Monday, March 21, 2011

Mindful Monday: If Anybody's Still Listening

Well. It's a been a while. I think there's a 75% chance that this post won't get published but I'm going to let go of that notion for now and keep typing and see what happens. It's been so long now that I can't imagine anyone could care much about what I might write here anyway.

You know I'd forgotten that I started Mindful Monday posts until I went over to Rebekah's blog and saw that she's still doing it? Who needs some mindfulness? Me. Clearly.

Yonas has been home over a year now. We've come a long way. We have a long way to go. Nothing about it has been easy. Some of it has been beautiful. Some of it has been far uglier than I could have ever imagined. Most of it has been that strange mix of pain and beauty and progress and fear and revelations and missteps that life is so full of. I have tried my best for all my kids and come up short more times than I care to count. I haven't been compassionate with myself when I've been struggling. And I've struggled a lot. More that I care to admit, which is another reason I haven't posted here much. No one likes to admit they are struggling.

How do we strike the balance of recognizing that this parenting gig is the most important job we'll ever have and setting the expectations of ourselves accordingly while letting ourselves be human?

It's the balance I've been lacking. The balance that allows me to recognize when my well is empty, when I need a break, when everything seems to be falling apart, and yet I keep pushing through because if not me, who? I know that doesn't serve us as a family in the end. I know it doesn't cultivate spaciousness and calmness. But I can't let go of the idea that these are people's souls we're taking about. Their futures. Their lives.

I said it out loud last night. I'm struggling. Again. AGAIN.

For me, today, this is a love letter to myself. It's okay if no one else reads it. The balance I seek is mine for the taking. It's not my life that needs to change, but my thinking about my life that needs to change. It's okay if I'm falling apart. It's okay if I feel overwhelmed.

In her book, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron says this:

"If we're willing to give up hope that insecurity and pain can be exterminated, then we can have the courage to relax with the groundless of our situation. This is the first step on the path."

I feel groundless already. I might as well get comfortable with it instead of wishing it away, which is absolutely not working. It's a shaky first step. But here I am taking it.