Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pass the Mouthwash

I have a bad taste in my mouth. It doesn't have to do with the garlic I ate last night. It's not about me forgetting to brush my teeth. Somewhere between anger and fear I lost sight of how beneficial it is for me to be able to forgive. Initially you think you are doing that for the other person but really it's freeing to be able to forgive. Grudges suck the life out of you. They weigh you down and cloud your vision. They leave you spiritless and with lots of sharp edges. With a very sour taste in your mouth.

Finding it in yourself to let things go is the only true way to move on. Forgiveness is free and found in aisle 3 of your heart. Sandwiched between grace and kindness. These days not much is free and readily available. Not many things can remove the bitterness and replace it with peace.

People are not always who we wish they were. As much as we want to be able to change them it just doesn't work that way. Playing that kind of waiting game may last a lifetime.

Focus on my actions. That's what I have decided. I can control me and my ability to forgive. I can be kind and show compassion. By forgiving others it makes it easier to forgive ourselves. Self forgiveness is the ultimate in becoming your most authentic self. The real you. Authentic, compassionate and forgiving are three words I hope my kids use to describe me someday.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No Sugar Added.

I hate labels. They tell me how many calories I am shoving in my mouth. They inform me of how much sugar and fat I am consuming. They tell me I have to dry clean my favorite shirt. They itch my neck every time I put on that one special sweater. Labels annoy me.

They also predispose kids to be thought of in certain ways. I remember when I was 8 or 9 and I was labeled the shy one. Sure I cried a lot and turned red at the drop of a hat but instead of words of encouragement I got dismissed as being quiet and boring. That label shaped who I am now. It made it hard to step forward. It made me believe it myself. The label turned into a box. One that surrounds you with...you can't or ...you shouldn't or .... that's who you ARE. It backs you into a corner that is hard to escape from..those labels. You are a nerd or you are fat or you are dumb or you are gay. Kids are mean. Things spoken in a moment of anger or sometimes jealousy that can cause a lifetime of hurt. All words that set up roadblocks that are sometimes insurmountable
for children. As parents we can love our kids and tell them how great they are out the wazoo but the label is still there squarely on their forehead when they look in the mirror. We try to make our kids strong and self confident. To teach them to be rubber and let mean bullying bounce off. It's just words the other parents and the teachers like to believe.
It isn't like they punched them in the face or pushed them down. But they did. And many times they can't get back up.

Teach your children empathy. They could be on the other side at any moment and how would they want others to treat them? Discourage cliques. Not every person has to be your friend but you have to be friendly to everyone. That is my mantra . As hard as it is to remember when you are the target the ones shooting the darts have weaknesses too. Most of the time the only way they know how to make themselves feel stronger is to knock others
down. The long run of life doesn't look kindly on people who climb the ladder that way. By knocking other people out of the way. Eventually it all catches up to them and they are the ones who are left alone.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

If You Can't Hear Me Feel Free to Turn it UP.

Occasionally my kids take Lunchables to school and sometimes I even ((gasp)) let them have McDonalds. I let them order what they want from there. It is a treat. I do not make them get apples and milk. Who goes to Mcdonalds for apples and milk???

Some days we wear mismatched socks and jeans out of the dirty clothes hamper at our house...WE meaning the kids AND me.

There are crumbs and half melted crayons in my van. If you want a ride home you will embrace them or at least ignore them.

I love all three of my kids every day but some days I like one of my kids more than the others. Some days I like one a lot less then the other two. Some days I like the cats more than all three kids.

I enjoy watching HGTV all weekend long but I hate doing home improvement projects. I find it mesmerizing to watch others do them but I don't paint or sand or shellac.

I find people who enjoy discussing politics, religion and "alternative" eating refreshingly interesting and extremely knowledgeable. I find people who shove their views on these things down my throat ignorant and closed minded. Gray and neutral are my favorite colors.

I don't find it polite or endearing when people call me hon or dear or mam. It is like nails on a chalkboard. In fact I sometimes have to physically hold my tongue so I don't say something rude back.

I eat dessert every night. It is part of my meal. I let my kids eat dessert. They don't have to eat all their dinner to get it either.