Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Woe is Me ....
Last night I felt miserably sorry for myself. I had gotten some negative feedback about my kids and that's a sensitive spot for me. Whenever I hear anything negative about my life's work I make a supreme effort to square my shoulders, raise my chin a notch and open my ears to listen without being defensive. Listen in order to take in what they have to say, weigh it for merit, and implement any action that might be needed to improve the situation.
Because I know (Lord, do I know) that they are not perfect and they are a continual work in progress for me. Shaping and molding is hard work. I am forever turning over in my mind how I can tweak the system in order to get the best "output". Output in this case being strong, healthy, straight A students who help little old ladies cross the street and rescue kittens from trees as soon as they finish all their household chores with a "happy to be of service" smile on their angelic faces.
Overall, I feel pretty proud of my crew, though they are by no means a "finished product" and there is much work to be done to nip certain problems in the bud. But on most days I feel good about myself and my kids. Last night was different. Coming from two places (both near and dear) I felt shadow was being noticed instead of light. Only my kids' faults were in evidence, none of the good qualities. And even more in question than my childrens' character was my way of doing things. Everything about how these kids are raised is my domain: what they eat, how much time they spend playing video games or watching TV, how clean their teeth are, how many household responsibilities they have and how well they do them, how active they are, the list goes on. If they're falling short, that means I am falling short because their life training is my job.
So yeah, I try to remain neutral so that I can take in feedback and make it work for me, but I'm not always so good at the neutral thing. I get emotional where my kids, and my sense of self-esteem, self-worth, whatever, is concerned. What I have to keep foremost in my mind is, how do I feel I'm doing? How do I feel about how my kids are turning out? If I know I'm doing a good job (I do), then I have to contnue to take in the feedback and use it for what it's worth, but not let other people's opinions oversahdow my own.
Is there a Zen-yoga-meditation master in the house?