Posts Tagged ‘ego’

Embracing The Bad Days

June 26, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One heck of a day I am having, beginning with powerful emotions surging from a very rough weekend of spouse in a strange mood-itis.  I’m so sensitive that it always hits me hard and takes me a while to recover, and he seems to react to my moods the same way, so we ride  nice big waves around here.  Some days I just chalk the whole mess up to our passionate Italian heritage.  Other days, I realize we are far more alike and sensitive than I had ever imagined.

It started with going to bed too late, which always sets me up for mood swings.  Then there was the fact that it was the first day of his huge successfulness in a brand new arena of career wins and the gifts and basking therein, and suddenly not only was I tired and emotionally worn, but I was hit head on with loss.  My choices, my sacrifices, my stubborn insistence on putting my child first before myself, and the endless windows of opportunities lost were all slamming me in the head.

Top that with reading a metaphysical book written by a woman who looked more like a man from a Victorian generation, about ego and serving others, with every reference to God in the masculine and suddenly I was having an internal war between my empowered, pissed off inner goddess and my good little conservative baptist inner child.  I set myself up with staring at my own failure at everything and wondering whether this spiritual path I had chosen was a big mistake.  Yup, I was a big, fat, lazy, inept, ungrateful failure.  Even this blog I was so excited about sucked.  My writing sucked.  I had no friends.  I felt fat, ugly, old, and opposite of fabulous.

While retching up my existential misery in successive Facebook status updates, I was making tortellini for my son and burned my arm on the pan.  Great.  I may as well just ensure my misery today and eat sugar and fat, too.  So I did.  Apparently, I like to go down with a big, hideous splat and then ricochet with a dramatic comeback.  Did I mention there was thunder and lightening and a brief power outage as well?

I have surrendered fully to this misery inasmuch as I know how.  Today, there is nowhere to go that is of any interest to me.   I want to hide my fat body in my too small for me apartment.  I’m in my own way and have no idea how to get out of it.  I’m so pissed that I don’t even care.  Every solution has a problem with it, why it won’t work, and a price that’s more than I want to pay.  Even no solution has a price, but right now it’s where I am and it still costs less than the calculations I’ve done on my standby fantasy of running away.  Nowhere with no solution.

I imagine you have a load of advice for me, and so do a ton of other people, and it’s all varied, some excellent, some peppered with spiritual cliche, and some empathetic, some not.  The problem is that none of it will help.  Did you know that it actually makes it worse?  The hardest thing for most people to do is to simply hold space and witness someone else’s brilliant process.  The best place for me to be is where I am, miserable, burned, regretful, frustrated, angry, jealous, grieving, and afraid.  I’ve learned it’s a good place to be and that the very best thing I can do is to love exactly where I am because the fertilizer down here is the richest thing happening.

Each individual has unfathomable wisdom and resource inside, and our egos don’t like to admit that someone may know what’s good for themselves better than we do, and we certainly don’t like to see the messiness that reminds us of our own “failing”.  When I rise, you can be certain I’ll be carrying some diamonds of wisdom, and that the simmering desires I’ve been sitting on will explode into a firework of new creations.

Motherly Advice: A New Child-Rearing Manual

June 19, 2012

I’ve heard it and I’m over it.  I’ve heard every old belief, every story, and every ‘rule’ about child rearing possible and most of them don’t apply to my child.  Is it possible that they don’t apply to anyone other than the ego of the person that is touting the advice?  It may be.

When I had my son I was open to all manner of advice, and unfortunately I tried it all, but to no avail whatsoever.  You see, my son was unique in that he was born as himself, infinitely individual, unlike any other model ever made and only similar in that he was one of a species called human.  No two are the same.  Let’s start there, shall we?  A rational, totally left brained approach would have us believe that if it works for one, it works for all.

What are the things they tell you to do with babies?  Put them in a crib to sleep, they say, and swaddle them, let them scream it out.  You should take them for a ride in a car to get them to nap, but don’t ever let them sleep in your bed because they will never, ever fall asleep again by themselves for the rest of their natural lives.  Yes, someone said that to me.  There are plenty more where those came from, but I don’t feel like digging into that slime pit at the moment.

Our child would only sleep with me or my husband, screamed louder if we swaddled him, screamed as if on fire at the sight of a car, and made our ears bleed with the decibels inside a car from the sheer terror of the movement.  I have a memory regretfully branded into my brain of when I tried putting him in a crib.  He screamed at naptime daily until he vomited and shit himself for three days straight, and then was wary of me, his own mother, for two weeks afterwards.  (I was following the directions in the book which told me not to rescue him under any circumstances, while I sobbed silently outside the door, curled up in a ball on the floor.)  Both of us sweating and shaking, I finally came to my senses and realized cribs were not for us.

You see, he was too smart for Dr. Ferber who invented “ferberizing”, but I didn’t know this yet.  I allowed Dr. Ferber to alienate me from my own infant.  I just read last week that the other famous doctor whose advice I tried to follow like a good mommy, Dr. Sears, left a tidbit of crucially important information out of his books and has recently added the information.  Thank you, Dr. Sears, we are still suffering the repercussions of your neglect, 12 years later.

Do I carry a little bit of self righteousness about this topic?  You bet I do.  I feel that I have run alongside the best of them, and any one of us who’s had a child who doesn’t fit into the regular mold (as if there is one) and has been patronized, ridiculed, judged, advised, and bullied until she builds an armor like that of a Roman soldier,  I have earned stripes so deep that I’m loathe to explain anything to anyone anymore.

One thing I will tell you is that I have some wisdom to share.  My wisdom doesn’t include telling you what to do with your baby, or how to be a good mother.  My wisdom doesn’t give you some pat answer that’s going to fix everything.  My wisdom is about trusting your own wisdom, because every single mother is a unique being and every child is a new creation.  There’s never been one like her and never will be again.  You do get a manual, but you have to listen in the quiet for the information.  You have to listen to your heart and your gut, and you have to be able to withstand the onslaught of everyone else’s opinions and then not waver in your truth.

If I’ve come away with anything from the gift of motherhood, it’s the realization that I have to trust myself above all others, and that I have my beautiful, bright, highly intelligent, uniquely perfect son to thank for it, not Dr. Know It All.


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