The look of love
The look of fear
The look of contempt
Those looks you hate?
It may not be their fault.
It may be because of the choices you made, the choices WE made as parents of these incredible children we have been given.
As a child, sustaining repeated and persistent abuse, I had a significant thought…
Why did you have me?
This took many other word forms such as:
Why did you have a child?
Why did you have another child?
I am not blaming the way children turn out on their caregivers; I am reminding caregivers to make better choices so that we can say that we tried our very best when our children have the “looks” that are “cringeworthy.”
This is an amazing story and a great example of how one man, a school dropout, would stop at nothing to bring his idea of revolutionizing menstrual health for rural women in developing countries to fruition. An idea that would have a positive effect on women, their families, their health and their livelihood.
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek. —Mario Andretti
When my kids were quite small, I was a stay home mother and I was consumed with the everyday things that stay home mothers are consumed with.
Some of them were important, like food in the pantry and on the table having clean clothing for school. Other things were NOT at all important, like whether or not a child was smiling in a family photo.
I have an awful memory of myself making one of my children feel really bad for not smiling in the family photo.
I was so HELL bent of having this “perfect” moment, that I could not find the maturity to ask a simple question like, “Honey, what’s the matter? Are you feeling ok?” or to just let the photographer do their thing and realize that the photo was just a moment in a long string of moments.
As I remember this, I feel so sick about my own actions that I can barely forgive myself.
But forgiveness of self is exactly what I need to do here.
I did the best I could. I really did. We all do the best we can.
As Oprah says, “When we know better, we do better.”
I know better and I do better these days.
If you can think of something you could have done better and you have a chance to apologize, do it.
Do better next time.
Begin a conversation with someone who you have inadvertently hurt and ask for forgiveness.
Tell them how much you care.
It is very cliché, but authentic remorse really does clear up a lot of fog.
Love really does find a way.
I recently had a long flight and got a chance to watch some movies. The one that intrigued me most was Happiness Therapy.
Guy seems to be bipolar, freaks out when he catches his wife having shower sex and has a big fight with the shower sex guy. Wife leaves him. He is released from a Psych hospital to live with his parents and he is hyper-focused on getting his wife back. His father is a bookie and has major OCD issues, expects the son to just sit and hold two remotes while the Eagles play whoever they are playing. Guy meets a girl who is also struggling with her issues and invites him to be her dance partner in a competition, in exchange for giving the ex wife a letter.
As I watched it, I was mesmerized by how simple the lesson was for the world.
Here is my take….
This guy is struggling to deal with his mental stuff and trying to think of ways to get back his wife. The girl gives him a chance to help her fulfill one of her dreams and with that promise, he begins to think of someone other than himself and to think of something other than the ex wife.
He practices the dance moves constantly and he is physically exhausted and seems to be getting more mental clarity.
The girl shows him how to tap into real emotion and how to sit with the feelings, also how to bring the emotions to the dance floor.
Meanwhile his father talks him into going to the stadium, where he gets into another fight and he gets arrested.
His father makes a bookie bet on what score he will get in the dance competition and puts additional pressure on his son.
Lessons for all of us
Do something significant for someone else.
The something must be out of our comfort zone, so we can rewire our brains.
Stay away from people who try to put us back into their dramas, even if those people are family.
Do our best in the new commitment and with feeling and purpose.
When people make bets on whether we do well or not, ignore them, they are toxic.
Give wholeheartedly to the people we are helping.
I know that this blog may seem a little “pie in the sky” but it is really a good formula for permanent change.
Watch this movie, Happiness Therapy…it may help to cement these lessons.
I was thinking about the people in my life who I do not believe carry their own weight and me doing more than my fair share of work, carrying the burdens.
I instantly had an image of myself as a pack mule….a big, strong mule able to carry my weight and twice that on my back.
Then I thought about all the other mules. These mules are not as strong. Some have other skills besides hauling stuff, some are younger, some older. They are not carrying the load I feel I am carrying. I became almost blinded by anger and resentment because they are not doing the work load I believe they should be doing.
AND at the end of the day all of us mules are getting the same amount of food!
But I carried the most weight! I did my best work!
And then it hit me. The other mules, they did their best work too.
That single thought took away my anger and resentment.
I may not be happy that the other mules did not carry the same amount of weight as me, but I was given the amount of weight because I could carry it.
They were given what they could carry, and no it won’t always be equal.
Perhaps they could have carried the load better with proper attention, guidance and training….but they did the best they could.
Now, I feel like an ass…
Next time I am quick to judge on a job or task that is done, I will ask myself…did that person to the best job they are able to?
And if they didn’t… well, there will be another lesson in that I am sure.
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