I have had a hiatus from blogging. It has been difficult to do anything here lately, with everything that is going on the last few months.
I have started going back to church and taking the girls with me. They love church, and the church we are going to is small and feels very cozy. Very much like family, rather than just people you see once a week.
I have been on this personal journey of examining my life and how I have caused many problems in my life.
I want to be a better mother. I know there isn't any such thing as a perfect mom, but I want to know that I'm "good enough". Trouble is, we never know as parents if we are doing the right things. One child will interpret the things you say or do one way, another child will interpret it in the exactly opposite way. I realized this when I examined closely how my brothers and I grew up. My mom might say something, to which I would just let it roll off my shoulders, but one brother took it to heart and it hurt him deeply.
I have to pray every day to God to help guide me. Sometimes I find myself regretting something I have done or said. The best thing I can do is apologize to my daughter(s) and explain why I believe I was wrong, and what I want to do better. I have explained many times that there is no perfect parent... no matter how great someone else's mom seems, they need to trust that that mother has her own issues and probably gets just as mad or frustrated with her kids as I can from time to time. Most of the time I get the biggest thrill from knowing and loving my kids, and they rarely disappoint.
The completely amazing thing to me is a child's ability to forgive... and to love you anyway. My children teach me more about what love is than any book can. And I am humbled by their love.
I am coming to a better understanding about forgiveness. I had for years thought that forgiveness meant that I forget about the wrongs done to me. But that is not what it is about at all. You can have compassion for and understanding of why someone would hurt you or wrong you. It doesn't mean you should forget what they did or allow them back into your life without caution. Having compassion doesn't mean you allow someone to hurt you again and again. I need to love the people who hurt me, because they wouldn't have been doing the things they do without having had hurts done to them in their past. Whatever happened to them that led to their rationalizing their bad behavior, their outlook can be changed if they want it to be.
That is the issue. If they truly want to change, and are willing to see changes in me, then healing can really begin in relationships. And then, sometimes, the patterns are so deeply ingrained, we are blinded by our own self-interest or life-experiences that we fail to see the second (and third, or fourth, or fifth) chances that are given to us by the Grace of God. But one can always hope there will be a time for redemption.
As I said, I'm going through some soul searching and changes, and I'm a slow learner. But once it is there, once I understand, it takes hold and never lets go.
As I come to a fuller understanding of things, these realizations will be fuller as well. We all have these journeys to a more complete self - and while I am on mine, I need to keep my heart open to it.