Thursday, September 17, 2009

Taking Inventory

So what are the things that are really hindering me from living a full life?

I could easily tick of a list of "things" that I can't seem to escape: depression, fatigue (what mother isn't tired?), guilt. These are perhaps general to a lot of women. However, my depression stems from my desire to do things "right" and to take care of everything. Which means that on a daily basis I am faced with failure. Or, what I deem to be failure. I can't always do everything, nor can I do it all the "right" way (whatever that means).

But, (and here's the somewhat insane part) if I let go of my need to control and take care of all the problems in my (and others) lives, who will do it? Will others be taken care of? Will things get done? Will my own needs be met? Will the world implode and all fall into chaos?

But if I don't choose to let go of the false need to always take matters into my own hands, there is no room for God in my life (primarily), nor is there room for my husband. I disallow those who desire to meet my needs to have any function in my life. This not only makes me feel lonely, but overwhelmed by all that I must "do." It also makes others who long to love me feel rejected and unimportant to me.

I desire nothing more than to feel close and connected to my family, especially my husband. Of course, there are issues in his life that contribute to feeling "far away" from each other. But my job is to find my own contributing behavior in whatever cycle we're in. Or, whatever cycle I am in. And so I continue to examine myself, determine what matters and what doesn't, and let some things go... into someone else's hands. And will things get done? Maybe. Maybe not. But will the world dissolve into nothingness if they don't? No. I should say it again for my own sake: no, it will not.

In fact, without the world on my shoulders, I may even live a happier and more fulfilled life. Imagine that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tattoo Removal?

I recently had to let something go. Well, I guess I didn't HAVE to. No one forced me. I chose to do it. Something that has been dear to me, even though most of the time I had forgotten why it was so very important.
But what was important was the symbol of this particular item. It symbolized, to me and to others, that my past was perhaps more important than my present. And it's certainly scary to let go of what you've come to depend upon to always be there.
I guess it would be like taking away my daughter's "blankie." She can't sleep without her soft, often dirty, pink blanket. Fortunately, no one took anything away from me. And I will probably never force my daughter to give up her blanket. She'll have to decide when she's ready to grow up and move on.
I think I'm ready to grow up and move on. I've come to terms with my fears, and I've realized that I'm not losing anything that is important to me. And I'm actually gaining so much by simply letting go of that fear. I'm gaining back (perhaps for the first time?) my husband's trust. I'm gaining back a love and respect for myself that is not dependent upon the loss of any material item.
In spite of my title, this isn't tattoo removal. I can't erase the marks I have. But I can choose to stop looking at them as "who I am." My marks don't define me. I am way more complex. Just ask my husband.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

"Yes, I have a tattoo AND I'm a mom!"

“Yes, I have a tattoo AND I’m a mom!”
Though the character in the movie from which I’m quoting really only means that she has a tattoo, and she’s also a mother, I wonder about the deeper implications of those words.
I DON’T have a tattoo. But I do have marks that permanently reside with me; I have scars, experiences, and regrets. And I took them with me into motherhood. It’s incredulous that some people, even some mothers, assume that when one ventures into marriage and/or motherhood, one leaves behind one’s past. Poof! Gone, just like that. But though we change our “name,” we remain who we’ve always been. Whoever that may be.
So does this have any bearing on who we are or who we want to become? Does it keep us from really living the life we desire? I think, yes, sometimes it does.
Although a physical tattoo really shouldn’t make a difference in our role as wives and mothers, certainly the past behind it may. And emotional “tattoos” work the same way. An experience may just be that--an experience. Or, it may have been a pivotal shaping moment in our lives. The past may butt heads with the present. And being at war within our “selves” doesn’t seem like a constructive way to live. Especially as women who are shaping the minds and personalities and values of those tiny people who sleep in the next room.
So, where do we, where do I, go from here?
Well, for now, potty-training and nap time. Anything past that will have to wait for another blog entry.