Man, I think if someone asks “when was your self-discovery age?” I would have to say the past 12-18 months I have done more soul-searching and self-discovery than ever before. I’ve asked myself the deepest questions and I have found myself changing habits due to this transition. This also means the past 12-18 months have been the most difficult in my life. I don’t think it is fun for anyone to look at themselves through a microscope – a lot of disappointment and discouragement is what I experienced during the bulk of this season of my life. From the disappointment and discouragement I found a strength and desire that I never knew existed. I needed to learn about the weakness in me in order to allow my strengths to do what they needed to do to help me overcome my weaknesses.
I’ve also learned a lot about people in general. I can’t tell you how many books I have read on the subject of self-discovery. I prefer the term self-discovery over self-help. Self-help sounds too desperate to me. But anyway, the common theme of these books is if you look at people, as a whole, from a high-level every person’s actions are in an effort to make themselves happy. And while it may seem that the action is against you or the universe, they believe that what they are doing is going to make them happy in the long run. Hearing this and reading this and understanding this was more than just a lightbulb for me. It was like fireworks going off in my subconscious. I started looking at every person differently. I began to see a shift in my response to other people. I was always a person who took things – large or small – personally. Of course they were in some way plotting against me! That was the only rational explanation to what they were doing. When I started to comprehend (and this took quite a bit of time to sink in – so the fireworks had to get super-loud and bright before it had enough of an impact – haha) what was actually going on – at the root – my heart started to feel the compassion that it was supposed to feel.
I share this with you – my internet friends – only to maybe spark this thought process. I’ve found that since my heart was in a place of understanding and compassion, I have let go of so much unwarranted, self-inflicted pain. I am not perfect and this place is sometimes so far from my train of thought and my temper gets the best of me, however I am much stronger today than I was this time last year. I find it no coincidence that this awareness comes at the same time as Mother Teresa’s canonization. Her words have been a great teacher for my soul-work so I will leave you with her words as it directly pertains to my point:
People are often unreasonable and self centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat on you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be Happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
I try my hardest not to see things so black and white and to realize that each choice is unique from the next. It is something I have to constantly be present about because my natural instinct is to prejudge situations based on previous experiences. To add fuel to this fire, motherhood and parenting has become increasingly difficult over the past year – probably because we have 3 young children who are all in the age of discovering what they like to do. Which means, too many activities to manage PLUS two full-time working parents. I think this has led me to have a heightened sensitivity about my current season of life as well as increased amount of “Mom Guilt”.
Geez – I could write a novel about “Mom Guilt”. About how it is unavoidable, unpreventable, and untreatable. But, I won’t. Because who likes to read negative ramblings anyway?
Recently, I started investigating alternatives for the twins daycare/schooling. They are currently at the same school my older daughter attended for the first 6 years of her life. It is a great school that happens to be going through a bit of transition. Unfortunately, the transition hit hard for the twins’ age group. There have been a lot of teaching transitions, schedule transitions, etc. While I have been going through this, I felt like my world and the twins’ world was falling apart. I found myself thinking “how are they ever going to survive? They need stability in 3k”. Then the dreaded “Mom Guilt” kicked in… “This would have never happened if we were in a better place where I did not have to work.”
Y’all. I was considering turning our lives upside down to move them to a school that could not keep them for a full work day and hiring a sitter to pick up my 3 children and drop my 3 children EVERY DAY just because I wanted to protect my children from hardship. THEN I would come to work and complain to my boss about the millennial I have working under me – She is too entitled. She has too high of expectations – someone failed her along the way because they never let her experience anything tough.
So it didn’t hit me that I was a living hypocrite until I was driving to work this morning – sans kid drop offs because of a teacher in-service. I would have never thought I would be causing my children potential harm by trying to create the most perfect external environment possible.
SIDENOTE – – I need to work on my control issues.
I guess my purpose of this rambling is to provide some sort of “I’m going through this too” content instead of writing about the roses and glory moments that DO exist in my life. Parenting is tough. Choosing when to push and when to pull back is not black and white. And I don’t know everything. And my children will be fine – and WHEN they survive this transition it only means that they now have a solid life experience to help them with the next change that happens down the road. They have that experience because they overcame it on their own, while i sat on the sidelines prepared to hug them when it was at its toughest.
On a brighter note… we had a lovely time last night at their book fair. Both of my 3-year-olds sang and danced and smiled alongside their buddies. This great school that is going through a tough transition made my kids smile. And I am eternally grateful. Here are some snapshots of those smiles: