Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Growing beyond blame

At the Unschooling Basics list, there was a question about acheiving one's dreams (or the lack thereof) and whether or not it's ok to blame your parents for the damage they did. I'm lifting my response, because I've been thinking about this topic a lot:


"So I'm not allowed to blame my parents?"

YES, I think you have a right to be angry at their
lack of support. I think anger is the first step to
healing. I think you have every right to examine what
they did wrong, turn it over and look at every angle
and in every light. I think seeing clearly where they
didn't help you, will actually be a very important piece
in letting it go.

So blame them for their actions or lack of actions. BUT,
don't blame them as an excuse for what you are or are not
today. Because now it's up to you. You have a choice to
be bigger and better than their limitations. You have a
right to everything your heart desires. You are worthy
and beautiful and talented. Their limited and limiting view
of YOU is NOT what you are about!! That's it. Simple right?

Disentangling ourselves from our parents view of us is
sometimes more complicated than all that. That's why I believe
it is SO important for us to be that clear/calm pool, so that
we reflect the TRUTH of our children back to themselves, rather
than some distorted view that is filtered through fears and

It's a process. One that you can live in each moment. When
you hear that voice saying "I'm not good enough" you can LAUGH
in it's face and say "that isn't ME!! I AM good, I AM talented
I AM successful" YOUR voice wouldn't put you down, would it?
So that must be someone elses voice getting inside your head
and it has no right to be there any longer.:)

Replace all those voices with positive self-talk. Practice
self-kindness and compassion. Give yourself and your
children all that positive talk that your parents could
not give you. Recognize that it wasn't about YOU at all...
it was their own lack and self-perception that allowed them
to rob you of fullness. It was about THEM, not YOU.

Maybe you already know this logically. But I think
emotionally you're hanging onto some of the fears they
dumped on you. They had no right to do it, but they truly
didn't know better. So let it go. Let yourself be the fullest
expression of YOU. You are not defined by anyone elses
expectations or ideas. Go ahead.....be larger than life!!
It's ok to be grand and beautiful and amazing. It's ok
to be in the spotlight. It's ok to be the master and captain
of your ship....don't let anyone tell you differently.:) It's
also ok to surround yourself with people that buy into your
dreams and limit people that aren't going to support it.
Create the world you NEED to nourish yourself and
your BIG dreams. Then simply live the passion each day,
without any limiting ideas of what those dreams look like.
Just BE a singer.
Because you are.

So the issue of unsupportive parents was addressed, but the part I
keep going back to is the whole idea of our dreams. This person was talking
about shedding a lot of tears the last five years because her dream of
becoming a successful singer has not happened. Life changed and she--like
so many others--essentially gave up on the dream.

The first part of this equation is having a rigid idea of what "success" looks like and holding onto it so tightly we miss the meandering journey that the universe holds for us. Dreams should not be some concrete, static thing that we shoot for. If the joy is in the passion we carry, then the dream IS the passion not some mainstream idea of what FORM that passion should take. Passions are greater than all that. We don't have to achieve a certain status or level of success to be nourished and fed by our passions. That is rather limiting really.

The other part is this........sometimes life throws a few curveballs. Sometimes OUR version of things gets turned upside down. It's what we do with those bits and pieces afterwards that decides whether our passions become a beautiful thing in this journey, or some poignant reminder that we aren't going to have what we thought we wanted.

I have a reminder of this sitting on my bedside table. It's an amateurish attempt at mosaic, my first mosaic. But let me back up a bit;

Once upon a time, in Pensacola Florida I worked one night a week at a ceramics shop. I painted a lot of ceramics back then so it only made sense that my husband recieved one of my creations for a birthday. I painted him a bowl with scenes from our lives on it, the places we lived, the things we'd accomplished and a lovely quote about who he was. It said "You have the heart of a musician, the soul of a dreamer and the mind of an adventurer". Which is still true.

That was the year our marriage came crashing down. I picked up the shattered pieces of my dreams and tried to move forward. They didn't fit quite the way I'd planned. After many months and a lot of heartache, we managed to reconcile and in that reconciliation find much growth.

But we entered into a completely different relationship and marriage than the one we'd had before. If I tried to hold on to MY version of "how things should be", it wouldn't have worked. In going with the flow, in being able to adapt and be creative, we've come to a better place than either of us could have imagined.

Our dreams do this sometimes. Letting go of that concrete version that looks like one thing, helps us achieve MORE. So back to the mosaic.....
That bowl I painted for my husband got dropped one day. It was in many pieces on the floor and I just looked at it and sighed. But I've been carrying those shards of broken ceramic with me. They were formed into the mosaic that sits by my bedside recently. It doesn't look anything like the bowl it first became. There are lovely bits of glass wedged in between, shiny blues and greens and whites.

It's a new and different work of art now. Not worse, not better, just different. It's inspiring in it's own way. Broken pieces don't have to be a reminder of what was lost...it can simply be it's own new and beautiful work. It depends what we do with those shards. In sculpting with those pieces we can find authentic success.


Carri said...

I so needed someone to say all of this to me at this point in my life. I have been struggling lately with the crazy twisted relationship I have with my mother. The stress that I experience agonizing over said relationship puts a lot of stress on my relationship with my kids and husband. I wish it didn't but it does. The thing is after reading your post I realize that I do have control over my own feelings. And I don't have to let the stressful relationship with my mom control my family's happiness. Thanks.

Ren said...

I'm glad you can see a way out of the craziness. Detaching from toxicity is so important if we are to find peace and authenticity. Be strong!