How to Parent Yourself with Compassion When You’re Having an Emotional Day

Do you ever have emotional days?

Do you ever have emotional days? 

You know days when you just burst into tears or when everything pushes you past your tolerance limit?

Sometimes emotional days are necessary.

Tears can be cathartic & provide a beautiful opportunity to set aside our bravery and release what we have been holding in us in our effort to be perceived as strong.

I received a text from one of my clients the other night letting me know she was having one of those days. As I sat across from her the next evening during her coaching session, she shared what happened & gave me permission to share it with you. 

“I stood in the living room looking at all the boxes & I just got overwhelmed by the mess. I had to get it done before the week started. I just started bawling.”

As we explored the overwhelm & the tears, we found so much compassion for the part of her soul that was longing for more tender care & feeling the weight of unrealistic expectations.

We found that it wasn’t about the boxes of Christmas decorations that had been brought down from the attic waiting for her to display them. She usually loved decorating her home!

But she was so tired; physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally.

She was recovering from her second surgery & had been trying to be really “brave.”

….and trying to stay positive.

Her husband was busy with work & had left on travel just a few days after her surgery. 
She was slowly getting her energy back. …then she discovered a leak in her ceiling.

Meanwhile her subconscious mind was keenly aware of all the things that were approaching: things she wanted to do but did not feel like she had the capacity to do. She was anticipating the need to care for and minister to people at the events coming up that week, but she was feeling weak & in need of care herself.

She had been working on allowing help & letting go to shift into a posture of rest and repair but the old childhood narrative that said, ‘rest is lazy‘ and ‘naps are an avoidance tactic’ was still whispering in her ear along with the one that said she was ‘responsible for making sure everyone else was happy’.

Her inner child that had lost her right to be carefree and have need was feeling overwhelmed by the expectation.

Looking at those boxes simply brought it all to a head.

Sometimes emotional days are necessary.

Tears can be cathartic & provide a beautiful opportunity to set aside our bravery and release what we have been holding in us in our effort to be perceived as strong.


As we kept holding space for honest expression, we landed on her fear of ‘playing the part of a victim’ if she kept staying in this place of ‘need.’
…and the fear that people would withdraw from her if she became too needy.

We already knew through our work together that her nervous system held stored memories letting her know it wasn’t safe to have need.

 We spent some time acknowledging her brave part but then asked it to please step back so we could hear from the part of her soul that was feeling overwhelmed & needed to be heard.

As she typed up how she felt with radical honesty, you could feel the palpable shift in the room.

Release always leads to relief.

Sometimes being brave feels like a really good strategy but it often blocks the release of accumulated stress.

Next, I had her assume the role of her spirit led self & bring the tenderness and compassion of Christ to this overwhelmed & exhausted part of her.

I asked her to speak encouragement and let her know what was true … about her needs, about rest, about taking naps, about asking for help. I asked her what else was possible when people pulled back or withdrew when she expressed her needs…

By the end of our time together she had such beautiful clarity.

She knew what she needed and what she wanted to do this week.

She knew the steps she needed to take, the things she was delegating or deleting & the things she wanted to embrace.

What was so beautiful was the realization that the things that were overwhelming her were actually things she wanted to say YES to!

She wanted to decorate!
She wanted to invite people into her home for a small group.
She wanted to go to her husband’s Christmas party.

The overwhelm was not about the events themselves but the expectations she was putting on herself.

Expectations that felt daunting.

Expectations she was placing on herself to match her husband’s high expectations of himself.

Dang, if we don’t all do that, right?

We see all these strong capable women and try to match them.

What if they are feeling just as heavy and burdened & we are trying to step into a yoke of slavery with them that they would love to break free from themselves?

What lets us know that everyone that appears ‘strong’ and ‘brave’ and like they have it all together is not breaking down in their own living rooms with overwhelm?

Once she surrendered these self-imposed burdens, she found permission to simply ENJOY TIME with people without having to be responsible for their happiness and a weight was lifted.

Once she landed on the truth that these expectations were way too heavy to put on me or anyone else, she was able to bring that same care & nurturing to her own soul & release the shame she felt for having need.

She found a new perspective.

Her soul settled into peace.

Anticipation was still there, but it took on a new emotion.

In place of angst and overwhelm there was excitement and possibility.

Just in case you need the affirmations she spoke over herself today, here they are!

It’s ok to ask for help.

It’s ok to release those expectations.
It’s ok to say “No.” if it feels like too much
No matter what you are doing I’m loving you.
You matter to me.
I’m proud of you.
What you’ve gone through …you are very strong.
You are growing through all of this.
You went through figuring out your pain & stayed on top of it
You are learning to express your needs, trust your intuition & speak up.
When you need to talk you can call someone & they will be honored to help you.
If they aren’t available, I am here. I will listen to you & comfort you.
Just because someone is not available or withdraws doesn’t mean they don’t care.
They probably want to be able to help more.
Your needs do matter to them.
Take it one day at a time.
It doesn’t all have to be done today.
Step back when you are feeling overwhelmed
When your emotions are too attached, it is helpful to step back.
Naps are not lazy but a God given strategy to wake up with a fresh perspective & clarity so you can find your way forward.
You don’t have to decide everything today. 
There is time to step back.
It will be ok.
The world will be ok.
You will have more clarity tomorrow.
It was a good decision to say No to that.
There will be other opportunities.
You are not responsible for other people’s disappointment
Naps are not avoidance; they allow you to slow down & recalculate; to renew; to refresh your brain, find clarity & a new perspective
Taking them is listening to your body
It’s being in tune with your temple
Naps are a way of slowing down and getting in touch

The new belief and action step she uncovered was ..

“When I feel overwhelmed, I’m going to let go of the lie that i have to make the decisions that instant – I need to step back, pause, stop, halt, be still, listen to what would bring me refreshment so I can get a new perspective”

My guess is that after reading about her experience, you are holding the compassion of Christ for her right now. 

Do you need to extend that same compassion to your overwhelmed & exhausted parts?

Here is your action step:

1. Print out these declarations. 
2. Go stand in front of your bathroom mirror.
 3. Step into your spirit led self. 

The part of you that is completely connected to His presence within you.
 The part that has clarity, confidence & compassion.
The part that has perspective. 
The part you embody when encouraging others. 

4. Look into that mirror with compassion at the part of your soul that is struggling & maybe feeling unseen. Really see her.

5. Now, read & declare these beautiful truths over her today along with anything else she needs to know! 


Praying you find release from any burdens you are carrying today & experience not only a sigh of relief but the peace of Christ flooding your entire being! 

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