On the day we rushed our son to the Children’s Hospital, I had not showered. In all honesty, I had not showered since Saturday and it was now Tuesday. I remember the feel of my brown velour pajama pants against my skin. Underwear is usually a staple in my world, and has been since I can remember. But by now, I didn’t have any clean pairs left. No one tells you stories like this – the raw, real, unfiltered version of what life looks like when you become a mother… and go from a selfish life to a selfless one. Let’s get eye-to-eye for a moment here: selfless doesn’t necessarily mean better. And it certainly isn’t a required attribute in parenting. But none-the-less, there I stood, stripped raw of who I was to best serve him. My precious 11-week-old baby boy.
I will never forget October 19, 2010. I held that baby boy completely limp in my arms. This child, finally filled with life after a rough entry into the world, was what could best be described as “floppy.” Everything changed in that moment. And nothing changed all at the same time. Mild (our nickname on social media for our miracle boy) needed my every moment and every breath for a long season as he recovered. I lived selflessness fully and well. Yet, I could have served better. I could have served him, my husband, our family and friends, our community and our world betterhad I been a little bit selfish. A little more presentin the skin I was in and in the life that I was living.
I have no regrets of pouring my intellect, body, heart, and soul into our child. But I do advise the women I do life with today to “proceed with caution” into selflessness. Who you are matters. How you see the world has all the potential for making it better. Without you – the real you – everyone misses out.
We never found out what caused this traumatic time, and for years it kept me frozen. But as I’ve thawed out, I have been blessed by becoming a little bit selfish. And the people around me have been blessed by it too. We cannot serve from an empty well. And, after doing that for what seemed like years, I don’t serve from one now.
Today, I encourage you to reflect on your wholeness. What acts of kindness could you partake in for you to feel full and serve well?