Turning the Lights On (Again)

there have been spaces of deeper darkness. but there are also intermittent spaces of darkness. the last couple of weeks have been weird. maybe it’s because with three boys i don't have space to self-reflect and i perpetually feel behind. i don't know. but my husband, cal, told me last night i have been "off," unhappy, irritable, and quick to snap. it hurt my feelings, but i knew i better listen.

we woke up this morning to a damp porch. cal was already down at the beach out back, texting me to have a coffee hour. the baby was in his footie jammies, bleary-eyed and wanting his milk. cal and i went out front instead and sat in the dampness before deciding to take our cups inside.

even though a couple of my friends joke about being either a waffle—having the ability to compartmentalize neat and tidy compartments and shut doors and just get shit done without the hindrance of needing to process emotions—or spaghetti—where all the noodles are intertwined and the sauce is poured on top and it’s all a mess of woven feelings—i have my fair share of the ability to waffle. and i've definitely done that this past month, probably because i've been working a lot and juggling. but having some space this morning allowed me to verbally untangle what's been going on inside.

i admitted it all to cal and he said, "thank you for finally saying it without being defensive." it’s with guilt that i say that sometimes being a stay-at-home mom is hard for me. i often long to work and have independence but when i'm away i feel guilty and torn. it's not lost on me that this is an age-old plight. there is nothing new under the sun. instead, it's us living well-worn paths and finding ourselves on roads that millions of women have traveled before. there was relief in just saying it. and also in saying out loud some of my anxieties from the last month.

to flip the switch.

it's a holy mercy that i have caleb. he's a confidant and friend to me. he sees me and knows me deeply. what i'm trying to say is that sometimes it gets dark and we just need someone to turn the lights on. to flip the switch. to remind us that’ll never be too dark for the light. When the situation is illuminated, we can see—we can make sense of it, we can organize it, we can give it a name, and we can find a way to work it out.

most of my favorite people have gone through seasons of deep darkness and emerged turning the light on for others.

i got trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy last year. one of my favorite aspects of it is it gives a narrative to kids for the trauma they have endured. it gives clear definitions to things, helps kids organize their experiences when their experience feels so tangled that they don't know how to make sense of it.. but what it mostly does, is turn the light on. it gives them a story and narrative. it takes the jumbled parts and it flips the switch and helps them create a story out of the experience. a story they can own and walk out because they have an understanding of what actually occurred. i believe that it helps kids narrate and re-story in a way that helps them see there is always light in the dark. there is always beauty from ashes. and most of my favorite people have gone through seasons of deep darkness and emerged turning the light on for others.

dear ones, if you feel its too dark; if you can't find the light, right now, right this instant, sidle up to those who can turn on the light for you. you know who they are. sometimes in these seasons, we have to trust others more than we trust ourselves. maybe it's not that dire and there is just one waffle compartment that feels difficult to see through. wherever you find yourself today, get close to your light givers.

Palisade, CO

Rickelle takes joy in the simple things in life and can often be found pointing out things of beauty–both big and small. As a licensed Therapist, she enjoys helping others find truth and breakthrough. However, Rickelle's main loves are Jesus and her family. She and her husband, Caleb, have three adventuresome boys. Rickelle also delights in conversation and time spent over coffee with treasured friends.