Love each moment

My little one is sick. She has a cough, sniffles and is generally miserable. We are cuddled up on the sofa watching some movies. I am holding her and doing my best to be patient that she is reluctant to eat and refuses medicine. It has been a trying weekend with her attitude and now I feel sad because she may have been beginning to feel under the weather.

However, when I think about the tantrums or the refusing medicine, I thank God she is here , no matter how difficult she may be at times. On my drive home from work, I listened to the news and reports and reflection about the recent terror attacks on school children in Pakistan. It is devastating. Just days after the two year anniversary of the school children killed in Newtown CT. My heart aches for the families and the state of the world.

Violence, terror and crime fills our daily news and lives. I look at my little girl and I am filled a desperate hope that she will be safe, healthy and happy for a long lifetime. I cannot imagine how families cope with such loss. My life is full of joy and purpose because of my daughter. She is my reason for living as a better person, every day.

I pray for peace. I pray for those families in Pakistan that they find a way to cope and find inner strength. I pray that terrorists and criminals no longer harm innocent people. I pray that my daughter can be safe and maybe even sheltered from this devastation. Every parent should have years and years of “I love you Mama”.

the other pillow is empty

Even though I am so tired, I am tired from the inside out, even though I have built and commandeered a world class emotional roller coaster for a long time,  even though I have chased and run and cooked and planned and written and listened until I thought I could do no more…

I cannot sleep without your head on the pillow next to mine.

come in from the cold

Aside a dancing bonfire in our garden I was reunited with the warmth of my happy soul. The flames flicked and raged cutting through the bitter cold air. The logs piled onto of a snowbank with an icy trail cut around for dancing. Lounge chairs sunken into the frosty snow with a view of our semi-frozen river invited me to rest and learn to warm myself from the inside out.

It is true, I will never be perfect. Not even close and that is fine. I will be warm, I will be loved, I will love.

The people we spend our precious time with is crucial to our inner warmth and strength. I lost my way on this recently. I vowed this year to get back on track and I know I am on that path. I am dancing around a fire in the frigid night air with a smile on my face and laugh in my heart.

 

A Good Cry

She was napping. I was using that time to get things done. A common attempt in our house. I was crossing the room wondering how long she would sleep when I heard the first howl.

It was if the Banshee had entered my daughter’s body and was signaling the chariots that my glimpse of free time was dead. Over. Kaput. Yet not without an interesting lesson to learn.

I opened her door and called her name ever so sweetly. She wailed and kicked. I went to her bedside and told her I was there and that I love her. My little girl thrashed and yelled. I asked if she wanted me to pick her up and she said No. I tried to stroke her and she said go away. I left the door open and went out of the room. She continued to scream and wail. I called to her and said I am here, I love her and when she is ready I will come get her.

The yelling continued for some time, it is hard to tell how long. Any amount of time my child is in distress feels like an eternity to me. I went back into the room giving her space but letting her know I was there. She asked, Where’s Daddy?” I reminded her that he was working today and would be home soon. I asked if she wanted to get out and come in the other room. To which she screamed No and continued to sob.

I stayed and sat with her. I gave her soft soothing words, telling her of my love for her. I moved to the other room and got some cozy blankets together on the sofa and some grapes. I called to her again and said I would love so much to cuddle her. When I approached her bed she was sitting up clutching her purple blanket. She put her arms out for me.

I scooped her up still crying. I changed her diaper while she cried and yelled. I smiled and said I want to understand what she is feeling but I will wait. I bundled her back up and embraced this siren sounding girl in my arms. We sat on the sofa and snuggled into our blankets. Soon she saw the grapes and her crying slowed. She took one and put it in her mouth.

I rubbed her back as she let the tears and grape juice stream down her face. I kissed it all away as she calmed. I closed my eyes and breathed deep breaths. I continued this meditation until she sweetly said, “Mummy, I want more grapes, please.”

About two hours later we were playing and having a wonderful time. She stopped  to say, ” Mummy, I was crying.”

“Yes, my love, you were.”

“I needed to scream Mummy. I needed a good cry.”

In that moment I was overwhelmed with love and astonishment. I was so proud of her for understanding this about herself and proud of me – for not making her feel that she had to be quiet or stifle this expression. We were at home, just us – sounds like a very good time for a good cry.

How is it that my two year old has a better awareness of herself and confidence in her needs and expression than I may ever have? I alter my thoughts and feelings so I won’t impose on others. I stifle, stuff and suffocate my feelings. I over think, over explain and let others over power my needs. Here is this little person so full of self awareness and self esteem. She is teaching me and I can only hope I will be her best student.

reflection on Thursday

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” -Nelson Mandela

I was deeply saddened and reflective upon learning of Mandela’s death. I was home from work and my husband saw it on Twitter moments after it was announced. We had just been having a discussion about something he said to me the night before. I didn’t feel it was very kind and yes, I was a little resentful. We were talking it through – rather I was talking it through. He was listening and then waiting until I was through and changed the topic – usually how it goes. Usually leaves me feeling unsettled and resentful.

Then Mandela died and I was overcome by a flood of memories. Memories throughout my life of learning about this man. I have always been an admirer. He has been an inspiration through out my teenage years and beyond. I sat down and turned on the news. I listened to the President speak. I cried a little. Then I turned off the tele and went to pick up my daughter from daycare. I embraced her with the love of ages. I silently tried to transfer a respect for Mandela’s journey and what I have learned. I gave thanks that education is and always be an opportunity for her. I soaked up the sight and sounds of her to carry with me whenever we are apart.

Then, yesterday a co-worker reminded me of this Mandela quote. Of all the quotes that flooded to my head, this one did not…until she gave it to me. I needed it. I didn’t know how much until that moment but I needed it.

I am swirling inside with unresolved bitter and hurt feelings. They seem to increase every time I try to work them out. This weekend I am reflecting on this quote and examining myself and what I hold onto. I am rejoicing in the here and now as it is full of love and hope. I shall try to “forget the past” and leak out my toxic resentment.

Love is strength.

For the longest time I had people close to me tell me I needed to learn to be more selfish. I thought what a horrible thing to aspire to – but I gave it try. I think my efforts have failed me as I have learned to be selfish in the wrong ways. What my loved ones meant when telling me to be selfish was to be stronger in my commitment to myself, my dreams. I need to be more confident in my place in this world as a beacon of love. The more I try to please others and their manipulative ways, the more manipulative and unhappy I become. Then enter the resentment, the poison. It has been festering throughout my body and has caused me sickness, sanity and time…time that could be spent being content.

Ok Mandela. I continue to learn from you and be amazed that someone so human and so prolific has been in my world. I begin a week of reflecting on letting go and setting goals formyself. It sounds so new age and flimsy but I am inspired.

“It always seems impossible until it is done” – Mandela

Finding the Dragon

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I think some circumstances in my life have caused me to break down and retreat. Wait, let me go back. I KNOW some circumstances in my life have caused me to break down and retreat. When I pause today and look back, I can see a slow crumble in my passion, my self esteem, my courage, my peace of mind, my trust.

There is strength hidden inside me. I can feel it now. There is a new glow emerging from the darkness. I am empowered to find the fierce love that flows within me and release it. I can be silent, still and content and still be fierce, strong and passionate. I am all things. I am finding the Dragon. I am listening, learning and loving this release.