Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lessons Re-learned............

I wonder why it is that I set myself up to have to re-learn a lesson I have already learned. When my own words of advice and wisdom fall by the way-side' in some "this time it is different stance" My goodness I am shaking my head at myself with wonder. Perhaps some lessons need to be re-enforced, re-learned a few times. Or maybe I wish it could be a lesson I no longer need to have learned, and hold on to because it no longer applies. Hah! :-)

Being a Mom has it's share of endless joy and pride and it certainly has it's share of heartache, worry and fear. The strength of a Mother's love is like no other - there have been times when I was like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens protecting my young and times when I was a pile of powerless mush for a myriad of reasons due to circumstances that involved one of my kids. I ebbed and flowed and still do. An area of motherhood that seems to cause me unrest resurfaces from time to time. I know what I should and shouldn't do and or say and yet I falter - and give in to throwing around guilt. I know, I know, but hear me out. Geesh! :-)

The "area" that bore the lesson is about expectations - that somehow others, (my daughters) should express and show love as I do. What? And that whether they do or not is somehow directly connected to my happiness, peace of mind, etc. What? I have learned and re-learned that this is a very dangerous set up which always ends in me sending out long letters about how hurt I am that they didn't do "the right thing" What? And so, once again, the letters went out when after my (our) birthdays/anniversary I didn't feel my girls did enough to remember/honor these occasions. What? And when I am "in" this very "I know what is right, righteous place" I feel awful and quite justified in my thoughts, feelings, and telling them exactly how disappointed I am. ugh. Good Lord. sigh........................

I know that if I wait for others to "behave" in ways that ally with my values so I can be happy that I will always be unhappy. I know this. I swear I do. And I can feel hurt, feelings are not right or wrong but I am the only one who can move past it. Or, better yet, stop setting myself up. Duh. I finally reconciled this today. I spoke with both my girls - and I KNOW they love me. They may not show it in ways that I think they should but once again, I let go of that. I felt such relief. I learned long ago to adjust my dreams for my children to fit my children's dreams for themselves. And I keep re-learning to receive how they show they love me on their terms, not mine. I'll admit, I wanted to be fussed over, planned for, celebrated in grand style. And I was, I just couldn't see it because I had a rigid idea of what that should look like and it had to do with me and not them. I can tell you that never works. phew. Their expressions were as heartfelt as my very different expectations - I know that now. Hindsight is always 20/20 huh?

Perhaps as the years go by and I feel them growing in to themselves and their life styles I lose ground every now and then. The love is always there - they would crawl over broken glass for me and I know this, without a doubt I know this. Sometimes I lose sight. In the moment of some unmet expectation I lose sight. And so it is that as a Mother I forgive, adjust, reconcile, accept, and believe. I move beyond my own wonder and hurt and join them in how they show their love rather that some pre-conceived notion of how I think they should. Some times it is a bigger leap of faith than other times.

The following song? I sang to ALL my kids when they were babies - whenever they were fussy or when I sang them to sleep - this was the song. Enjoy. ALthough I prefer the Peter, Paul and Mary version it is not available on YouTube. Oh well, I always loved John Denver too. :-)




Love Gail
peace.....

33 comments:

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Particularly as parents—but sometimes just as adults judging friends, lovers, or even the everyday people around us—we want others to act and feel like us, or like we think they ought to act and feel about us or a particular situation. And we get hurt or angry—or both!—when they don't.

Sometimes we are justified, but usually we're not. The problem is, of course, us…not them. People are different, people of different ages or cultures or background or faiths are different. There are days when I get up being different, almost alien to myself in my thinking and attitude.

Knowing this and being able to escape it's pitfalls are two different things. Because we're still us. We want things to be the way we want things to be. Does that make sense?

You're smarter, wiser, and better for being aware of how you and your feelings and attitudes fit in to this scenario—but you will never be able to overcome it fully…because you care. You care about yourself. Your care about others. You care about life well lived.

You are Gail—not someone else, just as they aren't you. And that's a very good thing. All you have to do is be the best Gail you can be.

cordieB said...

