Being Ruled by Lies and Fear.

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Keeping my 4 and 2-year-old at home was a decision I made, largely based on this idyllic image in my head of me and my daughters spending all these lovely days together, and then their going off to school as these confident, smart little girls, totally prepared (thanks to all that studying our ABC’s and 123’s at home with Mom). Add together a wild 4-year-old, a totally sweet but nutty toddler, the general stresses of gradually setting up a new life in a new place doing new jobs, financial insecurity, and a Mom (that’s me!) who sets totally unrealistic expectations for this experience= Mess, chaos, and meltdowns galore (many of which are mine). Welcome to my life 🙂

With a heavy cloud of self-doubt and frustration hanging over me, wading through a sea of Pre-K prep, Brain Quest books, and flash cards, anxiously planning out lesson’s and time with my kids, something dawned on me; This is not fun.

Life is not always fun and that’s ok. But learning, something that many of our kids go about naturally and joyfully….in this house, it’s become painful. Yikes. Stuck somewhere between sight words and numbers, I sat there thinking; Why did I want to keep the girls home again? Why am I trying to do everything? Why am I consistently shirking off my husbands advice to get help? Immediately a list of well-rehearsed answers strung through my mind…..they’ll go to school soon….spend time with them now….good foundations….connectedness with your kids….blah blah blah….and then as if that dark cloud that’d been lingering over my head sprung a lightning bolt, I saw it; I saw the truth; All these reasons I have for being the way I am now and making the decisions I have, they’re not untrue; but they are also not the whole truth. In part, they are a shield; One I’ve been wielding, feigning a noble cause, when on the flip side of these truths, there is another real and dark motive; FEAR. As if my metaphorical cloud began to pour, I suddenly saw that my perfectionism, my dedication to make my 4-year-old sit the fuck down and focus, for what it is. It’s not about protection or preparation. I am not functioning from the fear that my daughter is lacking. I am being driven from the fear that I am lacking. I sat there feeling foolish. Silly. Guilty. Here I am pressing feelings of lack and anxiety onto my perfectly fine kids. This my friends is one of many ways we pass our burdens onto our children.

“I am stupid.” “I am silly.” “I’m incompetent.” “I do not have the capacity.”

These are variations of lies I learned young and have carried with me into my adult life. We all have lies about who we think we are, and many of us go about our lives terrified of discovering their truth. 

This post is not about parenting or kids. It is not in any way meant as a commentary on homeschooling or using educational stuff with our kids. It’s about the lies we let dictate our lives. It’s about the way these lies and our fear of their truth creep into every facet of our beings. It’s about seeing them for what they are….lies, and then choosing a new way. My kids don’t need my lessons. And they certainly don’t need the energy of self-doubt that I’ve been drudging around here. They need my love and my attention. As do I, I suppose. 

When you look as your life, does it reflect who you really want to be? Your job, your attitudes, your politics, your habits, your hobbies, your relationships…in what ways do you struggle with not allowing your fears to dominate your life?

 

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Stagnant VS Active Belief

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Recently I asked a writer friend of mine if she knew of any local writing jobs. Her eyes grew big, her arms spread wide. “If no, that’s fine,” I went on nervously. It turns out she had just the job for me and she’s been praying for God to present to her the person for it. And here I am! Meanwhile in my world, I’ve been using my alone time in the very early mornings, prodding the universe for a sign, any direction; what’s next for me? In life? In writing? In belonging and contributing to my community?

I was totally rocked. My beliefs and those of my friend may be different. But as I went about grinning for the rest of the day and sending “thank you” waves out into the universe, it occurred to me that it’s not what you believe that matters so much. It’s not about what god you’re praying to or the way you worship and nurture your spirituality; it’s about the energy with which you believe.

It’s easy to have a stagnant faith– one where we go through the motions, follow rules, say the prayers, and then wait. It’s easy to wait for proof before investing in the belief. This also often leads to places of resignation that the things we want are simply “not in God’s plans,” “not for us,” “not our fate,”_____ (input your preferred cosmic rejection here). It’s easy to resign yourself to a world that does not change and stamp it with some cosmic rejection, when the reality is that your world doesn’t change because you don’t change, and you don’t change because you don’t have the faith that you can. And you don’t have the faith because you don’t take the actions and you don’t take the actions because you don’t have the faith (what came first? what comes first? actions…faith…chickens…eggs!?).

It’s hard to have active faith- to be so sure that your god/the universe/source energy/the goddess/whatever, is delivering that you are actively making your next moves with that deliverance in mind. Active faith is harnessing the energy of what you want, perhaps through prayer, meditation, tarot, chanting, (choose your guidance-seeking preferences), and then carrying it on with you. You’re putting that request out into the universe, trusting it’s already done, you have it, now you live it. It’s being certain that if you show up, do you best, and follow that itch to ask, to listen, to see, you’ll know when to offer a “hey do you happen to know of any local writing jobs?”, that eventually, you’re going to find yourself dwelling in awe at your success and the great, cool, amazing, connectedness of the universe/god/goddess/source energy/whatever.

I think that there are limitations as to how and what we can affect through faith and manifesting. The greatest of which, I believe, is the limitations of your own faith. For example, my dreams include a house in the woods, a giant garden, my writing being read, freedom, horses, and cats. I cannot manifest that whole dream right now. And some may say, well whether you say you can or can’t, you’re right! And they’re right! But so am I. It’s easy to get so excited about the fact that what we want in life is actually available to us, that we forget that there’s work to be done. For me, my faith is simply not big enough to manifest that kind of energy, the energy of my full dreams. The work for me is to grow my faith. Luckily, faith, like so many other things, is something to be grown. It flourishes with attention, nourishment, and practice. And in time, who knows what you’ll find yourself attracting into your life!

What are some small(ish) ways we can practice having active faith?

-If it’s a date or a new friend you desire to have, set a date by which you’ll have this and then make an actual date. For real, make a reservation for you and your new friend at your favorite restaurant. Then make time to get quiet, get connected, and stay open to how this person may show up in your life.

-When you’re going shopping, before you pull into the crowded parking lot, imagine a lovely spot, right up front, opening up just for you. Feel that calm assurance as you roll down the aisle toward the store. Feel the gratitude now. And enjoy your convenient parking space.

-Can you manifest answers to questions burdening you? Next steps in relationships? Jobs? Hobbies? How to take your next step in personal growth? To guide you to that “just right” life coach? To find a pediatrician that really suits you and your kiddos? To choose a bank? A gift? A milk alternative?

What ideas do you have?