Carl Jung wrote- “The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of the parents.”
Often moms lose themselves when we have kids. Not by a conscious choice, we do it out of love. We put our lives on hold to focus solely on the life of our child. Although it seems a noble thing to do, it is a lot of pressure to put on that child and after the 18 year run, the empty nest syndrome can be devastating.
I have a visual that helps describe how I see parenting. I picture myself on a wide path walking forward. Next to me on both sides are paths that look narrower (unless you are actually walking on them and then they appear larger.) I am moving forward on my path. Sometimes there are one or two paths beside me, sometimes I can barely see any path near me, and right now there are 6 separate paths merging with mine. They are the paths of my husband and children.
I am clear that my main purpose on this planet is to live and learn the lessons that are being presented to me. These lessons are the evolution of my soul/spirit. Our souls are housed in our earth suits for a short time, but I believe they will live on forever.
Although I am here for my journey, part of my journey now is sharing, learning, teaching, and loving these six other people while they are moving forward on their own paths. I have not lost myself or forgotten my purpose here, our paths are simply intertwined.
I have been blessed with a child that has what my mom has but was never diagnosed- Bipolar. He was diagnosed, has a great team of doctors helping us figure it out and will have a healthy and abundant life. Through this journey with my son, I was able to see clearly the sadness of my childhood- being raised by an absent mother that wasn’t physically absent. My son is a gift for me in loving, learning and healing.
I have been blessed with a daughter that is a lady and has a pure heart. I am a bit rough around the edges and was a tomboy. She is teaching me to be soft and quiet. I am teaching her to be a warrior.
I have been blessed with a son who has a tender heart and really thrives with calmness and attention. So when I want to yell or disconnect, like I was taught, my son draws me in and shows me what a richer choice it is to connect.
I have been blessed with a daughter who is like me. She is strong, fearless, and thinks she has to do it all by herself. I get to encourage her fierceness, while not leaving her to do it alone.
I have been blessed with a daughter that is a miracle. She was supposed to be severely retarded. The doctor’s encouraged termination. She taught me incredible lessons before she was even born: to accept other people’s decisions, even if they differ from mine, to always rely on God, and know no matter what happens, it will turn out okay or usually better than okay.
Finally, I am walking next to a man that is a gift. The man that without, none of this would be. I am flawed. He is flawed. But instead of seeing the flaws, we try and see the beauty. The things that trigger me, regarding him, are things I need to work on. And work on in a safe place where I can do it wrong and he isn’t going anywhere. We get beat up a bit in the trying, but stronger with each battle we face, figure out, see and then release. I have been blessed with a man of integrity, a man of his word, a loyal man, a many with a kind heart. I really don’t think I can ask for more. Although our bank account is tight at the moment, I have never felt richer.
With these realizations, it is clear to me that I must move forward seeking out the lessons I am here to learn. I must move forward in honing in on my passions, following them, striving for them, and giving them attention- because whatever we give attention to grows.
I must show my children how to fulfill the life of their dreams. I must show them how important it is to take care of your self, to love yourself, to feed your heart and soul. When you are so full of love, compassion, and kindness for yourself, it will bubble over and bubble bomb the people around you.
Fill your cup let it over flow. Fill your cup let it over flow. Fill your cup let it over flow. Let it over flow with love. (Sung in a camp fire kind of way)
Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk. -Carl Jung