Inspired (in part) by Africa ~ Toto
I woke with the word Gazelle on my mind, and I assure you that I am not going to try to sell you exercise equipment – I want that out in the open.
Today, I feel like a gazelle. I woke smiling, happy, and excited. (Good for you, I hear you say over your coffee, and I will cheers to you! I’m on my second…) I also saw kicking – my daughter slept in my bed last night. In addition to being the most beautiful girl in the world (biased, much), she enjoys stealing my blankets and assaulting me. Attachment parenting and sleepless nights, the blessed curse. Previously sleepless nights fire up rumination, negativity, and lots o’ shitty thinking on behalf of yours truly.
This is a result of me LITERALLY reminding myself that I am allowed to feel & be. Permission to be well, peaceful, and loved. It is not yet habit to feel emotion freely. My daughter has been having nightmares about mean people. My daughter sobbed when Trump was elected because, “He’s a bad man who is mean to my black friend”. My daughter is in first grade. On the day of the election, I promised her I will protect her from that mean man, and I’ve tried desperately figure out how. Anarchy? Revolution? A one-Mom militia? I am a single mom, seriously, how much can I offer to protect my daughter (my self defeating negative imagination lies to me!) Practically, connecting with spirituality for guidance seems…more…achievable?
Life with me is…interesting. To be my (insert relationship here), you must contend with boundless creativity and imagination. Sounds great, right? (Please imagine Christmas Vacation when you think of me, because seriously…)
For Valentine’s Day, I got stuff to make Rice Krispie treats & chocolate covered strawberries, I made cards, and I got everyone journals. This all sounds awesome, and I expected that it would be. Ah ah ah, mon frere. You now have over-sugared cantankerous children fighting viciously, triggering your emotions. It was TOO MUCH for a school night. Ahhh, expectation, you kick me in the ass again. My (small but mighty itchy) butt thanks you kindly.
Perspective and parenting are wonderful gifts. Initially, I got defeated, cranky, hurling f-bombs of frustration into the atmosphere, defeated and dejected “THEY HATE ME! THIS IS ALL MY FAULT! I SUCK AS A MOTHER!” Then, my daughter handed me a mandala, with a note saying she loved me. I shook my head and realized that I am the biggest butthead I know.
This is love. Love is. There is no finding love, there is no giving love, there is nothing but love. Chasing love leaves me out of breath (smoker’s lungs), lost, and confused. The kids got my intention, they enjoyed everything, even if the sugar transformed them into Mommy-stein’s Monsters. (and I would have gotten away with it, if not for you pesky kids…) We are love, because there is nothing else. Love is not romantic, love is hugging a screaming child as they attempt to punch you. Love is perpetual compassion and kindness.
Ah, but love can be poisoned, can it not? Yes, absolutely. Toxic, toxic, toxic. Can a parent create a toxic relationship with their children? Perish the absolutely possible thought. Yes, of course. When I started my journey of healing, it was “So my children do not cry my tears” Noble intent, bass-ackwards execution. If I put all of my hope, dreams, intent to change (expectation, too) then I project it all upon them. It’s as illogical as it is reality. Pain, poison, toxicity is a legacy we all can pass around. Especially parents to children, seeing as we are the very glasses they see their world through. I cannot wipe memories of my marriage or my mistakes, but I can be the example of unconditional love, which is, actually, nothing. To say “Love is __” is to make love a tangible object, like happiness. It is to place expectation, which cannot work. I can say I love you until I am blue in the face, but what am I doing? What am I teaching? What is my example?
I am blessed to have been abused, bullied, and generally felt like shit about myself. I am blessed to have harmed myself in every way imaginable – eating disorders, cutting, suicidality, and on. When their father (my ex) and I fought, and he punched me unconscious, I told everyone I knew that I was grateful for it – best day of my life. I was gawked at and regarded with disgust, but I have not changed my tune. It was the day I decided to change my life.
Pain creates the perspective of love, compassion, and kindness. This transcends the negative shit people LOVE to hurl at each other. My little lady came home in tears yesterday because some girl said something. As she curled on me, I gave comfort and advice. Is it odd to be grateful my kid got bullied? No, it’s not, because her pain is a lesson she needs, and a lesson I must teach. I cannot MAKE my kids or anyone happy, I must expect absolutely nothing for and from them, save kindness, compassion, and love – our very nature. To keep my promise to my daughter, however, I can be light in all of this darkness. I can’t change bullies, I can’t change anyone but….
Me. Loving myself, for without that, I am an itchy-assed hypocrite blowing a lot of smoke up their very small and wise asses. My past is gone, and I can change nothing, our future is limitless, and I expect nothing. My imagination and (finally connected with) unconditional love can take us to infinity and beyond.
Loving in fear, regret, and toxicity; however, renders the world nothing more than running on Tony Little’s gazelle as opposed to our nature. To modify James Hetfield (still sexy, RAWR!) “Kill ‘Em All” WITH KINDNESS! Let your smile be your sword, let words and deeds love unconditionally, with whatever you can. Some days, for me, it can simply be thanking the bus driver and the cashier at Wawa. Every day, it can be raising myself and three of the most amazing children in the world. Every day, I can write and be my best. What can your best be?
Kid’s current favorite song: