let there be light

I wasn’t going to address the terrible tragedy that took place in Aurora, Colorado last Friday.  I’m sure everyone has seen and read enough about this heinous crime than we care to.  I don’t watch a lot of television, but I can pretty much guarantee that reporters, interviewers, and journalists along the likes of Anderson Cooper, Piers Morgan, the Today Show crowd, and the whole lot of them over at Fox News are keeping everyone up to speed with minute by minute updates and interviews.  In fact, I bet you can’t even turn on the tv without being bombarded with gun control debates, the suspect’s bio, and his picture playing over and over again, how sorry everyone is that this happened and what we can do to prevent it from happening in the future.  I’m not saying this horrific event isn’t worth reporting.  I’m not even saying that we shouldn’t investigate into the mind of this obviously disturbed and some would say “terrorist” of an individual.  I am saying that in light of this senseless act, the media shit storm that follows really irks me.  It all becomes sensationalized and political.  So much so that I feel we often tend to forget that precious lives were lost and we focus more on how the suspect ‘appeared’ to look in court, who’s representing him, what their angle of defense will be, and how ‘movie-like’ his booby-trapped apartment is.

Should there be stricter gun control laws?  Is it constitutional?  Would an increase in laws make an impact in the reduction of these types of crimes?   What about the mental health crisis we have here in the US?  How can we help these people?  More drugs?  How about the justification of the violent and disturbing video games/movies our youth are continually exposed to?

Is it me or do you find it difficult to comprehend the fact that this:

 MAY be more publicly acceptable in our society than this:

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel the problem is much much deeper than more laws and more drugs.  The problem might lie in the continuation of war and hate and violence that seems to have taken hold of our country and our world.  Even so, my love, prayers and thoughts go out to all the victims and their families.  May they have light in this moment of darkness and may we work together to make our world a safe and peaceful place.

The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

“The Paradoxical Commandments” were written by Kent M. Keith in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders.  They had hung on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, India.  More info here.

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

in the moment

Be in the moment.

Be in the moment.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Hold on to it.

Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Hold on to it.

Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!

and….done.

Oh yes! A record ten seconds to clear my head!

Live in the moment.  We hear this saying all the time in some form or another.  Whether it be in a yoga class, philosophy book, or from the older lady at Target who is keen on observing our primo mommying adventures.  But what does it really mean to us as mothers?  Frankly, I find it extremely hard to “be” in the moment as a mom.  I am constantly on the go, go, go.  With housework and work work  and play dates and nap time and bedtime and lunch time and freak-out time (the kids, not me—OK, me too!), there never seems like enough time in the day to actually exist in the moment.  As a mother to small children, I feel like I am constantly battling.  I’m battling laundry and dishes and dirty floors and messy bedrooms and scraped knees and melt-downs.  All the while leaving me exhausted and short-tempered, craving a piece of chocolate cake and a shower.

To revel in a clear mind and a calm body, it feels foreign to most.  And it shouldn’t.  Maybe the definition of living in the moment has everything to do with the jumbled and discombobulated life I do live and nothing to do with the life I perceive it to represent.  Not yearning for the past when I was flying solo or a future that holds the next best thing to make my life easier.  The clean house that I strive for or the live-in nanny that I will never have, but dream about often.  Maybe if I stopped fighting the daily chores and the sleepless nights, my mind would awaken to the revelation that, YES! this is my moment.  Every day with my children and my husband.  The good, the bad, the pee all over the bathroom, they all lead me to me.

raising a child

Children are messy and noisy and loud and whiney.

Children cry and fight and annoy and bother.

Children stumble and fall and break things and scream.

We all know this going in.  Or at least we should.  From infancy through the teenage years (and beyond!) we are challenged.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Forever.  No joke.  How we react is key.  Is it helpful to share our frustrations with others?  Absolutely!  It makes the process of child-rearing real.  Is it healthy to bitch and moan about your kids ALL the TIME?  The answer is simple – no.

Let’s face it, raising children is a difficult task.  Adjusting to a newborn is probably one of the hardest challenges I ever had to go through.  It’s definitely one of the most grounding, mind-altering, loving events in my life.  Sleepless nights, endless laundry and diaper changes, 24/7 breast-feeding.  Coming to the realization that life is no longer solely about me.  The pressure of knowing that the choices I make in these early years will shape my child.  Dealing with inconveniences is inevitable, but it’s part of the story.  An essential part.  A part that teaches and tests.  A part that helps me dig deep within myself to see what I’m really made of.  The sooner I focused in on this, the sooner my vision and plan for my family came together.  As a mother, I fall on my face…a lot.  But I get up – again and again and again.

When will we realize that parenting our children is a privilege and a responsibility – not a hindrance?  Our kids need us to provide for them and support them and make important decisions for them.  They need us to be their teachers and their playmates and their boo-boo kissers.  Every day, we are molding them physically, emotionally, and spiritually through our actions or inactions.  Raising a child should be a wonderful journey, not a bitch-fest.  It requires an educated mind, a loving soul, and inexplicable acts of kindness.  All in all, being a mother is a thankless job, but it helps to remember that:

Children are wonderful and funny and pure.

Children are full of love and light and strength.

Children are inspiring and adventurous and beautiful.

Children . . . they string our joys, like jewels bright, upon the thread of years. ~Edward A. Guest