A few weeks ago, between the seven of us, we had been fighting a nasty cold virus that, "feels like the flu" (thanks for nuttin' doc), strep throat, and pink eye..all within two weeks. As you know, when someone is sick, mom gets no sleep, even if she is sick too! I was exhausted, in all senses of the word!!! My youngest has sleep issues. She woke up screaming, not responding to anything my husband and I tried, presumably another night terror. I was lost. I sat on the couch downstairs~bawling my eyes out! I couldn't control my emotions...or the negative thoughts creeping in. Her crying was grating, like nails on a chalkboard. I was shrinking, shriveling, clawing my way to the bottom!
When these times come, I fail, big time! Those moments make me want to scream, and sometimes I do, uncontrollably, and usually at the expense of another's feelings. Those moments make me wish I had taken a different route in life, the career, the dreams, all that I had planned for myself before Cory came along. Those moments make me hate myself as a mother, or my lack or natural mothering skills. Those moments make me cry, without end, big, ugly, loud tears!
Then, slowly, I had begun to imagine a conversation with a friend. She is me. She is screaming, wishing, hating, crying. Do I consider her a failure? Never! I would hug her and tell her it's okay. All the crying, hating, wishing, screaming~it is okay! She is not a failure! I would tell her that we all have "bad mommy" moments and it's okay. Because she is not perfect and she is not expected to be! Let it out! Scream, wish, hate, cry. Then get back up and move forward! She is not a failure. Neither am I!
I would never judge another for those reactions or emotions in those moments? Why would I judge myself? There's always talk of "judge not, lest ye be not judged." Honestly, that's not something I struggle with. I'm okay giving others the benefit of the doubt. The shoulder to cry on. The voice of reason. The second, third, tenth chance-giver. (often to a fault so my husband says). Does that make me perfect? Not even close! Why? Because I am ten times harder on myself! Things that would make me feel sympathy to another, cause me much grief in myself, wanting to, knowing I need to be better. I am way harder on myself than I would ever even contemplate being on another!
“The willingness to forgive is a sign of spiritual and emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either -- or both -- when needed?” ~President Hinckley
Imagine a world where we love and forgive ourselves as we love and forgive others. Imagine the peace and the strength that would surround your heart, your home if you forgave yourself for your downfalls, for your weaknesses, for your mistakes. It takes maturity to forgive others. It takes even more maturity to recognize your weaknesses and forgive yourself. Imagine the possibilities of forgiving myself!
One of my absolute favorite quotes, one I have adopted as the perfect philosophy for motherhood, parenthood, is also by President Hinckley and I think of it each day. "You have not failed until you quit trying.” Don't quit trying! I won't! You will fall. I will fall. Falling is not failing! Staying down, staying low is failing. I will get up, dust my hands off, at times even go forward with cuts, bruises, and scrapes, but I will go forward. Let's keep trying! You are not a failure! Neither am I!
Have a happy day~Kasey