I was re-reading some of my journals from earlier in the year, and one in particular about my children. I wrote “I don’t know what I’m doing all the time, but paying attention to them is how I figure it all out. If I keep a hold of my emotions and stay present, I can focus on responding appropriately” I don’t know how past me got so wise, but present me really needed to hear that today.
To parent from a place of observation and gentle guidance, allowing my children to bloom into who ever they want to be, has been my goal for the last couple months and I think this is the key here to doing that. Acknowledging I don’t know what to do (which is hard cause I’m mom, ya’know) causes me to stop reacting and start listening to what my kids need.
This has been the strangest revelation for me personally. Motherhood is learning to translate a language of whining and crying and tantrums into knowledge about how to meet the unknown needs of others. A mother makes her children whole by meeting the needs they cannot meet themselves and the needs they do not know they have. My kids don’t know they need water, but they know they are thirsty. My kids don’t know they need rest, they are just cranky. Mom’s job is to recognize the action as a sign of an underlying need. That’s when we step in to fulfill that underlying need
I tend to do this with everyone. Seeing someone in need causes me to act. My problem comes when someone is an adult and not a child and refuses the help. This caused me to question myself entirely, forgetting that I’m not everyone’s mother. (embarrassing to admit but true, nonetheless) Maybe in wanting to treat the world with the same love and emotional care I give my children is noble, but its also draining and tiring. Motherhood is exhausting on every front. I guess my challenge now to dealing with difficult people is to just watch, observe and reach out with love. See what they need and realize its not my job to meet that need. I can only meet the needs of my self and my children, and some of what my husband needs. Even still, he is responsible for himself.
In learning to be a better mother, I feel as though I’m also learning to be a better human. The daily challenges of putting aside the ego and operating in love, as often as humanely possible, is what has grown me to my greatest extent. I feel incredibly grateful to have this life of learning every day. The more I learn about how to grow love here with my family the more love I feel I can give to the people outside of my home who I interact with and care about. That seems like what I have been supposed to do all along.
Life is about learning, and I am a student always and forever. It’s hard for me to acknowledge, through my ego and pride, that I did not know and did it wrong. I failed my way to good parenting. I failed my way to good relationships. I failed my way to happiness. I like knowing and seeing this now.
I think some artists types like me are so sensitive we cannot share our failures. We get so afraid that people will only see the fault and not the beauty of the creation itself. We feel the world telling us to be better and all we’d like to do is be acknowledge for all the effort. We want a mom to come in a say, “Good Job, proud of you, I saw you trying and you did it!”
I somehow always strive to be a good person. Whether its good to myself or good to others. Not to appear good, but to actually do good. For me. Because doing good makes me feel good. I believe in goodness, because I am goodness… sometimes, I’m still an asshole when I’m hungry and lonely… but that’s what makes me human and not holy. The most important fact of life, something I wish I could pass on to everyone, is to be a person you like. For me, being a good mom and a good person is someone I like. Being good is easy when you realize its all about operating out of the love you feel. And feeling love is easy when you cultivate it with children, the most lovingly pure source of goodness in this world.
There probably needs a more summarized ending to this, but I’m leaving it here. Love someone today, even if its yourself.