We had a rough car ride to school this morning. My daughter chose not to eat breakfast since I wanted to limit the number of Girl Scout cookies she could have for breakfast. Mind you there is oatmeal packets, cinnamon rolls, pop tarts, cereal, frozen chocolate chip waffles, eggs, tortillas for quesadillas, cheese sticks, peanut butter & toast. I am listing everything off to ease my mom guilt for letting her go to school on an empty stomach. About 10 minutes into the car ride she asks if I can take her to Starbucks. As we had this conversation at home earlier, I reminded her the answer was "no". She then proceeded in a very sweet & weak voice to let me know in advance she was very sorry if she barfed all over my car. I told her I felt very bad for her in a similar sweet & weak voice. These morning power struggles always make me weary and are so difficult for me to shake off. Today was no exception. I did not make eye contact in the mirror, nor did I initiate any further conversation so it wouldn't escalate into a pissing contest. Massive guilt swarmed me. I try to make my kids happy. However, some days it becomes very clear that I am reaping what I have sown. Catering to their needs and whims is tiring.
We made it to school and while she had to take extra time and effort to get her physical body and school supplies out of the car, she was able to find the strength to get out of the car. She also waved at me twice before entering school. I exhaled. The day stood a chance at being ok. As I was pulling out to head down to work, a song popped into my head. Totally weird and random, but completely normal for me and my angels, now that I listen for them.
My family and my faith were mocked by my husband for our entire marriage, 16 years. This was done openly in front of my children. He doesn't believe, he is a man of science. That is how his children would be raised. He didn't want me to teach our children about God, but I did.
Slowly & quietly along side of Greek fables, children's stories about the Buddha and other classic literature.
Because my ex was absent four to five days a week, I was able to help my son through his Protestant Merit Badge in Cub Scouts without protest. It brought me so much happiness to teach my son about God and share with him the stories of how to be a good person. My son loves reading and loved the bible studies in the workbook. For a while he even borrowed my bible for a time to read on his own. I didn't present it as anything other than a historical collection of stories.
It is fascinating to learn about learned hate and prejudice. Children don't come in to this world with hate and prejudice in their hearts, this is a learned skill, passed down by parents and trusted adults.
For most of the past 3 years of divorce, my son has also opening mocked people of faith. It was hard to hear and hurt my heart to hear him parrot so much of his father's belief's. While I don't feel organized religion is right for me, I want my children to understand there are bad people in walks of life and faiths. Bad people do bad things in the name of religion, they always have.
My daughter has more of her own mind in this area. I believe she has a very strong connection with spirit. She is very receptive to prayer and community.
I have tried to show my faith, more than speak of it for the past two years. I have a strong community of women who share their families with mine. I try to make sure they see us caring for our friends and neighbors in their times of need and lending our prayers and good thoughts to them too. I make them aware of the tribe of people who have taken time out of their busy lives to help us over the past few years as I have struggled to make ends meet. I try to let them know daily how blessed I feel and specifically why. I want them to be able to find something, everyday to recognize as a blessing.
I want them to know about service as more than anything as I believe that service is where our lives come alive. Service provides us opportunities to find out passion and connect.
While I do not ask them to participate in my daily spiritual practice, both of them sit with me in the mornings throughout the week and watch me read, meditate, write and pray. They ask questions and enjoy the calm of the quiet time with me. On weekend, this time has the added benefit of snuggle time too!
While it is understood in my divorce process, that I cannot, on my own start taking the children to church or force religion upon them. I can allow them to see me and my practice everyday I have them. Initially this restriction pissed me off, but then I realized the blessing in showing through my daily life, how these tools help me cope and flex and stand strong in the face of the harshest of tornado's. Every day I have something thrown at me that I am not prepared for. New bills, unexpected bills, regular old bills, school items needed, scout items needed, a quick one, two punch comment from their dad or from my kids in their dad's voice.
While my daily practice is ever changing due to my stress level, it has been a constant in my life since January. I just couldn't take one more day of stress. Stress and illness took me back down to my knees.
This year one of the many struggles I have had to focus on is surrender.
This is way harder than people make it seem. Every day I have to remember to surrender my wants, fears, desires and needs. They are too heavy for me to lug around with all that I have to accomplish each day. I have asked and am daily doing the work that keeps me moving forward.
I know I will receive all that I want because I am actively pursuing my passion.
God can only do for you what God can do through you. Iyanla Vanzat Peace from Broken Pieces page 102