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Posts Tagged ‘example’

Somehow I always thought I’d be a mother of sons. I was a bit of a tomboy for much of my life and also relate to the directness of men. When I was younger, I usually had male friends and I didn’t always get along with women.

And here I am, raising daughters.

I’m learning over the years more about women- and about being a woman among women. I learned that I held myself apart because I considered most women adversaries. I learned that much of life/society is constructed in a way to inspire me to challenge other women, rather than support them. I also figured out that men were easier to manipulate and women called me on my $h*% which I didn’t like very much back then. But I’m starting to see how supportive that really is.

And now, I’m learning to see the world in a new way, as I consider my old ideas to decide if they are worthy of my daughters.

My girls like to dress up like princesses. How does a mother battle against the tired cliche of “damsel rescued by prince”? Very carefully, I’m learning. Because they “know” the story already. I can only add that I’m sure Cinderella might have done just fine if she had seen how talented she was and applied for a job somewhere. I can introduce new stories where brave girls take brave action.

And maybe more important that the entertainment they view (which is purposely limited), is listening to how they see their world. I encourage them to talk freely about what they are experiencing, even if they are mad at me or their dad. I want them to be comfortable voicing the truth, their truth, and comfortable accepting their strength as individuals within our family group.

I want them to learn to trust what is inside (passions, intuition, intelligence, self-esteem) as more significant and important than what is presented from the outside. And so I need to take this lesson to heart. I spend my quiet time remembering the truth of who I am, who I want to be, and bringing all aspects of myself together in the best way I can. I am teaching my girls to love and accept themselves by honoring who I am in each moment.

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As part of my attempt to parent consciously, I try to remember that my example is essential. I also remember that to be a good example, I have to make mistakes (in front of my kids) and I can must be accepting of myself as an imperfect human being, even when I don’t feel good.

This is one of those days. I admit it out loud, as much as I don’t really want to. Because really, I like feeling good. I like that I’ve grown into a secure and confident woman. And I do a lot of things on a regular basis that keep my spirits up, and keep me feeling peaceful and happy. And today it doesn’t seem to matter about those things. Today, I’m still mixed up about Friday.

I was at the playground Friday with my little one. There was a strange man there when we arrived. K and I got to work, drying off the slides, hoping a few friends would arrive soon (which thankfully one did). While we were playing with our friends, and I wasn’t paying attention, the man grabbed me from behind. My friend yelled at him and I shook him off and he left the park. I called the police and they found him.

But I’m left feeling all kinds of mixed emotions- angry, fearful, and more. I keep thinking what it might have looked like if our friends had not come to meet us. We didn’t know when we set out if anyone was coming and it’s not unusual for us to play alone some days.

I was reminded last night that I focus a lot of energy toward compassion and tolerance for others, and I sometimes forget to display these qualities toward myself. I forget to be considerate and kind to myself, in my thoughts and actions. Where is my compassion for myself, as I beat myself up over giving a stranger the benefit of the doubt and not predicting the future?

How do I teach my children to be safe and secure when I’m not feeling secure today? I have talked to my older daughter about trusting her gut. She calls this “God in her body” because I tried to explain God gives her the intuition that lives within her. I explained that if something doesn’t feel right, she can trust herself to change course and do what she needs to do to feel safe. I have been very good at this in the past, but not on Friday.

Adding insult to injury, I’m feeding my insecurity by not talking about this with my friends. I don’t want to talk about it- I feel like it’s my fault. Plus, nothing really happened so why am I so freaked out anyway? Really, I know the truth of this. I know that what happened is enough to be freaked out about. But it’s not enough to get me comfortable talking about being vulnerable. I don’t want to be vulnerable today. I want to feel strong again.

So that’s why I’m writing. I haven’t been able to speak the whole truth more than a couple times. But I know there is strength in the truth. And there is nothing more spiritual (to me) than authenticity. Pretending doesn’t make me a better parent, friend, or anything else.

I am putting one foot in front of the other today, being an example of self-acceptance- a little bit at a time. Being an example, I remind myself- is not about perfection or doing things right. It’s about being honest, and hopefully kind. And even if my little ones are too young to understand it all, being an example is an ongoing process. Today’s lesson is an opportunity to be ready for the next lesson in acceptance, tolerance and love of myself.

And that’s the example I want to live.

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