, psst, lady, yes you, the one carrying the baby in the gym bag and the workout shoes in the diaper bag. Can we chat for a moment? Yeah, I know, too busy to pause for idle chat. Gotta get to the office? Oh, but now you do realize that you forgot to drop off the baby at daycare right? Now you’ll have to schlep your way back across town and still get to the nine o’clock meeting. But not to worry, you’ve got your netbook and you can skype in from the cab, right?

“Damn it, where is the laptop? No way!”

Did you really leave it on the kitchen counter after last night’s marathon *itch fest with the gals—all of them complaining about how much they have to get done, will never get done, and right now don’t give a crap if it ever gets done—at least until tomorrow morning when it starts all over again? But wait, we were on the subject of dear little Jimmy whom you accidentally stuck in the gym bag when you picked him up from the play room at the gym this morning while managing to lose your workout shoes in the diaper bag.

Self_Love_Rebel_Spring_2016_Back_to_Center_Pic_2I don’t mean to add to your present discomfort dear, but did you happen to notice that you’re limping? Not to worry though, it’s not a result of the tight shoes you wore to the office party last night—shoes that had you propped up against any available vertical surface just so that you could relieve the pressure on your big toes and the blister on your left heel, where the Band-Aid had long ago slipped off and was now bundled up and snugly lodged under said heel. That’s not why you’re limping this morning. Honestly, Hun, it’s because in your mad dash to get out of the house and get in that life-sustaining, stress-relieving, mental health affirming, 45 minute workout at the gym this morning, you inadvertently put on two different shoes, one with a two inch heel and one with a three inch heel, both black, and that is where the similarities ended! Now here you are, frazzled, still sweaty even after the 3 minute shower at the gym, and late.

How in heaven’s name did you get yourself into this predicament? After all, you are a planner, you are an organizer, you are known in the industry for being the best at what you do. You are so organized you actually worked out every conceivable detail of the timing of the entrance of your bundle of joy in your life. Everything was going to be rosy. You would get up in the morning, spend thirty minutes meditating and preparing for the day—just like you always did while you were building your career and moving up the corporate ladder. Then you would enjoy a great cup of coffee from that greatest invention in the world—surpassing even sliced bread and pockets – your Keurig coffee maker. Your awesome hubby would be packing the diaper bag and dressing little Jimmy while you got in an hour of working out, ten minutes in the sauna, a blissful shower to cool you down and thirty minutes to select your power outfit for the day at the office where you would earn all the money that you would need to send Little Jimmy to the Ivy league school of your choice. . . .

Pssst, pssst, lady . . . is this the address that you wanted? You seemed to be daydreaming there for a minute. Want the Cabby to keep the meter running while you drop off the kid? Go on dear, I’ll wait for you here…keep the Cabby company. No, no dear, wrong bag, you’ll need that briefcase today.
But wait, before you dash off, I didn’t catch your name. I’m sorry, I must have missed that. Did you say your name is Inoican Doitall? Well I’ll be! So pleased to meet you Ms. Doitall…Think we can find some time to catch up again sometime soon?
So, now that we have Jimmy safely ensconced with the sitter for a few hours, do you think we can take a few minutes to chat? Can I ask you a question? Self_Love_Rebel_Spring_2016_Back_to_Center_Pic_1You seem so very, very, lost at this moment, but when did you lose your way? Are you even aware that you have gotten off the path to the happiness you once thought was your god given right? Are you even aware that in that mad dash, up the corporate ladder you got off on the wrong floor? Do you even remember that there was a time when you just knew that you were destined to get off on the floor that was marked love, joy, comfort, fulfillment and bliss? Are you aware that right now you have found yourself on the floor marked, exhaustion, aggravation, self-denial, emptiness. Do you recall that once there was a time when you thought all you needed in life was a man to call your own and a tiny bundle of joy that belonged to both of you? Top that off with a high paying, high flying corporate gig and life would be a bowl of cherries. Now you have found yourself with a tiny bundle of joy to be enjoyed all by yourself because the awesome guy that was happy to be daddy-o went running for the hills after one of your angry outbursts when you did not get the promotion you thought you justly deserved. He had commented as he walked out the door that he no longer recognized the woman he had fallen for.

The question today is, do you recognize the woman he had fallen for? Where was she? When did she get off on the wrong floor, and why are you so busy that you did not notice? As you ponder these questions, try not to hate me, try not to blame me, try not to blame any of the myriad people and situations that you have met and faced over the past few years. Do you think you could take a moment to truly turn and face the mirror and ask the hard question, where am I and what have I done to the incredible woman I once knew and loved? Where was the woman who enjoyed her own company more than anyone else’s? Where was the woman who had so much love in her heart that she had enough to give away and never run out? As you begin to look in that personal mirror, you can actually see her face begin to peer back out at you and you almost believe that you can see her behind the hard mask that has become your face—the mask designed to show just how tough you are, but which now covers the softness that shows the sweetness of your soul. You begin to feel a small tremor run through your body as you begin to realize that you have to break the hard shell that you have wrapped yourself in to shield you from the world, but which has now shielded you from the love that is in your heart.

A small smile tugs at the corner of your lips as you catch a glimpse of your face in the rear view mirror of the cab, and just then you see the woman that you use to be. You shudder as you realize that the journey inward to find that woman and nurture her back to love and wholeness will not be quick or easy, but for sure you know the woman that you are, can bring her back, one hug at a time. You resolve to make the journey, because you know, without a shadow of doubt that you are worth it. You calmly face the recognition that until you are whole again, you will have nothing to give anyone else, not Jimmy, not the wonderful guy you loved and lost and not the friends who slowly disappeared from your life as you forgot to love yourself. Starting now, today, the journey begins and you know that you will succeed, because, after all, you are Ms. Inoican DO it all.

Check back in for another installment of “A moment in the life of Ms. Inoican Doitall”.

Self_Love_Rebel_Spring_2016_Back_to_Center_Pat

Patricia ST. E. Darlington, Ph.D. is a professor of Communication at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida. She is also a Self-Empowerment Coach and the author of several books including: Women, Power, and Ethnicity: Working toward Reciprocal Empowerment, You Can’t Get to Heaven Wearing Tight Shoes: A Book About Personal Honesty, And her latest book The Revolution: A Transformative Path to Wholeness Using the Power of the Mind.

For more from Pat Darlington, visit her here:

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