Sunday, October 6, 2013

Practicing Gratitude Part 2

Last week I wrote about cultivating gratitude.

The idea of cultivation being that it takes work, it takes energy, it seems sometimes counter to instinct.

But I fear I wasn't frank enough.  I was clear that it's an effort, right?

Because I am not some sort of awesome perfect parent who meditates at 5:30 every morning and who greets my children with a warm embrace and a shiny bright smile no matter what time they wake up.

Some days that's me, some days.  The days when I happen to be in a good mood, and other days when the mood escapes me but I have the presence of mind to not be grouchy.

But then there are other days, too many other days when I am just a grumpy cow.

Days when I succumb to lifes irritations.  When it's not water of a ducks back.  When I don't roll with the punches.  When, instead of rising above a situation or focussing on gratitude and compassion I allow frustration to get the better of me.

And there are days when I am not just irritated or tired or grumpy.  There are days when I am actually angry, really angry.  And shouty.  And basically just a bitch.  

I can't hide that fact.  I'm not proud of it, but I don't deny it.

Last night I caught up with a beautiful girlfriend for the first time in too long.  We chatted about parenthood and I admitted to her my anger. And she reminded me of the important, but too easily forgotten fact that our kids are just tiny people navigating the world the best way they can.  

They are rarely the embodiment of all the fears and insecurities that we overlay on them.  Those fears that often lead to the anger.  Our children are just babies. 

She reminded me that if we come at them with love, we will never regret it.  Anger, frustration, irritation all end in guilt and regret.  Love and compassion never do.

So when I wrote last week about cultivating gratitude it was a lesson for myself.  A reminder.  A summons.

It certainly wasn't a tutorial - because who am I to offer such a thing?

Just an imperfect mother trying to do better every day.

What are you most grateful for?

Listen to: The Beatles A Hard Day's Night

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