I've heard many times that as we grow older in years, we at some point start regressing back to childhood...(You are not at the age I'm speaking) Whether or not what I've heard is true or not, I do not know. However, I have seen many older individual regress, both mentally and physically, to childhood behaviorss. (where was i going with this, lol) Anywho, perhaps the inner child in you is still seeking love and attention from outside sources, especially from those individuals most closest to you. Perhaps this is why the lesson is so hard for you to learn. Also, your statement, "And so it is that as a Mother I forgive, adjust, reconcile, accept, and believe."

If they are displaying love in there own way, what is there to forgive??? Perhaps the lesson still needs to be worked on a bit before you go on to the next grade. Or, perhaps you're comfortable staying in the grade you're in. As the mother of two daughters in their 20's and one teen son, I know the feeling, however. I think we've learned the lesson, but refuse to apply it at times. We're not applying ourselves, as our teachers used to say. LoL. I imagine when we have truely healed and are ready, we will apply the many lessons that we sometimes throw out the window.

Peace, Light, and Love...and Happy Birthday!!!! C.

a corgi said...

I understand what you are saying Gail; been there done that with expectations of what I would like in ways of celebration and didn't get, but I've tried over the years to not expect anything on those special days/occasions so when something is planned or not planned, I'm happy with what takes place and not too terribly disappointed if something doesn't take place. But you are right, they love you and would do anything for you

(hope what I wrote made sense :)

betty

Bernie said...

I can so feel how much you love your daughters, it is because we love them that we are vulnerable but Gail this lesson is well known to all of us and it will come up again and again, it is just the way life is....you forgive them, they forgive you and all is well.
Keep your heart open and the love will conquer all. Have a great day my friend.....:-) Hugs

Comrade Kevin said...

I'll take what you've said to heart if I ever become a parent.

Eileen said...

Well, Gail, I've been there a lot! My husband and I say that to each other all the time! Do we really ask for much? I feel that we sacrifice so much for these kids and not that we're expecting a lot in return, but sometimes we do feel like doormats!

Most times though, especially where my kids are concerned, I've adopted the idea of "Expect nothing and you'll never be disappointed!"
It's when we set up expectations that they either aren't willing or able to fulfill that the trouble starts.
I just wish they'd adopt the same idea toward my husband and myself.
Believe me, that's not the case! They expect a lot from us. We hear it BIG TIME about all the disappointments we've caused them in throughout their lives! And they are still sitting with their hands out all the time. These are full-grown adults we're talking about here.
What can you do?

I really have no advice for you except to repeat the mantra to yourself, "Expect nothing. Expect nothing. Expect nothing."

Feel better.
Love you, Eileen
PS ~ Not that you need validation, and I know you're trying to re-learn lessons, but BS to that! It's not you! It's them!

Choices said...

Hi Gail,
No one ever said that motherhood was easy. It certainly does have its shares of worry and doubt. The love we have for our children is like no other. How true it is that our children's love eventually comes around. Very nice song. Was that your daughter when she was young?
Take care.

Wonderingsoul said...

Dear Gail,
I love the simple honesty of your post. I love it that you can be honest about your expectations and about your hurt.
I think it's ok to relearn lessons... It's 'normal'; frustrating and painful but ok.
Your post reminded me of a talk I once heard about how people have different 'love languages' and the importance of understanding the love language of those you are close to.

The idea was that some people spoke the language of love through time, and so to those, spending time with them showed them love. Others spoke through gifts, some through physcial contact, others through verbal expression...

I'm guessing your love language miay be different to your daughters'...

Not sure I have made sense! You may have had to be there!

X

PENolan said...

Shit! That hindsight thing bites again. I'm glad you're feeling better about life, the universe and everything.

Gail said...

@WANDERINGSOUL -

Thank you so much for your validating words and kind reminder that is okay to re-learn lessons. AND, your sharing about "love languages" makes perfect sense to me. Perfect se4nse, indeed. :-)
Love Gail
peaae.....


@ANNE/CHOICES-

"thank you" so much for your understanding of such a delicate matter. I am glad you liked the song and no, that was not a picture of my daughtr. :-) Always so nice to see you.

Love Gail
peace.....


@EILEEN -
knew you would intimately understand my hurt.....and my way to reconcile. I so appreciate your wisdom on these type situations. sigh......And my girls always have a hand out too and find a way to blame me for everything. Good Lord.
I really admire your selfless giving as a Gramma (Umma), and I respect any and all inout you offer.
Love to you
Gail
peace......

