Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Imperfect People Going Forward

Oh, world of Parenting Strategies!  How you love to intimidate and imply that there are ways to be perfect....or better yet, that there are ways to get our children to be perfect!

Oh, wait!  You don't love to do that?  That isn't a thing?

Then WHY do we all feel so much shame and guilt after reading a book, hearing another parent's success story on Facebook, or after a parenting strategy goes wrong (read: it didn't fix it!).  From tips to getting your baby to sleep to our Facebook news feed to the parenting paradigm that I train parents in, Trust-Based Relational Interventions, there are ways to hear strategies, others' stories, and information through the lens of our own insecurities.  There are ways that shame will creep in...

And there isn't really any blame to be given to the person who wrote that book, gave that parenting lesson, or who encouraged you to try ____.

The culprit is Shame itself. 
Can we all join together and fight it as one united front?  Embracing our Not-Rightness and choosing to be with one another in Love?

Very often, I am wrestling with the fact that I train other parents but also very much mess up with my own children a TON.  I sometimes cry out, "How has someone allowed me to be in this role???"  David, my ever-wise husband, usually responds to me with this mantra he made up:  "We are not here to model how to be perfect or how to do this perfectly; we are here to model how to be on the Journey as an Imperfect Person!"

Imperfection Going Forward!

It's a thing.  I promise.
Notice I didn't say Imperfection staying Stuck!  Imperfection does NOT equal "Stuck".  I think Shame has succeeded in keeping so many of us parents stuck as well.

Do you feel yourself going round and round in your head ending up back where you started with a certain problem?  Do you feel like there is so much that you "lack" that you don't even know where to begin?  Do you feel like you are fine one minute and then the next time something hard comes along, whether it be your children screaming or another outside circumstance, you feel like a fog has descended and you cannot remember how you were fine before?  These are all examples of feeling Stuck.  Stuck-ness is not moving forward.  Sometimes there are paths that we need to face and step forward in so that we may continue on our journey, not a journey toward perfection, but simply a Journey Forward towards healing and Hope.

I have decided that Imperfection Going Forward will be my new motto!  This is the way I will lead my children through the Journey by going first myself! 

So often I find myself wanting my children to take a journey that I haven't even begun yet.  For example, I want my 8 year old to be "OK" when she is stressed out by my 5 year old who yell-sings about 60% of the day, BUT I'm not OK when he does that!  I'm not even a little OK!  I have auditory sensitivities to that; I get triggered by it; he cannot hear me and it feels like my voice isn't important; I am tempted to lash out and control his little voice at all costs so It. Will. Stop!  I have to journey forward in this area before I have expectations of her.  I cannot expect her to go further along than I have in an area we both struggle in.  When I learn how to give him grace when he struggles, then she will be able to do that too.  When I learn how to hold tight to who I am when I am triggered, she will see how to do that too.  When I hold tight to Hope in the midst of struggle so that I can move forward, she will learn how to do that too!

And Hope going Forward, even with all my mistakes and mishaps I have made and will make, is indeed Possible.
I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when it is painful!  Sometimes that looks like remembering the Truth about myself when my outside circumstances seem to descend on my brain with a fog of lies.  Sometimes it looks like talking to someone when I feel stuck.  Sometimes it looks like giving myself Grace.

No matter what it looks like, each day, I will try to model being an Imperfect person, but one who continues on the Journey and is moving Forward!

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