Lately I have recognized a bad habit of feeling sorry for myself when my husband or children do not recognize the hard work I put forth 24/7 which results in a lack of gratitude toward and agreement with Poor Little Me. It was my husband who was brave enough to say, in the heat of the moment, “I don’t know where it is that you go in your mind, but it always gets us into this argument.”
No longer being newlyweds and knowing that his words are rarely meant to be hurtful, I had to back down and take inventory. Sure enough, I go to this place of feeling sorry for myself when things are not going my way, the children are, well, acting like children, and my husband is not as supportive as I think he ought to be or in the ways I think he ought to be. Yikes! This describes someone that I would prefer not to be.
The beautiful thing is that I am not the Center of Truth, and with His help I can change who I am each moment of each day through the will power gifted by God. That empty space that grows in my chest that longs for filling really has only one Puzzle Piece that can fit. I just forget that and try to get quick fixes through my amazing husband and incredible children’s “Yes Mama, you are THE best!!” “Yes, we can’t wait to do exactly what you say, exactly how you say, and with attitudes that please you.”
With this recognition came the need to figure out how to change this habit. Habits can’t simply be stopped, dropped, or given up. They can only be replaced with another habit. AA works not because you stop drinking but because you shift from diving into your own sorrows with a bottle, into helping others with their sorrows and diving into a Higher Power (used to be called God, but that went out the window when PC flew in). Note: I am not an alcoholic….just in case you were wondering. grin.
Being open to change left me Open to hear His voice which has been whispering through many friends, family, books, conversations of all that is in my life that is not usual. All that allows me to serve deeply, love longer, live richly. Substitute- Thankfulness! Now when I begin to feel sorry for myself after working so diligently toward perfection only to find that my husband and/or children are not playing by the unspoken rules I set, I stop and begin to consider the many blessings that are laid in my lap as gift each day:
- Making promises to God to love, serve, honor, care for my better half and sticking to those promises, only to find that the hard times were the tilling of the soil for the sprouting of wonderful times.
- Staying at home to raise and teach our children in the way we believe will best serve their future selves.
- Having to skimp and save in order to make ends meet, realizing that the savings brought to our financial table was marked and allowed us to live on a single income, focus on family, find joy in living simply, find answers to specific and general prayers prayers (cloth diaper covers, size 4 underwear, girls winter clothing, healthier food), and then to be blessed during the recession.
- Bumbling into a home school leadership role that felt way beyond my abilities which has led me to all of you wondrous homeschooling families.
- Having a mother who forced the love of literature to discover that books take me beyond my small minded world.
- Having a father who specialized in PTSD while not in our lives as children but who brought me to wholeness (along with my other Father) as an adult.
- Children who force me to consider the importance of relationship over being right.
- Friends who challenge me to be the best version of myself. (love that Matthew Kelly!)
- Writer’s Circle and Lost Tools of Living camps that keep ideas fresh and teaching/learning exciting.
- My Better Half whose steady double type B anchors me, brings balance to our family, and sometimes painfully brings me to awareness of the side of myself that I would prefer to pretend did not exist.