Something strange happened this week. Not strange in the usual sense of the word, you know, the eerie-odd-frightening-makes you wonder kind of happening. Noo, this was different. More of a Wayne Dyer/Iyanla/Marianne Williamson, transformative kind of strange. For most of my childhood I SWORE on unborn babies and my very LIFE that I would NEVER EVER IN A MILLION BILLION years become like “them”. Who? You know, “them”, the ones entrusted with new life before time began. The ones who were given the responsibility to love and protect unconditionally. Yeah, “them”, the human ones, who caught up in their own consciousMESS, forgot to do and say the things that might have made a sojourn here a wee bit easier. The “I love yous”, the “good job baby”, “I’m proud of you”. “Them”. They who maybe skipped over the fine print that read something like: “You promise to love, hold, cuddle, tickle, and honor this life that you’ve been chosen to bring into the world of the seen…”
I was well aware of the job description when I signed up 16 years ago. I read every book, magazine, internet article, and pamphlet on child rearing and development I could get my hands on. Did everything within my power (and beyond) to create an idyllic and cornucopic love fest for my child. He would want for nothing. He would know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was loved beyond measure, unconditionally, relentlessly and eternally. Leading by example was my mantra. Being honest and open yet firm and consistent would be my way. I vowed that when he grew up, he’d be self-confident, strong, and independent. No ma’am, he will NEVER be able to use ME as an excuse for ANY egregious behavior OR emotional dysfunction… To be SUPERMOM, unlike these folk I see cussing their kids out, neglecting them, abusing and abandoning them. I would be different.
But I’ve made mistakes. I’ve had challenges. I’ve done and said things toward my child that I regret. And each time, I collapse into a fit of despair and sorrow which invariably leads to self-immolation… I tried. I didn’t want to be like “them”. I spent 16 years putting everything I could into being a good mom. I did everything I could, that I knew how to do… wait… wait…. I did the best I could with the resources I had. I did the best I KNEW HOW TO DO…
Maybe I am like “them” after all.
I did the BEST I KNEW HOW TO DO…
How might my life be different if I acknowledged that we are ALL doing the best we know how to do? How might my relationship with my parents have turned out? My siblings?
I’m sure I’ve heard this a million times before now. This idea resides dead heart center of forgiveness…of self and certainly others.
But in this moment, it feels brand. New.