And its not that my life is better BECAUSE of Jeff. Its because I was ready that I am able to love Jeff so much, and accept how much Jeff loves me. He does bring a sense of stability to my life that I haven't had in a long, long, long time. Like a storm at sea has calmed. Like an anchor to keep me from getting tossed around. Like a navigation system. I'm so grateful for what life feels like these days. LOVE
But what I wanted to blog about is YOU.
How are the ways you judge yourself as wrong? as a failure? as not having met some invisible standard of acceptable whatever...
Do you realize that this starts when we are infants? More so now than ever before I think. But when you have a baby, suddenly from the moment they are born there is a measurement system for how healthy they are, the level of pinkness, the level of responsiveness. Yes those things are medical meausrements to make sure the baby is OK. But I swear to you on my hair, I have heard mothers trading APGAR scores of their infants as though it was a competition. Same is true of birth stories. I love my birth stories and I love to tell them (Mandy's is especially interesting) but its not because I think I'm going to win some medal for having given birth naturally...without a single tylenol :)
Then there are milestones. The baby is "SUPPOSED" to do a thing by a certain age. The pile of SUPPOSED TOs and SHOULDs pile up massively and quickly in the first MONTHS of life. And continue forever. Expected behaviors...and I don't mean that its OK for a kid to go around biting other kids because on some level that child is just following his souls desire to be a biter. There are certain expectations in place because it keeps us all safe. And then there are boundaries that we have been TOLD keep us safe when really they just keep us confined and limited.
how do you define success? I would be willing to bet you that you have markers in your life by which you measure your success or worthiness.
the size of your home
do you own or rent
your appearance in general - how old do you look
your kids' performances in school and sports etc
your title at work
your status in society
what kind of wine you drink
how you buy your coffee
how healthy or unhealthy you believe you are
how your spouse treats you
how others view your spouse
your spouse's weight, status, income etc.
how often you work out or don't work out
how big or expensive your jewelry is
the size of your boobs or your butt
how much sex you are or are not having
how many kids you have or don't have
how many friends you have (on facebook?)
the list goes on and on and on. Do you define yourself by these things?
Today I would ask that you attempt to change your point of view just a little bit. Think of the ways you describe yourself (and your KIDS!) and FLIP IT.
"I'm a procrastinator" - I like to take my time and be thoughtful about my actions
"He's a dreamer" -He naturally sees what is possible in life
"she's bossy" - she is a natural leader
"I'm messy" - I'm comfortable in my home and with my friends
the same is true of other defining limitations. Fat, thin, rich, poor. Your body is PERFECT. You are PERFECT. You are where you should be. You have not failed! You have discovered that THIS road doesn't go where you THOUGHT it would, but that doesn't mean you can't get to where you want to be.
Your car navigation system doesn't judge you when you veer off its direction. It says "please return to the highlighted route. please return to the highlighted route. please return to the highlighted route." It doesn't judge you and yell at you and say "I'm not going to tell you how to get there now because you never listen to me". It says, after a period of time when its clear you are not returning to the highlighted route, "recalculating route". Such is life. There is more than one way to get to where you are going.
There is more than one way to appear
There is more than one way to be happy
There is more than one way to be fit
There is more than one way to view God
There is more than one way to live life
There is more than one way to parent
There is more than one way to show love
There is more than one way to make a living
There is more than one way to BE YOU. And however, and whoever you are right now as you read this...is perfect. There are no mistakes. There are only experiences.
So stop judging yourself and everyone around you. Be at peace in the moment with yourself...and you will find that you have much less space in your life for judgement of anyone else.
Stop living your life by someone else's standards and measures. You are perfect. Your kid is perfect. Your life fits you perfectly right this second. When you find you want to change it...you can do that. RECALCULATING ROUTE.
I love this poem and refer to it often (click on it to zoom/read):