Seriously, I Don't Need A Straitjacket...Not Just Yet
By JoyPageManuel on February 06, 2013
I've always said that one of the worst combinations one could ever encounter in this life is arrogance and stupidity. Amazingly, the two are in a tight partnership. Almost always, annoyingly arrogant people are also stupid, whether in a latent or manifest way. Well you can imagine how crappy I must feel (although I must admit, it's liberating!) when it hit me last night that I have become exactly that...arrogant, and thus stupid. Not only that. I've also just realized that it is this arrogance that's killing me.
If you've been following this blog, you know by now that I have been feeling so stressed out. And the stress is all self-inflicted. If you recall, two blog entries ago, I confessed to being overly paranoid especially when it comes to my son's health. I guess that confession happened mainly because I have been feeling that my breaking point is fast approaching. They say crazy people don't really know they're crazy. I suppose I'm one of the lucky (?) few who can still recognize it. Now if only recognition brought instant healing. However it is true that sometimes, knowing and knowing too much can cause you even greater suffering, and this is how it feels for me right now. I have recognized and acknowledged the source of my sorrow, the insanity staring me in the face and about to eat me alive, and I refuse to be defeated by it. I started dealing with it last night by doing what any unemployed (translate: no moolah), self-help junkie knows how....Self-therapy.
This is pretty much how it went...
I'm feeling so stressed out. I'm exhausted. I'm tired of feeling this way, perpetually worrying, perpetually afraid. Afraid of what? I'm scared of dropping the ball. This means you may be feeling overly-responsible, even for things beyond your control. And maybe that's the problem, because you think, would like to think or actually believe that you can control things. But you don't. It is utterly arrogant of you to think you can do it all, figure it all out, manage everything. The fact is you can't. No one can. Even if you dropped the ball, the world will not end. I know it won't but I will blame myself for it if I think that I could've prevented something and I failed to. I feel as if whatever bad thing couldhappen, would happen on that single moment when I look away, or relax, or decide to release the reins even just slightly. You speak as if 'Life' is out to get you; as if it has some evil game planned out for you. I guess, yes, in a way. You don't have faith. You need to believe that no one or nothing is out to get you. And most of all, you need to believe that whatever happens to you, you will be alright. I always think the worst. Don't. Because then you'd attract the worst. You know better than this! You know that thought IS energy. Stop weighing your self down. Don't you see that you are doing this to your self? Your overwhelming and completely misplaced sense of responsibility is torturing you, killing you, draining you mentally, physically and spiritually. Stop the arrogance, the stupidity. You cannot control everything and can't do everything. Be humble and learn to surrender.
After all this introspection, one resounding truth clearly surfaced. It's not as simple as having such strong protective instincts for my son, but it's also about my fear of not measuring up to impossible standards I've set for my self as a parent. When I panic and want to control everything to protect my child, I know that it's a host of fears kicking in. It's my fear of being judged, my fear of being perceived as inadequate, my fear of judging myself as a parent, my fear of not being able to forgive myself for making mistakes, missing or ignoring symptoms, taking things for granted, 'dropping the ball'. It becomes about this tremendous pressure I have chosen to put on myself and all this translates to choosing fear instead of love; a choice that drains me repeatedly. I have been making the mistake of thinking that to be the ideal parent is to be protective and highly involved. But we all know that's not really the ideal. We all know that when this type of parenting persists, this type which has become more about the caregiver than the one being cared for, then the end result is but a crippled child. I want my son to be strong and resilient, mentally, emotionally AND physically. He will never develop these necessary muscles unless I allow him to exert them himself, unless I learn to back off a bit, unless I learn to
Ultimately, there is only one goal in parenting and that is to adequately prepare the child for what life has to offer. And the fact is, Life is messy, unpredictable, challenging and has far too many variables for any one human being to anticipate, let alone control. The sooner my son learns this, actually lives these truths, the stronger and better equipped he will be. I just need to constantly remind myself that it needs to be about him and not me. For his sake, I need to show him my humanity, my frailties, my inadequacies; that parents do make mistakes, and drop the ball. Most of all, I need to teach him that Mommy is only able to keep it all together because her every breath is actually a prayer. And maybe it also won't hurt if every now and then Mommy seeks therapy?....maybe. For now, be patient with me. I'm doing my best to find my way to greater self-kindness.
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