(Photograph courtesy of Samantha Fogg of work+play positive dog training at http://workplaydogs.com/)
I love this photograph because it reminds me that beautiful things are still happening in some of nature’s most quiet and dark seasons; just as sometimes we personally have to go through dark periods to come out into new growth. Part of the process of creating your family often leads to acknowledging things you would like to do differently; things you would like to be better, and opportunities for a positive and beautiful new beginning.
In the process of acknowledging what you would like to change or do differently, I hope you take the time to see all the things that you do right. I also hope you forgive yourself for any unrealistic expectations that you were harboring about parenting and family life or homeschooling. I hear from so many mother who seem to be disappointed in themselves.
I think forgiveness is a huge part of a mindful path in parenting and in homeschooling. I have written some posts on guilt and forgiveness in the past that I would like to share with you here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2008/11/27/forgiving-ourselves/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/05/22/waldorf-guilt/ and here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/02/14/is-it-too-late/.
Self-forgiveness is often a process where one has to accept and forgive themselves for being HUMAN and not perfect. It is part of life to be “not perfect”, to be authentic and real, flaws and all. We keep striving, and most of all, we start doing and trying. It is not enough to read it in a book, or to gather and collect information..you must jump in and start in order to capture your own will and affect real and meaningful change.
So I ask you tonight……
What are your wounds that require self-forgiveness?
How do you acknowledge disappointment, loss?
How can your inner work help you in the journey of self-forgiveness?
Parenting is not perfection, it is a journey. Your child is not a psychological extension of you. I hear parents worry all the time that their child will grow up and resent the choices they have made; that Waldorf homeschooling will not be “enough” and that the child will blame them when they are in college and realize not every single thing was covered for them in their homeschooling education, etc.
I don’t know about you, but I attended one of the best public school systems in New York. I have gone on to college to earn two degrees, and there were many subjects and ideas that were not covered in my public school career. If I knew everything coming out of high school, why would I need or want to go on to college? And then there were some things I learned in high school that made so much more sense in college –precalculus and physics come to mind!
There is always going to be some website or person who espouses the horrors of some parenting decision you have made –whether that is extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, homeschooling, Waldorf homeschooling. We are all different people, and I think it is okay that people have different views. Our views also change over time. Part of being human means that we continue to develop until the day we pass from this earth. We learn and we grow. I find comfort in that, and I hope you do as well. Sometimes knowing you are doing the very best you can Right Now In This Moment is plain powerful confidence!
We can still be confident even if we are not perfect. We still have more years of living than our children, we can still strive to be listeners, to be patient, to communicate without sarcasm or blame. We can exude a quiet confidence and strength in parenting even without perfection.
Forgive yourself, be easy with yourself, and most of all love yourself. I believe in a Creator, and in the Creator’s eyes, you are His Beloved!
Blessings and love,