What a whirlwind these last two days have been. And through it all, I am given constantly two choices. Accept the moment, whatever it is, and say yes. Or resist it, be angry it is happening, annoyed it is happening and see how that helps. Because, I know. I know too well. Resisting only makes me more at odds with what IS and thus more conflict arises from me (via my thoughts or words or actions).
I can be thankful for it all, and sometimes I can actually manage that. But you know, I’m human and need to remind myself later when I’m reflecting back on my day, to be thankful for such abundant opportunities to chose love, to find peace amongst the chaos.
Awareness of my body. (Which I do my literally placing my right hand on my chest. It can almost instantly bring me back to my body and to the moment.)
Forgiveness (usually, that means self-forgiveness).
These are the cornerstones of my spiritual practice as I do this mothering thing.
I don’t honestly know how I made it through mothering all these years before I knew about self-compassion. Wow. It has changed the ball game for me. To actually talk to myself in the way that I would talk to a dear friend who was struggling…that is powerful stuff. It sounds simple. And it is. But, it is powerful. Because sometimes literally *all* I can do is say to myself “This is so hard, I’m sorry you are struggling right now and I love you.”, whilst I have children screaming at each other, not even hearing me, while I hold one back from the other.
Saying yes. Yes, I actually sometimes say it out loud. Like, yes, even though I have a child who is in the middle of a temper tantrum about I’m-not-even-sure-what and he’s scaring the younger two, I also now need to go clean up a broken mason jar full of fresh veggie juice from my driveway. In case you are wondering how that looks, I took a picture. It wasn’t top priority, and didn’t get cleaned up for quite a while that morning. But, I just said yes.
Self-forgiveness. Whoa. Yes. Because sometimes I don’t say yes. I start resisting and then words just spill our of my mouth at my kid that I totally didn’t mean to say but I’m swept up in the wave of annoyance or whatever. Then, before I can even get to a place to reconnect with him and apologize sincerely, without that apology laying more guilt into my own self image as a mother, I need to forgive ME. This has probably been the hardest thing to do. Forgiving myself doesn’t come naturally to me. I didn’t see it modeled as a child, and I don’t think it’s really something we even do in our culture. And it still doesn’t come easy for me. I must consciously remember I need to do it, and even that can take a day or two, while in the meantime I get swept along the River of Guilt.
I used to really, sincerely think that if I parented “right”, my kids would grow up without issues or poor self-worth, or baggage of any kind, really. Ha! Aren’t we all so naive before we have kids, or when our first child is under age 3? Now, I get it. There is no magic formula to raise children who don’t have some inner work to do. This is the work of life: to experience it, and to have those experiences give us some work to do! As a parent, I can only do one thing: the best that I can. And when (not if) I mess up, I forgive myself, apologize to my kid, and endeavor to learn and grow from it.
I’ve so much more to write, but sleep beckons. My gratitude that such a thing as sleep exists is endless.