THEY say that if you pay attention, your children will teach you as much or more than you can possibly teach them. I was reminded of this last night while watching various acceptance speeches during the Oscar’s…One gentleman, fighting back tears, thanked his wife and infant daughter…”who will surely teach me more than I could ever possibility teach her.”

My children are grown. They are living independent lives of their own creation. Naturally as a parent, I had ideas of just exactly what their lives should look like. While I am anything but disappointed, their lives have turned out differently than I imagined. I realize more and more  that one of the most sacred lessons my children have taught me is to let go: let go of expectations, plans…shoulds, coulds and so many many “have too’s”.  My children have taught me that perfectionism isn’t a measure of happiness or success. They have taught me to care as much about my own needs as the needs of others. They have taught me that the stress and anxiety manifested through out my internal being isn’t a desirable trait or a cherished outcome by those I care about most. They have taught me that perfect for them doesn’t have me a wild wreck trying to get every last detail in order. They have convinced me that my stress, no matter what wonderful thing is the  justification, is never a gift for them. They would rather have a relaxed me, than a perfect scenario.

LETTING GO OF OUR ADULT CHILDREN

BY ARLENE HARDER, MA, MFT

A Perfectionist Mother Trying to Do Things Right:

“When I began motherhood, I was fairly liberal politically but fairly rigid in how I viewed my role as parent. This was partly the result of my temperament and partly the consequence of a childhood in which there were many “shoulds,” “oughts,” “rights,” and “wrongs.” Although I didn’t insist on spotless floors and neatly made beds, being a perfectionist permeated many facets of my parenting.

As a child I never questioned whether I was being asked to be perfect; my siblings were also perfectionists in one way or another. Our parents’ high standards left little room to question the reasons for their rules and values – an attitude typical for that generation. When a child was told to jump, she was expected to say, “How high?” and not, “Why?”

As a recovering perfectionist I can see why perfectionism is a common feature of the human character. After all, perfectionists give the best they have to offer. You can generally count on them to do what they say they’ll do, even if it means giving up their own needs to be sure you’re satisfied. On the other hand, I now realize that the standards of perfectionists are usually those others consider “right,” not necessarily those the perfectionist herself would choose – if she could freely follow the dictates of her own heart.”

While raising our most cherished sons and daughters, we teach them to follow their hearts. One of life’s greatest lessons we as their parents/role models/advocates need to learn, is to follow our own…

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A Tender Heart…

February 24, 2011

There are  COMMON THREADS that connect us as human beings. We often can’t see them or find them, UNTIL we are willing to expose our own.

Being vulnerable can be terrifying. We’ve all presented our vulnerable selves at one time or another and been met with judgment and ridicule. Next time we considered being vulnerable we paused a bit, predicted the outcome. Then maybe chose to withhold…protecting ourselves and sheltering our tenderness.

The ability to be vulnerable again often comes from having held on to too much pain …simply no more room. Or, “we’re mad as hell and we aren’t gonna take it any longer.” Or, the knowledge that we are part of a mighty whole and that sharing our soft spots might help someone else to exercise their strengths.

Today I am so moved by a dear friend who did just that. She used her own unfathomable grief to shed light on the darkness that so many carry. Her vulnerability allowed others to know that they are not alone, that their pain and loss matter. By telling her story she brought gentleness and celebration where there can often be secrets and denial.

A common thread thoughtfully exposed connects us as human beings, therefore connecting us to our own humanity.

YOU MIGHT WANT TO SIT DOWN FOR THIS ONE

http://hollyedexter.blogspot.com

the simple magic of insignificant details

http://blog..com/

THE BEE.

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry

Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.

His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
Of clovers and of noon!

by Emily Dickenson

The Elk Ate My Ivy

March 25, 2010

It was a full moon…so much moon light that night looked like day.

We were watching some horror(ish)  thing on t.v. , so my skin was crawling a bit anyway. Out of the corner of my eye, just beyond the window, I saw movement. Holy Creepers! First reaction to fear?…punch the husband. He hadn’t noticed, but agreed to take a look.

There were at least 100! The size of horses on steroids. They moved out from  the shadows of the pine forest towards the house; like The Bloods  moving in on The Crips.  Step by step, without a sound, they surrounded the house. LITERALLY.

We turned off all the lights to get a better view…eventually daring to open a window so we could  listen to the power of the masses destroying our yard, garden, hedges of ivy…the occasional slurp from the pond. Massive beasts daring to dine on the hours and  hours of our gardening labor.

IT WAS MORE THAN WORTH IT…I can’t begin to tell you the power that these animals have. They stayed for several hours, munching their way through acres of new spring growth. This morning, it looks like a thousand tiny bombs went off in the yard. Not a green sprig in sight.  The hub and I decided that it was like a free pruning service and that everything will probably come back bigger and stronger…thanks in addition to all that free fertilizer they left behind.

They came, they ate, they pooped!…Kind of like a family Thanksgiving.

The moral of the story? Sometimes the things we cultivate serve a  completely different purpose than what we intended. Let go and look for the gift.

The Un-Loving of you

February 7, 2010

The Un-Loving of You

by Kate Van Raden

I’m letting you go,
I’m giving you back,
Each bit of your self that I’ve kept…
I returned those eye brows,
and a few of your teeth,
I packed them and hummed as I wept…
I shipped off your thighs in a box with some fingers,
the larger ones only, for now…
When you asked for your shoulders
I blinked back a frown,
But I let you take them,
And some lashes I’d found.
Now, the chuckle was harder,
I was still using that
And without your soft hair,
I just can’t hang my hat
But I do understand that you need these things back
So I try to be gracious, although it’s an act.
The hard part is coming
And I know I’ll feel lost
with no way to smell,
Or to taste, or to talk…
See, I cherish your lips
still so familiar,
and your eyes that melt chocolate for me…
There’s a crook in your nose
that it’s not yours without,
and I’m starting to feel a bit empty…
At last to my treasures
high on a shelf…
to your voice and your skin and your hands,
I hoped I could keep these forever,
but your starting to list your demands…
I can’t bear to imagine the woman who gets these,
I break down each time at the thought.
They’ve been mine for so long,
I just couldn’t tell you
how I’ll go on when they’re not…
Almost nothing is left here
You’ve taken it all
so we’ve parted, I get it, I’ll go…
but I wonder if I could compel you
the compassion to leave me a toe…?
By: Kate Van Raden
http://katevanraden.wordpress.com/