My brain is about to explode.

The dichotomy of life has my head throbbing. I can’t make sense of it all.

Things I know and understand to be true are in direct conflict with each other.

Which way is right?

How do I know what to do next?

We are supposed to love what is and accept people for who they are without trying to change them. Fact.

Growth is good and worthy of support. Fact.

Standing by your husband in support is good. Fact.

Doing drugs is bad. Fact.

Saving money and planning for the future is good. Fact.

Reckless indulgence is bad. Fact.

Beating your children is bad. Fact.

Disrespecting your parents is bad. Fact.

Wait.

What if a parent hits a child? Is disrespect warrented?

What if a spouse is reckless? Do you still support it?

I know better and don’t do better. Fact.

This makes me bad.

Wait. I’m good, I know I am.

No, I can’t be. I try so fucking hard but it’s never enough.

Enough for what?

Seriously, what am I looking for?

Love.

Maybe. Yes. And.

To know that I am good.

That I am worthy.

I do know that, don’t I? At the cerebral level anyway.

Am I?

Am I worthy of love? Am I good?

No, I can’t be. I fuck up all the time. I make bad choices. I can do better. I can be better. I’m not good. I’m bad.

What the actual fuck? You are not bad. Stop being a judgemental asshole.

I need to get angry. Maybe.

I don’t like anger. I abhor it actually.

Yet at times I am full of rage. Deep inside. I hold it together. I push it down. Every once in a while it sneaks out.

It’s an endless cycle. My feedback loop always completes the circle with “I am bad” and “I need to try harder.”

How do I escape the wheel? How do I accept me?

My head hurts. I want to solve the puzzle.

I don’t want to quit. Again.

I don’t want to distract. Again.

Shit. Those agains are punishing. I’m still spinning.

Stop.

Pause.

Breathe.

Accept.

Maybe meditation is the answer.

Maybe, just maybe, I am good enough.

No. I can be better. I know better. Work harder, push harder.

I’m tired.

There I go again.

Time to stop tonight. I’m trapped in working out the problem and need to walk away for the solution.

Breathe.

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Enabling isn’t love

When you love someone you don’t want to see them hurt, you desire to help them.

That “help” is not always the best thing for them. Or you.

Enabling is selfish, it’s not love.

We enable others when we aren’t looking at the big picture. When we compromise our values and morals to save them from themselves. Whether it’s as simple as covering for someone at work or more complicated like giving an addict money to bail them out of some jam…it is absolutely not helping them, or you.

Love means having boundaries, staying true to yourself, seeing the real picture, and keeping the door open for when others want to join you.

We selfishly enable people for a host of reasons….to make them happy, so they don’t get mad, so they don’t get in trouble, to keep the peace.

What peace are you keeping?

In the case of parenting it is super hard sometimes.

We want our children to succeed. We don’t want them to suffer.

We also want them to be functional members of society and that means taking responsibility for their own actions.

Not covering them up.

My oldest son was brought home by the police when he was 15. Caught with a bunch of friends having broken into a community pool and swimming in the middle night….with backpacks of stolen alcohol from home. When the officer showed up at the door, with my son sheepishly behind him, he said that this type of infraction would typically involve a night at the local jail.

I told the officer to take him to jail then. He did the crime, he can do the time.

Both my son and the officer looked at me like I was nuts.

I meant every word.

A night in jail wasn’t going to kill him, it was the price he had to pay for his actions. Saving him from the consequences was teaching him that the rules didn’t apply to him, that he was not responsible for his own behavior, and that other people would bail him out.

Now that night the officer left him with me at home, he didn’t wish to take him into custody, and my son remained at home to wait out his time until court.

It was a rough time for sure.

Saving him from all of it by pulling strings, covering up, asking for favors – would have spared him the uncomfortable gift of growth.

It took a while for his teenage mind to grasp the cause and effect of his choices. The power he had to shape his future, and the reality that it was his to craft.

During that time there was a lot of boundary testing, anxious feelings, hurt, and uncertainty.

The outcome was worth it, 1000 times over.

I see others who have grown up without true love, given instead an enabling & selfish love – they play victim more often than not, responsibly is an afterthought, and instant gratification rules the day. People pleasers to the max, very caught up in appearances over substance.

Perhaps they are victims after all. Being robbed of the experience of growing up by being coddled and praised for outrageous behaviors without any moral guidance, they then pass this culture on, obliviously, to others.

It’s a sad cycle.

True love is honest. It’s raw. You can count on it. Based in reality it is like Miracle Grow for people….turning budding seedlings into mighty oaks.

It’s simple, not easy. It’s important. It’s fundamental.

I wish to love all in my life in this way.

I admit I have a hard time sometimes.

I’ve rationalized, made excuses, and turned a blind eye. All done thinking I was protecting and supporting, when in reality I was enabling while crushing my soul to save my ego.

Drawing boundaries was hard. Having them with grace proved even more difficult. Loving someone and giving them space to be them, when it very well might mean they choose a space you are not in, is scary af.
It’s also necessary for survival.

I’m not being over dramatic here.

Codependency and addiction kill – typically slowly and painfully.

Ignorance is not bliss. Look at all of the school shootings – there are troubled children out there who need guidance – not gadgets.

Spend time with your children, choose wisely those you spend time with, respect yourself and others.

More love, less enabling.

Being a mama is a wild wild ride

My eyes are overflowing as I look at my Facebook “on this day” and hear my baby boy’s voice….

There are times as a mama that I am certain that I am f*cking everything up. That I could be better, read more, teach more, have more patience, be present more often, hug more, laugh more, live more….Was I too hard on the oldest? Am I too lenient with the youngest? Not present enough with the middle? Should I have stayed married to their dad? Fed them more veggies? Brought them that extra glass of water at bedtime?

Hell, tears are literally streaming down my face as I flash back over the last two decades of parenting….I’ve been a mama longer than I haven’t at this point in my life and my youngest is only in Kindergarten…my parenting road is long and never-ending. It’s full of gifts I couldn’t even have imagined. It’s the hardest damn job I’ve ever had and the best at the same exact time. Having children means exposing your heart to the world, watching them grow, setting the best example possible, and holding your breath as you witness their learning in progress.

Could I have done better?  I ask myself this frequently. Am I being the best human  I can possibly be in this very moment to set a positive example for my babies? Yes. Though some times I don’t have much available at that nanosecond in time.

I was just a baby myself when  I got pregnant. 21, single, trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up – or more often – what to wear on a Friday night…. My first instinct was that having a baby was NOT a good idea. I didn’t tell their dad, instead I told my BFF and made my clinic appointment. I walked in that day and changed my life forever. I walked out scared, elated, determined and for the first time in my short life – thinking not about what I wanted to do – instead I had a new priority – my child. That was it – from that very moment on – I have not been guided by my wants/needs but those of my children. Every decision, from work to grocery shopping to schools to trips, is made with them in mind. How will this impact their wiring, their future, the world?

And then I hear Andrew’s song, or see Jace play with Dyl and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I did something right. I always wanted to make the world a better place, and lookie there – I did – through them.

Shine on baby boys – mama loves you more than you know. Thank you for, everything. ❤