Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Reminder For Those Who Need It

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. 
If you want to be happy, practice compassion".
~ Dalai Lama

Dear mama (or papa) who feels so much,

It is wonderful that you connect so deeply to your children. It is beautiful how in tune you can be and how you always strive to make sure your children feel "felt". It is amazing how you allow them to express their needs and feelings so fully and that you really, really listen. I admire you for always wanting to do better. 

And I hurt for you when you cry so bitterly and feel you have failed them. I wish I could take away the guilt and sadness you feel. You examine every word you said and worry that although you love your children completely, perhaps they don't experience it that way. You fear the future. You fear the culmination of all your wrong moves will result in your children bemoaning their childhood in the therapist's chair. You fear your children will never learn to love each other, to be kind, to be compassionate. I wish you could truly see how much you have done that is wonderful. But what you have done "wrong" clouds your vision. What you remember is your anger, your impatience, your resentment. But what you forget are all the beautiful moments that add up to happiness. 

They will remember the patient hands that buttoned up their sweaters and the smell of the oatmeal you made for breakfast. They will remember how you dried their tears when they fell at the park and held them close when they were scared of witches in their bedroom. They will remember the necklaces that you never took off, one with each of their initials. They will remember the feel of curling up with you under soft, white blankets, telling stories by flashlight. They will remember how you painted their toenails and dressed up for Halloween with them. They will remember how they could make you laugh so hard you cried. 

Maybe they will remember how you yelled sometimes. Maybe they will remember you were impatient. But more importantly, they will remember you acknowledged that it felt scary for them when that happened and that you apologized afterwards. They may remember your tears of frustration, but more importantly they will remember how you whispered in their ear each night the things that day that made you love them. 

Dear mama (or papa) who feels so much, it can be a blessing and a curse to feel as much as you do. Be as kind and compassionate to yourself as you are to your children. Of all the things you are trying to teach them, of utmost importance is modeling to them how to forgive yourself when you make a mistake.

Your children love you. 
You are always doing the best you can in every moment.
Take that in.
Believe it.

~ Love, Gina
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