I have written the beginnings of about a dozen posts in the past several months, but can't seem to finish any. My outer life is going fairly smoothly at the moment (knock on wood) and my inner life has been focused on love, shame, god, and other such things I can't figure out how to write about without sounding cliche.
I feel myself changing. Or maybe it's just becoming clearer to me what needs to change.
Today I read the Sunday paper and a Parade Magazine interview with Michael J Fox. He says of his Parkinson's "Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it."
My greatest trial of the moment is my daughter's mental health, but the truth is it is not THAT bad. She's a beautiful girl with a giant heart, and with medication her rages and mood swings only interfere with our lives a few times a month.
For whatever reason-- childhood traumas, etc., I am just not that good at handling it. Her rages leave me feeling so shaken and powerless, that I become incapaciated for days afterward. By the time I am recovered, another rage is often looming on the horizon.
Other people in a similar situation might not be as shaken, but then it's not good to compare ourselves to others, is it? The challenge is to admit our shortcomings, and then.........here comes the corny and cliche part I can't say any other way.........
choose love. Love myself and my shortcomings. Love my child and her rages. Despite my fearful, shaky powerless feelings in the face of rage -- choose the most loving response.
Literally say to my child, "I love you even when you attack me. I love you no matter what."
Choose love again and again and again.
But sometimes don't. Because I am human and flawed and sometimes yell back at her, and sometimes leave the house and sometimes can't cope.
And that's okay because sometimes I can.
I have been flexing the love muscle more and more. Not just with my child but with others too. And I have been working on not feeling ashamed when I can't muster love, but also not using this humanness as an excuse to let fear and anger grab the reigns.
Mr. Fox's statement is a reminder that there is a way through my current trials -- and my only hope is to make it through the most loving way possible.
I am lucky.
The Universe (God, Spirit, the Creator, Mystery, whatever) has guided me into a situation where I can face my childhood demons -- being raged at and (sometimes) passionately hated in my own home-- and diminish the power of those fears by becoming more myself, more the person I was meant to be, that we are all meant to be: peaceful and loving.
This would not work if it was a spouse, for example, who was raging at me, because to stay in an abusive situation with someone who had equal or greater power than me would be to allow my soul to be crushed. It would not be a self-loving thing to do.
Rather, the Universe sent me a child, a loving child who has the capacity to trigger my fear and anger response, so that I could practice not giving in to fear and choosing love instead.
Without my child I would be a much lesser person. Hopefully this positive effect is mutual.
These are the things I've been thinking about while not blogging-- how to shine the light on the parts of myself I am ashamed of and how to keep growing into the person I want to be.