What a difference a year can make. Last year at this time I was highly stressed over everything. I was dreading the holidays, and looking for answers to my dysfunctional family of origin. I was burdened without knowing where my next home might be and uncertain as to our future regarding EVERYTHING.
I carried my disappointments front and center all the while trying to make sense out of things that had no answers. This practice lead me to intense sadness, and counter-productive thoughts. Even though I logically was writing about solutions which contained numerous rationalizations, I wasn’t really seeing positive results.
I used to describe my living condition as a sort of limbo hell both physically and emotionally. In essence that was what it was; limbo hell.
I wrote. I read. I planned. I learned. I tried everything, nothing worked.
You know why nothing worked?
Nothing worked because I thought writing the ideas, reading them, and believing I knew something would be enough to make things better. I am going to tell you right here and now….”knowing” anything is worthless without “doing.”
And that is where I am now. I am in the “doing phase.” I am, once and for all, dropping all the slights and the hurts that I perceived over the past several years of my life. Seriously, in order to get anywhere you have to stop “feeling” the past. I use the word ” feeling” the past instead of living, or thinking about the past because it’s how you feel that squashes out your light.
Very soon after I started this “journey to living better with less” I broke down and cried when told I had too many framed photos. That scene made me well aware that my journey was about much more than just “stuff.” I know why I cried. Inside all those frames I saw photos of better times. I cried because I was forced to acknowledge time had vanished into thin air faster than a blink. It all hit me at once like a ton of bricks. I was without. I was in limbo.
Fast forward to now:
This year I am hosting Thanksgiving for my entire family, including my family of origin and I am doing it with an open heart. That’s right, for those people who I have said terrible things about and who I saw as a problem. Those who I shut out and avoided. I am kind of shocked about this myself, but I have thought about this for a awhile and it feels right.
They say time heals, but I don’t think it is time. I think we heal by our own choice. I am not saying it’s easy, but at some point in time you have to move on and you have to let go. You need to live in the present, and see the here and now and you have to eliminate feeling the past. The past is gone.
So now, maybe now, I can say I have grown. Maybe I am capable of putting everything I have learned to work. I’ll tell you this much, it feels like a huge heavy boulder has been remove from my soul, and that is a good thing. I don’t plan on ever holding on to emotional garbage again. From my experience emotional clutter is far more destructive than any of the items collecting dust in my storage unit.
Time to carry on. Cheers!
I was very kind to my self one day. I did a very simple exercise. I complimented myself. I told myself I was a good mother in the way I raised my children. I can’t tell you how incredible that felt.
Usually I would worry about all the things I would have done differently. Like not fight with their father, and not turn weekends into a cleaning marathons. I would beat my self up for making my children sad because I yelled. I constantly saw my errors instead of any of the wins.
One day it stopped, I stopped making chores a priority. I stopped expecting things I really deep inside didn’t care about. I learned that perfection was never going to exist in our home. I let that go along with all the other unrealistic goals.
I went a bit overboard, seriously, we had a messy house most every day of the year. But the kid’s friends would come over, and it was relaxed. I told them they never had to knock, come over any time, need dinner, then please join us. It was awesome. I sold my self short, I never knew how my children loved having the house where everyone was welcome and virtually nothing mattered.
I would drink wine, get silly and they would laugh at me. They would take over the living room to watch scarey gross movies. It was all that I always wanted; an open house.
We never even locked our doors until my one son bought his own computer, then he asked that we start locking the door. Probably a good idea, seeing my car was broken into twice, while in the drive.
Even with all this success, I still would focused on my mistakes. For so long I didn’t know how to make it up to them. I wasn’t perfect.
All three are in college now, living and learning and growing into fine human beings. They make me proud everyday.
I am a good Mom. Finally I believe that even with all the errors and the growing pains. I believe life teaches you what you need to learn, that is- if you are aware and open to the endless possibilities.
Tip: Never beat your self up – it does no good.
Inspiration: “The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” ~Honoré de Balzac
(so, mothers forgive yourselves, we aren’t perfect)
One-day one-thing: If something doesn’t bring joy into your home – change it..