My boys heal my soul.
I had so much self-rejection for a long time because I looked at myself through that awful lens of “Not enough.” It was so strong that when these little people came into my life and looked at me with their big, blue “You’re my everything” eyes, I really didn’t know how to categorize their love and devotion.
I spent a lot of years trying to figure it out, be worthy of it, and justify it.
I spent a lot of time in my head about their heart because I was trying to make sense of how these boys, and their dad, could love me so much when I was obviously not enough.
I couldn’t figure out how I could have all that extra cellulite on my thighs and extra cranky in my words and yet, with all that “extra” still not be enough.
I wished I had more patience,
a cleaner house, smaller jeans and a bigger smile.
I realize that my beliefs about life, love, and God were hanging me up.
I felt like those prisoners you see in the movies: Their visitors come to see them but there’s this big glass between them. The pick up the phone. They can see each other. Speak words. But can’t touch.
That’s how my heart felt about me so, I’m not quite sure how I expected it to be different with my husband and my kids.
Something had to change.
Through my religious exodus away from tight theologies of fear, into spacious places about Love…
Through my health journey that had me examine the saboteur in me, who didn’t feel like I was worthy of being alive…
Through my spiritual practices of meditation, yoga, and my 100-Day Gong, I can say this:
That bitchy, naggy, “You don’t ever do it right” voice that was in my head got silent one today. Well, mostly silent. She still tries to make a guest appearance sometimes but I know what to do with her now…
But basically, she stopped.
And this encouraging voice replaced hers. I started hearing words that resonated more in my heart than anything, “I’m so proud of you. You are so strong. Do you know how amazing you are.”
I’d find myself smiling for no other reason than because that voice, that had originally put that nasty, deep wrinkle in the middle of my forehead, had been traded for one that spoke encouraging words of life to me.
It makes me happy just to think about it.
I am not done, but I am different.
These boys? I feel their love now. I mean, really feel it. I’m not in my head about it anymore. I’m just in my heart, receiving it and eating it up, the way you do with a piece of bread with your Sunday gravy at your Italian grandma’s house after mass, not wanting to miss a drop of the sauce because it’s so full of the most amazing flavor and it’s so freaking good.
When Caleb (the one in the picture with the pursed lips who had just lost two teeth that week and wasn’t sure how to smile without catching a draft) who is now 5’11” with size 15 feet and 15 years old, walked into the kitchen the other morning, he held his arms outstretched, surprised to see me at at the table, and said,
“Good morning, Beautiful Momma!” I looked up and smiled.
“Hello, handsome Caleb.”
He grinned the biggest grin and put one hand on his chest and said in a moment of genuine joy,
“I feel SO lucky to have you be my mom. I can’t even believe I get to have YOU as my mom.”
I didn’t know where this was coming from but I couldn’t stop smiling. My face was hurting. I stood up and gave him the biggest hug and when he pulled out of it, he looked me in the eyes, and started humming. He grabbed my right hand with his left and started dancing with me – the dance steps we had learned at a swing class a few weeks before. He was doing it kind of clunky because he was trying to get it right.
I said, “Don’t think about it. Feel it.” His grin grew wide, he loosened his grip, and started moving his shoulders in a groovy, free way as he led me around the kitchen floor. We both could not stop giggling because it was just so much fun.
A pre-breakfast moment between two members of the Mutual Admiration Society.
The love. The dance.
It’s not in our head. It’s in our heart.
We don’t have to do it perfectly. Or get it right.
We just have to loosen up and feel it.
I’m so grateful — not only for these guys and their love, because the truth is that they’ve always given it. But I’m thankful for my ability to receive it, because it’s amazing to be able to say that I can after all this time.
When you’re in your head, you count time and measure how much of it you’ve lost or how much time is left, but when you’re in your heart, you’re so full of the experience that you go “Time Shmime — what’s that? Has there ever been any other moment but this one?”
You feel so full, that the love feels like it’s been there forever.
Maybe it feels that way, because it always has.
An Unconventional Life: Where Messes And Magic Collide
One reader said, “This is my favorite book I’ve read all year — actually the last TWO years!” – MR
It’s called “An Unconventional Life: Where Messes and Magic Collide” — so full of fun, wisdom, and life’s magical (and not so magical) moments.
You can purchase your copy through Amazon, OR request a signed copy.