@KEVIN-
to read that you will take to heart, my words, were you to become a parent is one of the nicest compliments I ever received. "Thankyou" so much.

Love Gail
peace.....

@BERNIE -

"Thank you" Bernie for your loving and understanding words to me. You are so wise and so centered - I value your input tremendously.
Love to you
Gail
peace.....


@BETTY-
What you wrote makes perfect sense. And it is so true that if I don't expect anything then I will be surprised or remain neutral. I know this - just some times I run with it, as you undestand. :-)
"Thank you" Betty.
Love Gail
peace.....


@CORDIEB -
Thank you somuch for your heartfelt words to me. I understand about regression, although, like you said, I am not there. Also, interesting how you mentioned that I wrote "forgive" as I felt awkward writing it as well. Regardless of how I reconciled I still felt hurt - so I had to forgive that and take a step further and realize there intention was not to hurt - I know that but somehow I still needed to acknowledge forgiveness. And I imagine this lesson will be revisited again and again........as I am in many ways a wondrous work in progress. :-)
Love Gail
peace.....


@GRIZZ-
"Thank you" SO much for your wise and amazing words of true understanding, insight and kindness. And for reminding me that I will always feel a twinge around this issue because I care - and it is because I love so intently. My, my that was so good to read about myself. And I feel quite good that I 'came round' rather quickly and opened a loving dialogue between my daughters and myself - they soaked it up like fresh air - and that's because it was - fresh air for all of us.

Love to you
Gail
peace......

Gail said...

HI TRISH -
yup, this morning was a new day - I stopped whining and realized I can't set the stage for anyone but me!!
Love you a lot
Gail
peace.........

Wanda said...

Hi Gail...I'm sure as time passes and daughters mature and reflect on their own lives and children they will certainly express feelings you wish to hear...it comes with age don't you think...of being in your shoes finally so to say...now they are all caught up in themselves and theirs. I understand your wanting to be acknowledged and celebrated...it will come...because you deserve it! "They will learn"

Iktomi said...

most people do this! it's a lesson few learn in the first place, so really you're ahead of the game. :) it's good to remind yourself that they will show you love in their own way... i'll have to remember that too when my boy gets old enough to go his own way in things. (he already gives me "yuck mom!" faces when i kiss him... *sigh*) it's not easy when you need to be loved by a person so badly. i've had to remind myself this of my husband as well because he doesn't show as much affection as i'd like (but he is trying!) and i hate feeling like i'm being taken for granted, but that's a personal struggle, something *i* have to deal with instead of expecting others to accomodate me...

Gail said...

HI WANDA -


Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement. Meanwhile, it is what it is, or isn't, and i am going to go with the flow. :-) remembering that they love me.

Love Gail
peace.....

Gail said...

HI IKTOMI -

Again, your wisdom is so seasoned beyond your years. That you know it is your struggle regarding affection, and so forth. And that was an adorable image about your son's "yuck face".....it pretty much looks the same when they are grown!! :-)
Love Gail
peace.....

Diana said...

Oh Gail I too have experienced this very same thing. We mom's are very sensitive! But you know the answers. They are who they are . We've done our job. It is hard to accept that at times but it does make it easier when we do. Perfect example. I am forever wondering if my son cares about me. I now he loves me, but he rarely calls me. But I know that when I had my stroke he left work and was the first one at the hospital by my side the whole time. My DIL later told me how upset and depressed he was after that. He's not a talker.
They are all individuals now that we have no control over. But they love us despite that!
Love Di

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Gail :)

I think being a parent is the most wonderful thing anyone could experience in their lives. I also know, children are selfish...but they do love us. We can change our reaction to what people do or say to us, but we can't change them. It's just life. I don't think I truly comprehended the sacrifices my Mom made for me or the love she had for me until I had children myself.
I, like you, wish I could learn my lessons the first time around...LOL
Wouldn't life be so much easier?

You have picked a lovely folk song...what a perfect song to sing to your children. You are a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart and I'm very happy to have met you!

Gail said...

HI CHIC-

"Thank you" so much for your kind and understanding words to me. I can feel how you truly understand the many facets of relationships. And I am humbled by your compliments to me. And I am so very happy we met, as well. :-)

Love to you
Gail
peace.....
peace......

Gail said...

