The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy. Jim RohnWhen I became a mother I knew I wanted to be the best mother I could be. Not ever having walked in a mother's shoes before, I didn't feel confident in my abilities. I knew, however, that what I wanted to give my daughters, Alexis and Liseanne, was the gift of becoming who they are meant to be without making 'my stuff', their stuff. (Did I mention I used to wear deep rose coloured glasses?)
To educate myself, I read books, watched videos, took courses, spoke with other parents, counsellors, and wise women and tested each step I took on this wondrous path of being a mother. Naturally, there was one element in this journey I could not predict. My daughters. They were each unique, individual, miraculous beings and while I could 'make' them do what I said, I could not force them, corral them or round them up into being who I wanted them to be -- no matter how hard I tried.
When the girls were little, I recognized that to have a good relationship with my daughters I needed to have a better relationship with my mother. Ours had always been a difficult relationship. In my mother's eyes, I was the rebel. The one who always had to do it her way, who didn't listen, who didn't care enough to take care of her feelings, her needs, her wants.
To me, my mother was an enigma. I could never understand her sadness, never understand her needs, I could never understand her. I didn't know what to say when she cried. I didn't know what to do when she accused me of being someone I believed myself not to be, someone I never wanted to be. And so I kept my distance.
And then I had these two little miracles and I had to do something to build a bridge into my mother's heart.
One night, while on a business trip to the city where my parents lived, I asked my mother if she would sit down and tell me her life story. She began to speak and as she spoke, she began to cry. She cried for two and a half hours, yet she could not stop telling me her story. In her words I began to see the woman behind the wall of fear I had built between us -- I had always been afraid of being smothered, of being buried alive beneath my mother's sorrow, drowning in the ocean of her tears. I had always feared being needed and not being able to give someone what they said they needed to soothe their needs. My mother was sad and I was not powerful enough to lift her sadness -- no matter how much I wanted to or how hard I tried. I was not that powerful to give someone else everything they wanted or believed they needed to make their world right.
At the homeless shelter, I work amidst hundreds of people who bury their sadness beneath the drugs and alcohol, the anger and abuse they hurl out at a world that they believe does not understand. A world that cannot give them what they want. A world that cannot give them what they believe they need to feel better, do better, be better in this world.
No one is that powerful.
My mother gave me a gift long ago -- it is the gift of insight. As a child, I wanted desperately to make my mother happy and studied everything she did and said to understand what it was I needed to do to make it happen. But, I was always fighting against myself. Always battling my self calling me to be who I am meant to be. Within me was this wise woman who knew, I could never give my mother what she needed most of all, it wasn't in me to give her. It was in her to give to herself.
On the weekend, Mary Davis, the daughter of Choices founder, Thelma Box asked me, "How do you do what you do? How do you work there?"
The answer is easy. I know I am not powerful enough to change someone else's life. What I can do is show them through my words, my actions, my deeds that I am powerful enough to make a difference in my life. And when I make a difference in my life, I change the world around me.
I am a fearless woman touching hearts and opening minds to set spirits free.
Once upon a time I was a little girl struggling to change the world -- it was a world I didn't understand. It was a world of fear and uncertainty. A world where I felt out of step with who I was in the scheme of what the people around me told me I was or should be.
Today, I know who I am. I know my power comes not in making the world revolve around me. My power comes from standing fearlessly in my size nine dancing shoes, leaping for joy at the wonder of the beauty all around me. My power comes in knowing inside me there is everything I will ever need to create the life of my dreams. I have it all!
Today, I know I am not powerful enough to change the world. I am powerful enough to change my world -- and so I do. Every day. I learn and grow and put my learning into action. I dig and roto-rooter around my inner being, unearthing hidden gems of knowledge, of insight, of vision, sharing the gifts I find to create a world of wonder all around me.
And when I share freely of the best of me, I create the best all around me. I move with grace and ease, accepting those I meet upon my path as miraculous beings of love and light. In my acceptance, my light illuminates the path between us, casting away the shadows of self-doubt that would have me run back into the darkness of believing, I am helpless to create a better world all around me.
I am not helpless -- I am powerful beyond my wildest imaginings.
So are you.
The question is: Are you willing to give up your role of fixing the world out there? Are you willing to dive into the wondrous world within you to love yourself exactly the way you are today? Are you willing to accept that you are powerful enough to create everything you ever dreamed of in your life today?