One Loving Choice at a Time

One of things that parenting has brought to the surface in my own life is my need for healing. It has required me to take ownership of my life and not allowed me to play the victim card. My daughter is counting on me to give her my best not my brokenness. Have I failed, do I still fail? Yes, I do. However, every day I am striving to be a more balanced and whole person. To create the boundaries in my life that I need so that I can mirror for her what being healthy actually looks like.

One of the biggest lessons I am learning through Madi is patience. I am not patient by nature but my daughter has required me to slow down and dig deep inside myself for the resources I need to remain calm and present in the moment. Yesterday, Madi was exhausted to the point of complete emotional melt down. A year ago, I was still struggling to handle these situations with grace and kindness and my reactions were often harsh or too emotional. I began to see a pattern – she would get emotional, I would react instead of respond and in turn, her emotions would escalate. It was not healthy for either of us. It was destroying the connection that I have always worked so hard to create with her. When she is feeling out of control she needs me to be in control. She needs to feel secure in me when she is feeling insecure in her self. So I began to actively check in with myself and become more in tune with her needs.

Yesterday could have been a disaster but instead it became a time of meaningful connection for both of us. Despite her protest and tears, I removed her from a high energy situation – her cousins at the Mall play area – because I knew she need space to reset herself emotionally. I chose to remain patient even though I was frustrated. We cuddled in the car and read Harry Potter, we went into Trader Joes and I bought her flowers, we drove back to my sister’s house just the two of us listening to Norah Jones and before I knew it, she was happily and peacefully playing with her toys in the back of the car while I drove.

You can’t fight fire with fire, it only increases the damage. Everyone is entitled to their feelings and even the little ones have bad days. I have bad days and I want people to understand and validate how I am feeling. How can I expect my six year old to feel any different or to respond in a more mature way than I am sometimes able to? As parents and as people, we have the choice to feed into negativity and anger or to actively work to bring love and peace into our situation whatever it may be. It’s not easy; gentle parenting requires a lot of energy and deliberate choice. Reacting is always easier than responding. However, if the goal is love and connection we have to actively work to maintain our relationships.

Parenting is hard, relationships are hard and not all of us have had the best examples of what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. We are all broken – but it is our responsibility to find healing for our brokenness instead of using it to hurt others. We can find a way to take our brokenness and turn it into something beautiful, healthy and whole if we are willing to work towards the healing we need. Love will always win if you let it and connection is more important than having the upper hand.

Let’s change the world together one loving choice at a time.

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What If …

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What if we stopped worrying so much about what others are thinking and just allowed ourselves the freedom of being real? We are all in this crazy, chaotic, wonderfully messy, beautiful life together. Yet, we isolate ourselves because we’re afraid of others seeing our real, authentic selves.

I don’t have it all together, you don’t have it all together, but what if we decided to just do this thing called life together anyway?

We strive so hard to prove ourselves and find such loneliness in the process. We are hard wired for love, connection, and community.

What if we let go of our need for perfection? What if we allowed others to see us for who we really are? I know … It makes me cringe too. I don’t want others to see my dark, my weakness, my vulnerability. It’s scary to allow someone that close. But we have to open ourselves up to allow the light in …

So let me begin … Here I am and I have no idea where I’m going quite yet. Life has never gone according to my plan. Yet, the more I focus on how plans fell through, went haywire, or just plain fell apart the less time I’m able to spend in the moments of beauty that flow through each day of my life.

We will never do it all right, we will never attain perfection, we will never have it all together … The facade that these things are attainable keeps us apart. It’s time to let it go, to the let the love and light of connection flood the deepest, darkest parts of our souls.

We all, we all, we’re gonna be alright
We got, we got, we always got the fight in us. – Ingrid Michaelson