When Intuition Fails

There is this idea, as mothers, that we have a super powered mommy instinct. I have believed this to be true in the five and a half years I've been a mom. I think mine was always pretty strong, but you have a child to protect and suddenly this sense goes through the roof. On my list of things that have 'made me mommy', refining this skill is one of them. Heck, my OBGYN even told me I was like the mother tiger. My instinct to nourish, to lovingly provide affection to my young, my ability and need to sternly correct them when they need it, and to protect each one with a ferociousness only a mother knows. Yes, I said, that is me. I can feel it in my soul, that my need to protect them is a built in mommy feature.

So, what do you do when that instinct fails you? When this 'thing' called a mothers intuition fails you? When the ones you stay up at night wondering if you are doing all you can for them, are failed by a clouded instinct and poor judgment by others?

I have no idea, but I'm trying to hold on to the words of a lady who knows, "It's not that your instinct failed, it's that some are very good liars."

You know how a tornado upheaves everything in its path? That's what this has done to my world. It has upheaved every emotion I've ever known. It spins them, mixes and confuses them. Throws out everything but anger and spins that one emotion so tightly, my head feels as though it might literally pop off my head. Just as a tornado can turn on a dime, throwing out a car as it overturns a semi, I find suddenly the anger is gone and instantly a helplessness is so heavy on my shoulders that I wonder if my legs can stand the weight. I pick up a child, and am almost certain they cannot.

I ran a marathon once. I trained for three months, running almost 500 miles in that time. I learned the importance of hydration, fueling, stretching. How to warm up and cool down. How to breathe so my heart didn't beat out of my chest and to strengthen my lungs. The day of the marathon all of my training paid off. I ran 26.2 miles without my lungs or my legs failing me. My feet burned a little bit, but otherwise it was a glorious triumph. And then I crossed the finish line to find they were out of water bottles. Out of water! I had taken a drink at almost every drinking station, but alas, when you finish a marathon the water and bagel, followed closely by a cold beer, are the most welcoming, and necessary things for a runner. And they were out of water! I wasn't even close to last, in fact I was in the top 100 women runners out of many thousands. Out of desperation, I began searching the ground for partially empty bottles. My heart was beating in my ears, my legs were beginning to cramp and shake, feeling quickly like they would be unable to hold me up and my breathing started to get tight...I needed fluid bad. I drank about 10 partial bottles, thrown to the ground by previous runners, not quite as desperate for water as I was. But it was enough to keep me upright, while my muscles and breathing recovered from the last 3 hours and 52 minutes.

But this. I feel that same tightening in my chest, same loud thumping of my heart in my head. My legs shake, uncontrollably at times, and I feel I'm searching for something that I can't find. That refreshing and reviving thing that will quench my body and usher in a calmness that has been taken from me. But I can't find it. I scream and cuss and cry. I stomp my feet and slam my fist in indignation but I cannot find it and peace escapes me.

I know where to find it. I know the words and the One that can heal and bring comfort and peace. But how do you build trust and allow that peace when anger and fear are swirling inside with the strength of an F5?

I have no idea, but I'm trying to hold on to the words of the One who knows, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."