A Means to Transformation
Something we either enthusiastically pursue, or something we avoid, with the tenacity of an experienced runner, chasing a finish line. Depending on how change can affect you, dictates the lens with which you view its necessity. But, we, as adults, know, change can't be manipulated, coerced, or bossed.
If it is going to happen, it will.
But, there is a change, specifically within our children, that can bring about the most beautiful and healthy things. It can mean they look outside themselves and see things from another person's perspective. It can mean they make choices that benefit the whole. That create beneficial change in others, that starts a revolution of good, in their sphere of influence.
Often, though, that change we desire for our children, begins with a change that happens with us, as their parents. I can be all about progress when it comes to areas I feel my children need growth, but be careful talking about areas, in my life, that need some dusting off. Be it in a healthy lifestyle, good self-image, even financial stewardship and how we spend our free time, reevaluation of our priorities can be good and painful, in one full swoop.
My annoying area of growth, currently, is in the area of justifying my actions, specifically towards my husband and children, by the fact that I'm not getting a lot of sleep, I make one million decisions a day, and the word "mom" has become synonymous with "you are the only one who can help me". I lash out in impatience, at my two-year-old's need to be hanging onto my leg, 95% of the time I stand. I use an unkind tone, trying to get my son in the car, to leave for school. I question my four--year-old's lack of adult reasoning, as if her decision to put on the too-small Elsa dress should've been avoided and she wouldn't be stuck in it, for the 80th time, this week.
Lack of sleep and needing a mental break from decision-making, are real things. The longer I do this mom-thing, the more I realize, we don't don a complete new body and mind when we birth or adopt a child. We bring who we are, into that realm, complete with insecurities, attitude malfunctions, and areas of our lives that are better left unseen. Add in complicated situations and/or people, and the me of 5, 13, and 18 will emerge, just with more lines, wrinkles, and grey hair. So, having "one of those days" is not only going to happen, it will be experienced through the lenses of who I am.
But, I do want transformation. I do want my mind and heart to be clear of chaos, regardless of what is going on around me. And, probably, more than anything, I want my children to know, there isn't ever a place they will reach, that will eliminate them from changing.
Changing their view.
Changing their attitude.
Changing their focus.
Changing them, for the good.
Recently I heard, " shame breeds destruction, while mercy leads to transformation". As poignant as that is for our response to our children's mistakes and growth from it, how well are we exercising that mercy vs. shame, when it comes to ourselves. On days when I have more tick marks in the "lose" column, when I cry more than I laugh, and when the striving seems to help me hit more brick walls than finish lines, mercy with myself will always win the day. It will remind me this life isn't a game of chance and crossing our fingers for the best results. It is the in and out, daily surrendering of what won't always be perfect, to gain what will always be lasting.
Be kind to yourself, mom and dad.
Like Johnson & Johnson says, "you're doing ok"....and, even better than that.