Riding The Train
A poem by Cecila Yu
Some years ago, I got on a train.
A speed train.
It passed many stops.
But I never stopped; I never got off the train.
I kept riding, assuming I had a destination.
But in reality, it was an illusion.
An ego-fuelled illusion.
A fabricated story my pride authored, starring me, the hero.
Who can do it all.
All at the same time.
Till I couldn’t be all those things.
All at the same time.
I even thought I could steer the train.
Oh, how I courageously navigated all those years.
But courage is never enough in this journey.
Many praise courage, and courage only is.
Broken relations with myself, with others, proved it isn’t.
The journey needed to be led by them.
My ego needed to be replaced by them.
My ego drove a train that further distanced myself from myself.
My love of self. My love for motherhood even, on many days.
The train was derailed.
Finally, it stopped.
No choice but to pause.
To mend the pieces.
To continue the journey.
Motherhood is a journey that cannot just be abandoned.
Repaired and led by self compassion now
I go slower, I go gentler.
I pause, I stop.
I rest, I discover.
All at how far we have come; how much closer we are to home.
Home, where we have always belonged.
This poem was inspired by a conversation a friend and I had over breakfast one morning. She is the mom, friend, and soul whom I can be most vulnerable with. It is such a beautiful blessing if you have at least one of these kinds of people on your team. We discussed why more moms don’t make time for self-love, even though this concept is something very familiar to all of us, mothers or not.
Many of us know self-love is about filling our cups before spilling over for others and putting on our own oxygen masks before helping others with theirs. Still, why don’t we ever do what we read about, get inspired by, and even promise ourselves? We both concluded the answer is “autopilot”. We once were those moms on a train, coursing through life with autopilot mode on. Speeding through every destination—things to do and goals to smash—as if our self-worth as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother depended solely on it.
We never paused, never stopped. Our ego that told us “we can do it all” kidnapped the core of who we truly were, took over the control panel, and put us on hyper-speed mode. Until one day, it just couldn’t do it anymore. Momentum came to a halt, and we broke. Rather, we broke down. And the only way to get up and running was to do some serious introspection with the tools only we had—forgiveness, patience, kindness, empathy. It was a long fix, and every now and then, we still need these tools for a tune-up. Never again will we allow our ego to take over and strap us in to run on high-speed autopilot and lose who we are at the core. Never do we want to be so far away from home again.
Photos from Canva.
About the Author
Cecilia Yu is a self-compassion enthusiast and coach. Certified in Integrative Nutrition Coaching, Culinary Nutrition, Goddess Yoga and Women’s Circle Leadership, Cecilia empowers mommies and their loved ones to lead a healthy, soulful life through anti-inflammatory dietary lifestyle, meditations, yoga, journaling, and her Self-Compassion Circles for Moms. For inspiration, follow her on @CeciliaADoseofVitaminL (FB/IG).