On this Mother's Day as J.R.'s high school graduation approaches, I feel a major shift in my role as a mom. Although I still have the title, it's in an honorary capacity.
To be fair, there was a good stretch of time I believed I wouldn't have children of my own. Too many complicated break-ups had me mapping out a solitary future. This allowed me a greater depth of appreciation when I did get married (thankfully to the right person) and we started our life and family together.
This profound gratitude had an impact. Even through the muck of all those diapers and spit-up, I kept my heart wide-open because I was so thankful for all of it. I vowed to do all I could to be the best mom possible and set about reading every parenting book I could get my hands on. These books were often polarizing, some declared iron-fisted rules to be the best way, others claimed a kid-centric feelings-based paradigm would lead to sure-fire parenting success.
It was super confusing.
There were two things that saved me. The first, was going within as much as my busy mom life allowed, the second was being present for my boys to the best of my ability.
Through this process I learned being present is one of the hardest things in life, but also incredibly rewarding. Whenever I could get my fidgety self to slow down and just be with my guys, I was never disappointed. They were/are both amazing humans and the less I interfered with their inherent awesomeness, the better life was for all of us. Life got hard when I tried to force change on them that didn't fit, or when I got so invested in external doing, the internal beauty of it all went by unnoticed.
I made some mistakes. I yelled sometimes, said things I didn't mean, and cried a whole lot of frustrated tears. I worried my mental health was so unreliable I would forever scar them or worse yet, pass it onto them through my faulty genes.
I was wrong. This is why inward healing is so important because the roots of my challenges, now uncovered, aren't genetic. They are normal responses to life.
I'm not crazy, I'm human.
On this Mother's Day, however it looks for you...joyful, hard, sad, celebratory...try to keep it all in perspective. Our humanity sometimes blocks those we love from being who we need them to be, or prevents us from being our best selves to those who need us.
It's up to us to decide how we handle this truth. We can move forward with compassion for ourselves and others or we can remained locked in guilty darkness.
I'm choosing the light.
Thank you, J.R., for illuminating the way.
Thank you for all-that-you-are and all-you-are-yet-to-become.
I will show up for you.
Inward & Onward,
Join me on social for inspiration and self-compassionate tools to honor your soul and spirit...
Please make sure to subscribe (scroll below), follow, and share. This is how we find the others!
Thank you for reading!