As a mom, I want my children to listen to me, to learn from my mistakes, to make good choices and to sail smoothly into adulthood. I am sure my parents wanted the same for me. Unfortunately, or fortunately, life is never smooth and we can expect to meet with obstacles and challenges, failures, successes, and lots of zigs and zags in between.
My desires and my life experience have not always been in sync. Despite my best efforts, I have failed, been misunderstood, and made mistakes. At such times I have wailed, lamented and grieved.
When given time and support to regroup, I have managed to stand back up and to renew my efforts and to move forward. With greater knowledge and empathy, I have experienced many blessings and have had delightful experiences. I nonetheless, have much to learn and I continue to encounter opportunities for growth. While I would prefer to sail easily myself, I must admit that my failures, more than my successes have made me who I am today.
I sometimes forget that my children must make their own mistakes and face the consequences of their own actions. I sometimes forget that personal experience is the best teacher and that every crisis is a blessing in disguise. When we are negatively impacted, the lessons learned stick with us and we are less likely to make the same mistake again.
In my 56 years on this earth, I have experienced my share of disappointment, loss, failure and despair. I have been terminated, passed over for promotion, have lost loved ones and cried out for understanding. In the past, I have pointed fingers, blamed others for their mistakes and became angry and bitter.
Looking back, I see that fault finding and name calling kept me stuck in a very uncomfortable position. I was no better off and in fact I made more enemies in the process.
Somewhere on the road, I realized that my journey was easier when I traveled with friends. When I reached out to another in kindness, my own worries disappeared and my mood improved. I learned that I could sleep easier, feel better, and be at greater peace when I actively sought to make the lives of others better.
Going forward, I will make a renewed effort to remember that my children are here to live their own lives, to make their own mistakes and to learn their own lessons. I am a fellow traveler and a work in progress myself. If I can be there to encourage them to try again, to remind them of past successess and love them unconditionally, I serve my highest purpose as a parent.
What mistakes have you made? What lessons have you learned? What pleasant surprises have surfaced in your times of crisis?