Peace in my heart, and a big decision that has been made.

Today was a beautiful day, and the grief and unrest I wrote about have calmed.  I have peace in my heart today, and remember that I am not entitled to people being how I want them to be.  I am privileged to know them as they are, and I can choose to simply love them.  I am grateful to have that love in my heart.  I am grateful my parents are still in this world.  I am grateful I have two sisters with whom I hope to share many more years with.

My girls and Alan made me breakfast in bed and showered me with homemade cards and a garland of paper cranes.  It was absolutely lovely and delightful.  I felt so loved.  That love reminded me of how quickly sadness and grief can be soothed.  Love is a great healer.

Alan and I made a decision tonight, and it feels good to us both.  We feel settled, finally, and that we can rest about this inner turmoil we’ve had for many months.  Our girls will stay at the same school next year.  We canceled Anna’s enrollment to the charter school.

We will stay in the area we live in now.  We will still try to sell the house and move to a bigger house, but if the house does not sell, it’s ok.  The girls have their same school and their same community.  It feels safe and good.  Alan’s job will still change, and our house might change.  But we have the same community.

Love and peace to all of you, if any of you read this anymore :)

Lisa

Who wants to give me advice?

I would love your opinion on this, so please email me or leave a message here if you have a thought you’re willing to share!

This is our situation that I need advice for:

Where we live now, we have to drive the girls to and from school each day and this is challenging and stressful.  Next year it will be more difficult, because Alan will no longer work at the girls’ school and it will be my job to drive all the time. There is heavy traffic where we live and in surrounding areas.  We feel our house is too small/closed in, and we feel cramped.  Alan’s job next year is 20-30 minutes from our house in heavy traffic.  We COULD move into the busing area for the girls current school and eliminate the driving dilemma, but neither of us are particularly fond of the area. We would consider living there, however, if that were best for the girls.  It is a busy and expensive area to live, but we could probably manage.

Anna got into the charter school we wanted, but Mia did not.  We are considering moving into the busing area for the charter school. If we moved there, we do not know where Mia would go to school or if she would like it, but the public schools in that area are good.  Anna is open to going to the new school and is somewhat excited about the possibility, but Mia doesn’t want to change anything and does not want to leave her house or her school.

Alan and I want to live in a quieter area with more space.  We like City Option 1, and it is close enough to Alan’s new job, and a somewhat better commute than he would have from our current location.

After Mia is done with elementary school, if we still lived here, I do not know where she would go to school.  Our local middle school is not a place we want to send her.  I have considered homeschooling her after elementary school, so in that case, it would not matter where we live.  However, I am not sure whether I will want to homeschool or if that will be best for her at that time.  I do not know if Anna would be homeschooled or if she would go to school, while Mia homeschools.  That all feels very heavy and draining to me right now.

We are both afraid of uprooting our girls from a community they have been a part of.  What if they don’t like their new schools? Is it too big a risk to take? It feels like such a big change, and we’re afraid of making a mistake.  We want to do the right thing, but what is it?

A big decision

We’ve been trying to decide for a while whether to stay or move.  We are torn, and neither Alan nor I are sure about what we want.  So, here go the pros and cons.

Pros about staying:

Save money

Less stress right now

Girls stay with their school and friends

Pros about moving:

Anna goes to new school that might be a better fit, Montessori method

Quieter school, small school

Bigger house in a location we like better

Girls take the bus to school

Cons about staying:

Driving girls to and from school every day

Chaotic atmosphere at school, lots of kids

Sixth grade at this school=homework and notoriously crabby teachers/pressure

Small house/feels cramped

Cons about moving:

Stress right now

Stress in the adjustment of new home and school

Might not like it

Might cost more money

Might have to move again if Alan gets another job

Uprooting the girls from their friends and school

We have to make our decision this week or next, because class placements and school choice will be finalized.  I am putting it out into the universe that we will make the decision that is the best fit for Alan, Anna, Mia and me.  Thank you.

