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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Here’s another writing exercise 

Pretend/imagine I am a goat that has been separated from the rest of my goat community. I’m lost in the wilderness, stumbling around. In my panic I am pricked on the thorn of a honey locust, which contrary to its sweet name, is very nasty. The wound is deep and in my little goat mind, I realize I will probably bleed to death, alone in this wilderness. This realization brings the undeniable need to express myself in the hour of my death.          What are my final words?

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

(my initial reaction to the assignment) Really? I’m a goat? But goats smell so badly and I am absurdly aware of all odors pleasant and particularly those not so. I wonder if I can be something else … something other than a (smelly) goat? (alas – this is not the point of this exercise) Let’s give this a try:

Here as I make myself as comfortable as I can in this harsh, unforgiving wilderness that I am soon to mark as my final resting place, the following (random) thoughts come to mind and heart. Hopefully there will be a few words that make you think, feel and maybe even desire to keep with you.

On my dying day I can say that I tried at life. I am quite proud, actually, of my efforts.

To my kids I say, as I often have, “I looove you, looove you, looove you … ”  You two are the main reasons I tried so hard. Honestly, you gave my life such meaning and purpose. I needed you to see a life well-lived. It certainly was not one filled with world-altering accomplishment. It was not one that received praise, accolades and awards. But it was a life full of love and learning, growing, stretching and reaching. I taught not to be afraid to fail. Those are the most impactful lessons of all. It is humbling to try and to fail. It is even more humbling to try and to succeed. Learn from every moment.

I have lived honestly with myself. In my experience, when I have been alone with my truth was when I most clearly had to accept the reality of my choices and what I had created. To lie to myself was unforgivable. Alone with my truth was my opportunity to learn and grow. My message to you? Own your truth and accept it so you can learn from it.

Okay. So, I’m dying. I’m dying and writing. What do I want you to know? About me? Not so much. But I have lived and observed some and these are the things I want to share during the final moments of my short goat life. (I have always fancied myself an intuitive, insightful goat.)

I’ve learned it truly is better to give than to receive. (Okay – get over the lame expression and listen. I’m dying here and don’t have much time!) Giving is receiving in disguise. To give from a place that is not seeking return is its own reward. No matter how big or small the gesture, the end result for the giver is to always be better for the act.

Our culture is not lacking in kindness and giving. I see it everywhere, because I look for it. The raucous and overbearing engine that is ‘the media’ has chosen to amplify, has overexposed much, if not all of what is wrong in our world. Don’t believe the bad outweighs the good. That is what they want you believe. Goodness, kindness and generosity are all around us and you will find it if you look.

I have lived not long enough if I am going now, though I do not leave with regret. They, those that are my goat community, they know my love for them because I took the time to share myself, my thoughts and my feelings with them when we had the luxury of seemingly endless time. They know the joy they have brought to my heart and how they have enriched my personal experience. Keep it. My love is yours to hold now.

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I am raising boys and I love it. They are my first and second purpose in this life. I realized this with a confidence and assuredness that was new to me the first time I felt my baby move. It was cathartic in that I instantly knew this was one of my main purposes in life. I was 26 and married and felt like I had done things ‘in the right order’. We owned a home, he was planned. (Both of my boys were. Far too few of us can say that. I wonder what that number is?)

Up until that point I had floundered with career choices, always searching and trying, yet feeling uncertain I would ever find what I was looking for. Then one day I felt it, the good swift kick I needed. My baby moved and it changed everything for me. My focus was now on this human being I was growing. I had purpose.

Fast forward 15 years and I am now the proud mother of two teenage boys. My youngest is 13. They are <wink,wink> charming. It is exhausting and overwhelming and frightening. It is fulfilling, rewarding and joyous. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the obvious that the former is much more frequent than the latter.

There have been so many phases and stages that we’ve been through together. Me and my boys. We three have always shared such a connectedness. My children didn’t go to daycare because I couldn’t part with them. I could not imagine allowing another person the honor of witnessing my children’s firsts – those were mine to have – and I had them. I am forever grateful for the images seared in my memory and for the love that has plumped out my heart.

Now they are teens and don’t want me as much. They don’t want to admit that they need me, so they push hard. I’m still learning what our boundaries are in this stage. It feels much different from the changes they grew through as smaller children. Today’s interactions seem to have more bearing, they feel like they weigh even more than the earlier ones. I keep my mind open to their opinions and show genuine respect (that I feel) for them while remaining the leader of this pack. It’s a very interesting dynamic when your children grow to have 6 or more inches on you and outweigh you by 45 pounds and yet, they’re still children. It’s humbling.

Being a mom is the best thing I’ve ever done and continue to do and will never be something I don’t do. It is integral to who I am, which is a better person for it all. The sleepless nights and the worry over everything from meningitis to aliens. I am a better person for having sacrificed my selfish self for my boys who need me to be fully present, possibly for the rest of my life. And for that I am very grateful.

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