HI DIANA-

Thank you so much for sharing your personal story about your son. It helps me SO much when I hear about other wisdom Mom's have about their kids. phew.
You are truly an inspiration to me.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Teresa said...

Hi Gail,
Your post was so timely. I was about to blog about this lesson too, just this morning. Eileen is right "Expect nothing, and you are never disappointed" OMG! I am in total disbelief about what my daughter and her boyfriend did just yesterday, and I have been fuming all night.

I am not going to blog about it, but I am going to repeat the mantra Eileen suggested. "Expect Nothing! Expect Nothing! Expect Nothing!, there, and I feel so much better....thanks for sharing ((((HUGS)))) 555

Gail said...

HI TERESA -

Yes, timing is everything. :-) I am glad my writing came at a time when it was helpful for you. And yes, Eileen is SO right, I am saying the same mantra over and over. Good Lord.

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Margie said...

Gail
Oh, that song is so wonderful, isn't it?
How lovely that you sang it to your "babies"

The love we share with our children is like no other!

My life is so blessed with my love for my childern as well as the love I recieve from them.

Gail, such a good post for me today as I have been feeling just a little sad about not so talking with my daughter lately.
She just recently got married and is very busy with her job and new hubby.

I called her today and told her how much I missed our long talks...she promised she would call me very soon.
How happy I was!
And we ended our conversation with "love you so much!"

May you always be blessed with the amazing love of your children, Gail

Margie:)

Gail said...

HI MARGIE -

Yes,it is a beautiful song. :-) "Thaznk you" for sharing about how you were feeling today and how you called your daughter. We, like you and yours, always end with saying "I love you". I guess that is all that really matters.
Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Mark said...

Great song!

Yes, the lesson of letting go of expectations is one that does seem to take a while to take hold. We must learn to allow others to be who they are in every way and not expect them to be mini mes. Great post!

Gail said...

HI MARK -

"Mini me's" - oh my goodness that is the best phrase ever to define my unrealistic expectations. Thank you for the reality jolt in two words!! :-)

Love you
Gail
peace.....

Rose Marie Raccioppi said...

"rather that some pre-conceived notion" - Well there you have it - my wise, loving, honest friend of life.
Yours is an effusive exuberance I deeply respect. Applause for your willingness to reveal rather than hide, your willingness to confront and work toward the resolve you know that awaits.

As a mother, as a friend, BRAVO!

Gail said...

ROse Marie -

"Thank you" for cheering for me!! I SO appreciate your applause of understanding.

Love to you
Gail
peace.....

Children with out voices said...

So much advice,even though I have a large family, I find it difficult to comment. You seem to have everything all together not much one can tell you, that you haven't experienced yourself.

Finding Pam said...

Hi Gail, the good news is that we are able to re-learn any situation. My adage has always been when we know better, we do better.

It sounds as if you have done everything right with your children. Remember they are not us, nor would we want them to be carbon copies of either.

Our children are on loan to us but for a very short time and then they spread their wings and fly on their own.

Blessings my friend,
Pam

Gail said...

HI CHILDREN WITHOUT VOICES -

I always desire to learn from other's experience, strength and wisdom. And yous would be most welcome and appreciated.. :-)

Love Gail
Peace....

Gail said...

HI PAM -
"thank you" so much for your words of understanding and support. I know so well that our children are on loan for a time, and yet my heart is not in sync with that. :-)

Peace and love
Gail

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Oh my gosh, that was such a beautiful post. I am not a mother, but rather I see myself in one of your daughters (or both?). I'm not my mother's ideal daughter anymore. I used to be, and spent years fussing over her, as you would say. And then one day I stopped. I withdrew for reasons I'm still not fully aware of, yet that seem very real to me. My mother was hurt by it, and still talks to my brother about me before coming to me directly. It's okay, I realize, as I have just as hard a time loving her where she is as she does loving me where I am.
What is it with families? They push our buttons like no one else... And yet we love them, as you said, so deeply that we'd crawl over glass if need be.
I appreciate you writing this, and send you positive energy and strength to go on with grace and patience. They might surprise you yet.

Gail said...

HI MEGAN

Thank you so much for sharing from the perspective of the daughter - your input is so valuable and I am honored that you came by an shared. - I will stop by your place soon.

Love Gail
peace.....