There is nothing more frustrating than trying to help people you love when they are oppositional to what you are trying to offer. With all of my resistant beloveds, I find myself torn between wanting to be the loudest, most ardently persuasive and passionate force in their lives and the quietest, most detached and serene observer.
This has almost always been the case with four most important people in my life:
My mother ~ who unwittingly served as the catalyst for my wellness journey when I was a pre-teen. At the tender age of 12, I watched my mother suffer through the first of a series of traumatic life and health crises. Understandably, this explains the method to my madness, or at least my less than subtle semi-zealousness about the societal ills of GMOs, gluten, pesticides, processed foods, red40, etc.
My daughter ~ who grew 3 1/2 inches this year, has come precariously close to towering over me when she challenges me with her brazen “tween-ness”. Her budding bravado serves as a sharp contrast between her size and her sense of self-esteem and inner security. Yet she holds a lovely mirror up for me, reflecting what truly “out of power” feels like, especially in light of the pain and obviously lingering impact (more like a vice grip) her early life challenges still seem to have on both of us. For my no longer baby girl I often strive even harder to “right the wrongs” that have been done and to set her on a healthier, more mindful path . . . or at least I’ll die trying.
My son ~ an Indigo child – who by his very nature as a star child will never respond to guilt, irrelevant consequences or usage statements like “because I said so”. With my youngest I feel I have as much strength as a fruit fly facing a torrent of molten lava. This is especially true when I encourage (ok, insist LOUDLY at times) that he ingest three tablespoons of chia seeds in a not cleverly disguised smoothie. Indigos are forces of nature and so I must be be a bigger force because I’m the MAMA, that’s why! (or so I tell myself as I repeatedly bang my head up against the wall when no-one is looking).
And finally . . .
My spousal equivalent, aka my honey ~ who requires my Inner Diva to use more than her pompoms to rally against his deeply resonant and rather huge essence (both energetically and vocally). Of the four, thankfully honey does not buck against me philosophically or spiritually with the same consistency or frequency as my mother and children. But when he roars, like all animals living in the wild, I have adapted and taught myself to roar louder. Healthy? Not so much.
As I lay each scenario out, and hold them up for all to see, I have to ask the question that seems obvious; why all the fighting? Ultimately whom am I serving? Don’t I know better?
I know it is not my “job” to fix those who I love most and perhaps it implies a judgment even to use that word . . . fix. Yet more and more I find myself being frustrated by everyone’s resistance to what I see clearly as a better way of showing up in the world so, maybe, just a little bit, I might become too passionate about the vibrant health and wellness beliefs that I am so ardently trying to share.
I have worked soooo hard to become informed, activated and engaged so that I can return to my nest, metaphorically dropping glistening, warm pearls of nutritious wisdom into eagerly awaiting beaks. But instead of being welcomed with heartfelt peeps of gratitude, we end up in a wildly aggravating squawking contest that is now, quite unfortunately, mimicked by our 2 yr. old double yellow headed Amazon parrot.
The end result? Sometimes all I want to do is fly the coop. How has it come to this?
I am fairly well educated with a specific focus on mindful parenting practices, eco-conscious living and holistic wellness modalities. I am also a strong woman, a fervent believer in practicing what I preach, and a ready and willing resource for anyone who wishes to seek my assistance.
So, isn’t it somewhat ironic that I can’t be this way at home without opening a can of serious backlash. Maybe I should know better. My kids and my partner do not have my backstory nor do they see through the lens of my life’s perspective.
If I have learned anything it’s that there is no greater catalyst for growth and change than that which makes us most uncomfortable: pain, loss, sorrow and health impairment – all of them states of “dis-ease”. What began when I was a kid in the suburbs of Philly is still the case today.
Two weeks ago my mother had a surgery to remove cancer that had grown on what should have really been a dead kidney. Unfortunately this ineffective organ, still taking up space next to the far younger and more vibrant replacement donated by one of my younger brothers, had enough gumption to grow some nasty cancer cells. Once again, my mother defied medical science and survived.
At every turn when something serious befell my mother I stood lovingly and uncomfortably by as she made a choice for her care and treatment that was almost diametrically opposite of what I would be doing.
And at every teeth and muscle clenching sigh of release when she scrapes through, I exhale gratitude . . . not just for her survival, but for the opportunity that I receive to once again affirm what I believe in and why.
I am grateful for more than my mother’s recovery, as she is the very reason I started believing in the miracles of mindfulness and complimentary and integrative approaches to health in the first place.
I can say my mother is the raison d’être for my becoming a writer, speaker, wellness advocate, fempreneur with my own aromatherapy line and a creatively vibrant spirit.
And now it is my responsibility, as it was hers, to raise, care for and nurture my dependents – my little brood – to the best of my ability albeit with a new approach for the sake of ALL of our sanity.
If my family resists, challenges or opposes me I have the choice to decide how, if at all, I wish to react. I must start by reminding myself that the only person I can ultimately be responsible for is me. Holding my ground in a peaceful and steady manner in my home requires nothing short of an almost Herculean strength and endurance, and I have to be ok with this. After all, according the philosophy behind past life theorems, I chose these relationships before I incarnated for the purposes of growing on a soul level.
Ok, so I’m growing dammit, but does it have to be so PAINFUL at times?
There are plenty of times I want to fume, lament and scream from the sheer frustration of it all. If I had known it was going to be such a ridiculous uphill battle, I would have chosen a different lifetime. Or not.
As Maya Angelou wrote: Take the power to control your own life, no-one else can do it for you . . . take the power to make your life healthy, exciting, worthwhile and very happy . . .”
So the next time I feel like I am going to lose my cool with my kids or partner, I will try to take a deep breath, meditate, use my own aromatherapy synergy sprays to bring myself back to center. I will hold a loving space for my family because who knows?! Maybe my son will one day willingly ask for a chia shake, my daughter might grow up to become a wellness practitioner in her own right and my partner will go gluten free (which he actually said he’d entertain).
And if while waiting for all the potential and promises to manifest, I feel my cup is about to runneth over, I can always take my Inner Goddess out to get a mani-pedi. That always helps too.
Photo Credit: drcarriesbetterliving.com, ChiaStar.com
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