Thursday, July 7, 2011

How to be scared with dignity.

The short answer is to blog about it. (although I'm not sure it's all that dignified)

Today I have encountered several things that have made me stop and think. To think hard about hard things. One of those things was an article about pie crust, which is something I struggle with.

The other things were different. The first today was a blog post. I closed it though, and for the life of me I can't find it now. It was from the blog of Patty Digh and it was a challenge of sorts. To determine what you are scared of and write about it(I just found it!). Or at least that's how I understood it. And I thought to myself. I'm not scared. What on Earth scares me?

Then I saw this TED Talks.

You should watch it. If not now, soon.
I watched it while I was nursing my less than little T.W. and I managed to take some notes it was that good.
She talks about vulnerability. And worthiness. And wholeheartedness. And good things. But hard things.

And I realized, that I do have insecurities. Just like everyone. That's what Patty was talking about. She was trying to tell me to be vulnerable, and to be ok with it.

But it's not just being vulnerable that it important. It is to believe that being vulnerable is OK. And then I started thinking about the things that make me not believe that. The things that make me vulnerable and not OK with it. And how to make myself OK with it.

Brene Brown suggests several things in her talk (if you watched it you are like a pro already, I'm sure):

Be Seen.
Love with your whole Heart.
Practice Gratitude and Joy especially when you are vulnerable.
Believe you are Enough.

And then I realized it. That my insecurities, the things I'm ashamed of, stem from not doing those things. They are so simple, but they are so easy to not to.

The first thing I realized when I started thinking about the hard questions was this: I'm horrible about judging people who don't live the way I do. (there I said it.) Particularly if people are parenting differently than I think people should parent. What? who am I to say how anyone should parent? I know in my head that everyone's circumstances are different, but my heart still gets all fired up when I see someone sugaring up their kids. Why in the heck do I have issues with the way people parent???

That's as far as that conversation with myself usually gets. Tonight, I was thinking about hard things though. And then I learned. I learned that the reason I judge others is because I fear their judgements. The reason I try to be a good parent is because I fear what people will think of me if they see me sugaring up my kids, or if they see me loose my patience with them, or if they see me screw it up. I am scared of being a bad mom. So I fixate on it. I know what my ideal mom-self is, and if I'm not it, and worse, if others aren't it, then I start judging. Not because I think they are trying to be bad parents, but because I am so stinkin' worked up about being a good parent I forgot to just be a good person.

To love with my whole Heart. To trust that they are trying to be good parents too.
To believe that I am Enough. To believe that we are all enough.
To be seen. To not only be ok with it if I'm not my ideal mom-self all the time, but to be ok with it if people see it when I'm not my ideal mom-self.
To practice Gratitude and Joy especially when I am vulnerable. To practice Gratitude and Joy period is a good place to start. But specifically I need to be grateful for all the good, but not ideal parents that raise good but not ideal people in this world. Non of us are ideal, but we are all enough, and we are all we have. Good people still come from less than ideal parents and for that I am grateful.

We all have insecurities, and shortcomings, and  billions of tiny things that get in the way of us being our ideal self. But as we take time to think hard about hard things, we can learn how to grow. We can learn what we need to change. Even if it is just to let ourselves be seen. To be seen being vulnerable. And to recognize that it is also beautiful. We are enough. And for that alone we can be glad. We can be grateful and joyful and happy with our imperfect lives.

And now I'm off to work on my pie crust.

*Other things that triggered this post include, but are not limited to:

"if you are not prepared to be wrong you'll never come up with anything original" from Sir Ken Robinson, TEDTalks "Do schools kill creativity?

A recent discussion on Facebook regarding public schooling, and my experience with ADD

Another recent discussion on Facebook in which the issues behind words like "should" and "strive" were addressed (i.e. I should be a good parent, implies that I'm not currently a good parent, thus inviting unwelcome guilt.)

"It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"

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