Saturday, August 26, 2006

It Doesn't Have to Feel This Way Forever

For so many things, we may feel as if what we feel now is what we will feel forever. We may believe that we can never be happy, never have anything go right in our lives. That’s the most common fear if we were ever abused.


Case in point: Parenthood. If you were abused as a child, odds are you are afraid you will not be a “good enough” parent. I had that fear. And for a very long time, I distanced myself to some degree from my children for fear I would “taint” them with my own fears and self-doubts and anxieties. Even as I let go of my fears and self-doubts, I continued to worry about being a good enough mother. It didn’t help that I went through some rough patches with my kids.

Don’t get me wrong—they’re good kids. But it wasn’t always easy and I had to learn to ask for respect from my children. I had to learn not to accept abuse from them.

And there was a time I felt as if I’d failed them and would never be able to make it right.

The good news? My kids are fine. Well, okay, one has an attitude but there are signs that may be improving a bit. The other...the other is a shining star in her work and she’s growing closer and closer to me as I trust myself to know what to say to her and she trusts me to be a support and sees me with new respect for who I am and what I can do.

One of my daughter’s endearing qualities is that she doesn’t realize how extraordinary she is. This week she got some indication of how others see her. And it was a reminder to me that others may see me with very different eyes than I see myself.

I look at her and I can see how her perceptions of herself affect the possibilities that open for her. Had she been afraid to take one particular step, she never would have had the wonderful experiences she’s been having this past week. And it reminds me that we can each, all too easily, cut ourselves off from wonderful possibilities as well.

As she turns to me for advice in areas that are my expertise and I see how well that advice works for her, it helps me recognize the value of what I have to offer. And it brings the two of us closer as talk about things we could never talk about before.

We can’t control what will happen to us in life. But if we are only able to see the negative possibilities, those are the doors we will open. If we are able to take that leap of faith and believe that things can be different and better and that we are deserving of good things in our lives, then we will see and open doors and take steps that bring those good things into our lives.

When we stop clinging to the darkness, we find the light. When we let go of the familiar anchors to which we are clinging, we may discover we can fly. When we let go of past anger and hurt and fears, we can discover laughter and love and a whole new world of possibilities.

If we make mistakes, so what? This is how we learn. This is how we grow. This is how we move forward in our lives.

What will YOU let go of today? What good possibilities will you welcome into your life?

Sending safe and gentle ((((((hugs)))))),

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