Yesterday, I asked on my Instagram Stories if my readers knew some drive-thru food outlets available in our region aside from McDonald’s (the only one I frequent to). I am grateful for all the answers and the ‘drive-thru’ I ended up at instead.

I didn’t actually need a burger or a pack of fries that noon. I needed an outlet for my emotions. Yesterday was one of those days when I was overwhelmed as a mother. As a highly-sensitive person (HSP), I struggle some days with parenthood, getting myself drenched in the rain of overstimulation. But I do believe it’s normal to have some of these ‘rainy’ days regardless of whether we are HSPs or otherwise. More so, under the lockdown. I believe our lives are beautifully equipped with both the ups and the downs for us to learn from. In fact, I think the downs are pretty essential for us to then appreciate the ups, and for us to acquire the skills needed to go through life’s challenges.

I initially thought a quick drive-thru for some fries which I could conveniently pass to my children to leave me alone would solve all of yesterday’s problems. Instead, I parked my car in front of this serene view of the skies and the trees, cried away, texted with a friend, gathered my thoughts & returned back understanding what I needed.

I used to be both ashamed and scared of moments like this. I tend to get destructive thought patterns each time I’m overwhelmed.

But I realize it’s a beautiful thing that I now am aware of it. It is beautiful and essential to have moments to ourselves where we gather our thoughts, and then most importantly to ACKNOWLEDGE, ACCEPT AND THEN LET GO of our feelings. These are the fundamentals of the healing process. We need to allow ourselves to feel our emotions, and not ignore or suppress them, regardless of how painful they are. And it is through this process that we gradually learn to understand what we need, which we then can take action on.

And this is the “DRIVE-THRU” needed in the practice of self-love. I don’t have a pack of fries with me now, but I have a renewed energy in taking on the day, alhamdulillah, which I believe is much healthier & less salty.

If there is a takeaway I have greatly benefited from this season, it must be the art of gratitude. And even saying that makes me sad because gratitude should be something ingrained in my skin for every little moment, every single one, good or bad. My mind has been bogged down by heavy thoughts about the world. I am lucky now to be able to think of things to do at home, to be able to write a story from them, to be able to try a trending coffee recipe, to be able to play with my kids, to be comfortable at home and have my family safe with me, to be able to use the Internet, to be able to follow an online workout routine, and the list goes on. And it doesn’t go on by the route of showing off, but by gratitude & how ashamed I am to ever utter a complaint about staying home. Today, I saw the sunlight from my front porch, and I thought of you:

  • the ones saving lives while risking your own

  • the ones separated from your loved ones while doing so

  • the ones wondering if you may have enough to feed your beautiful big families

  • the ones wondering about your jobs

  • the ones wondering about your businesses

  • the ones who may not get to visit your ailing parents

  • the ones who may not feel safe at home and have nowhere to run to

  • the ones who are pregnant and wondering if birth plans may change

  • the ones battling mental illnesses

  • the ones who are scared

  • and you, the one feeling all sorts of things & wondering if they’re valid

I thought of you as I saw the sunlight from my front porch, because that sunlight came after a heavy rain. And I also thought of you because the most vulnerable parts of your hearts battling all of these now; they are shining bright. And all of your feelings; they are valid. And so are all the ways you cope. The rain may seem the heaviest now, but trust that the sunlight may appear when it’s ready. And more than anything, trust in that vulnerable part of your heart shining bright in its rays of strength and bravery. If the Almighty can change so many things in the world now simply through something so small that we can’t even see with our naked eyes, trust that He can easily help us through it too.

As the world darkens,

don't forget to count the stars,

you'd be surprised to see so many of them

shining a little brighter tonight,

you might possibly lose count.

And not just the ones in the night sky,

but the ones hard at work on the ground -

the doctors, the nurses, the janitors,

the police and army forces,

the garbage collectors, the supermarket workers,

the ones who deliver our meals and our mails,

the ones who deliver love in tough times,

the ones risking their lives,

the ones shining bright behind silent twinkles

to save us.

P/S: This poem was also written for today's writing prompt, "Don't".

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