As a parent, in my case a single parent and as a Christian, it can be very easy to become ‘lost’ in serving others and meeting other people’s needs.
This is what I have felt like recently, I have lost myself. My needs are not just unmet, but not even on the list. I try to prioritise my children’s needs and where I have the energy left to do so, the needs of family and friends. As a single parent, I don’t have anyone else around on a regular basis to think about what I might need. This is not a cry for pity but a realisation. A growing awareness that if I have unmet needs, all that happens is that I get lost and grow resentful; I feel trapped. I need to find little ways to feed myself, whilst avoiding being selfish or feeling selfish.
But what do I need? I had to think and realised that I am a simple creature really. No need for glamour or things that cost lots of money.
Hugs, definitely need those*! I also need time out in nature, which is where I meet God, another need that I have. I need quiet, when no one is talking at me constantly demanding my attention. I need to have an outlet for creative expression. I need to move often; walk, run, climb, cycle, swing…
Yesterday, after school I took the boys out to climb trees. For a few precious minutes, I was sat up a tree that was swaying gently in the breeze, with new leaves unfurling from buds around me and a carpet of bluebells underneath. Even my youngest, who is a part-time wheelchair user, found a tree that he could get part way up safely. For a few minutes I started to feel unlost, un-trapped and my soul was fed.
Moving foward my mission is, together with my boys, to find ways on a daily basis to make little adventures, to find ways around the stumbling blocks and to not get ‘lost’ again. (* I am so looking forward to being able to hug people again! )