Mother’s day, and things that are hard to accept

I am in a process of change right now, transitioning from one internship to another.  I am leaving a space where I had found belonging, purpose, and comfort, and now I enter a new space where I have none of that, at least, not yet.  It is difficult and unsettling, and makes me more prone to feeling overwhelmed and overly sensitive in other areas of my life.  I also find myself resisting and feeling critical of the new experiences that are coming, and am trying to remain open and willing to something new. I will miss my old internship and the relationships I made there, and I guess I have to grieve the loss of that a bit.

On my course to becoming a therapist, I’ve learned that emotional pain comes with resistance, or lack of acceptance.  When we accept things as they are and love things as they are, there is no pain.  When we want something different than what we have, we feel pain.  I am in a state of pain.  I am realizing (again) the reality of some of my family relationships and grieving what I’ve never had and will possibly never have.  There is a void.  There is a longing.  There is pain.

Through the last two years, I’ve been on an intense journey that has stretched me in ways I have never been stretched before.  I have gained strength, courage and confidence.  I have also learned who is “there for me” and who I can rely on to help carry me in difficult times.  My husband, my children, my husband’s parents, my supportive friends near and far. My consistent support people are not in my immediate family of origin.  I know I cannot change that.  Accepting that is hard.

For as long as I can remember, it has been a stressful and painful space, the space with my family of origin.  We did not learn to love others or treat others with kindness.  We did not learn to love ourselves or expect to be treated with love.  Somehow I’ve found a way out of that, and have learned how to be a part of something better.  The road has been bumpy and messy, and I have hurt so many people along the way (self included). I’ve had to unlearn so much, find new seeds, and plant them.  I call these my “seeds of change.” It has been so much work.  Looking back, I am not sure how I got here, other than by being really fucking stubborn, persistent and resilient–which were all viewed as negative traits when I was younger. I love my family of origin unconditionally, without a doubt.

And maybe that’s what hurts so much.  Loving someone who I am often embarrassed by, feel rejected by, or feel unimportant to–it fucking hurts sometimes.  Loving someone who is outwardly racist and bigoted, spiteful, and arrogant is a painful thing to be a part of.  The more I grow into my own purpose and truth, the more I want something else with them.  I want a loving, caring space. I want a space where we can share our own joys and sorrows, a space of safety and comfort.  I want to be mothered.  I just want to be taken care of sometimes.  I want to be asked how I am doing, what I’ve been up to, what I want from life.

I am feeling really sorry for myself right now.

This all sounds so unhealthy, and I can just imagine what I, as a therapist, would say if a client spoke these words to me.   I am not sure what I would say, other than words of validation. I understand that primal pain, that pain that comes with longing that will never be satisfied.  It is an empty place, a bucket with holes in it.  It’s the recipe for a vast array of mental disorders.  It has affected every relationship I have ever had.  And this is something I must accept.  And it is what fuels me.  I want to create change and hope.  I want to strive for healing in myself and others.

I know I can only change myself, and that through changing myself, the family dynamic changes.  I have seen that happen.  In my own development from an unhealthy to a more healthy being, I have needed further and firmer boundaries with my family.  I have felt more and more as an outsider, and really as an alien in my family.  I do not support the legacy I have been handed down.  I want it to die with me.

Mother’s Day is bittersweet.  I celebrate the love I have for my children and the joy in my heart from my own journey as a mother.  It has been healing, and it has been vulnerable and difficult, too. I celebrate the unconditional love I have for my mother, alongside the pain and longing that comes with that love.  I want so much more.  And at the same time, life simply “just is.” Acceptance releases pain.  That’s what I am striving for.

“Listen, love, and just be there, without judgment or correction.”

These are words are borrowed from The Invisible Scar.

These words eloquently express how we can best help those who are hurting.  They also express how we can best help ourselves.

I was warmed to read them today on one of my favorite blogs on WordPress and wanted to pass them along and record them here as a reminder.  Sometimes the most healing effort we can put forth is to simply “listen, love, and just be there, without judgment or correction.”

Message to all of us.

Our Deepest Fear

by Marianne Williamson from A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Children pass through us.

On Children
Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

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