Over the last few weeks, I've realized a trend...this mamma's getting grumpy a lot more often than I'd like to admit. I've been short tempered, and although I've had quite a few great moments of feeling aligned and in joy, the truth is that my old companion grumpy, has been rearing it's ugly head - and if you don't know anything about me, know this, I am an extreme perfectionist - no not cleaning...my house gets quite messy (c'mon now, I've got 5 homeschooled kids!), but with my SELF. I suffer from perfect actionism (yeah that is so a word. A word that I just made up!). I am one of those people who expects myself to be perfectly self controlled at all times (I'm an Aquarius my astrologically inclined people). In all situations, I expect the highest of myself. So, when I start to see ol grumpy puss show her head, it's my cue to figure it out.
The thing about being an extreme perfect actionist (yup, I just used that non phrase) is this - it's exhausting - because it's not real - it's a mask. Yeah I'm a spiritual junkie and believe in all of that highest self stuff, but the truth is that no matter how much I want to live the highest possible life, challenges do and will come up. It's my sign that there is something going on. That there is something that I have to pay attention to and figure out. So when Missy Grumpy Puss started showing her head, around my little ones, that's my sign that something has to change.
So, after much thought and emotional connection here's what I've come up with: I've stopped showing up for myself. I'm slipping and it's showing. I am trying to be available to so many people, but I'm not available for me. I've sunken into auto pilot: wake up, make coffee, make breakfast, homeschool, clean, lunch, activities, dinner, dinner serve, clean up, somewhere in-between those things, read a few books, walk dog, clean, sleep. Wake up, no rinse, repeat. No moment for Mamma V. No time to relax, or enjoy. When this starts to happen, is when I start to get snappy, when I start to feel blamey and start to feel like I'm all give and like if no one is doing things for me. But the truth is that if I don't take a moment for me, no one is going to give it to me. I have to take it. Unapologetically.
You see, there is nothing wrong with serving, and doing, and being there for others, but the truth is that I can't fill their cup, if mine is empty. There is no such thing as perfect, only now - and in the NOW is when we can figure out what our needs are. With honesty. Taking responsibility and holding myself accountable for MY actions. Learning to see the truth of my reactions, when I'm snappy or grumpy, and loving myself through those moments - the way that I love my children in theirs. Forgiving myself, so that I can get to the core, and come back to balance. Knowing that I am human and that I am always evolving.
Living in the moment - something that is spoken of a lot in the inspirational community - is the new high. It's become the new solve it all. Something that has become a go to answer for many, like if this is going to make one magically better, or instantly enlightened - and the truth is that being spiritual or living your highest truth does not always mean being great or even acting great. Sometimes it means, being grumpy and reacting in ways that are less than stellar, and sitting in your own crap - with honesty- and putting your big girl/boy undies on, and learning to find the perfection in the imperfection, and doing better tomorrow, with the understanding that we too are important. Learning that the clues to WHY and WHAT to do are there. Learning that there is always a reason, and learning that I TOO am important.
So the next time that you are feeling less than stellar, and ol'grumy puss is showing up or you feel feelings that you thought were healed, don't be afraid to ask and get your answer. It might be just what you need.
When the student is ready the teacher appears...or something like that, right?
Before I became a fully present mamma, I learned a valuable lesson from our cat Sheba. Sheba is what I love to call our 7 year old zen mater (thanks Eckhart Tolle, for the reference). She is rarely phased and usually never bothered by the noise or rambunctiousness of my brood of 5. They have been known to dress her, carry her around like a monkey, and the poor thing has had her tail yanked on by so many little fingers that I can't even count...and in the midst of all of this she is as cool as a cucumber.
On a not to particularly important day, I was feeding her and noticed that when her food comes out, she immediately begins to rub my leg...pretty boring enough, right. I mean yeah this is what they and most animals do - big deal! Only, on that particular day, the planets and starts must've aligned because I instinctively understood that this was her form of affection and of appreciation for me giving her meals. To tell you that this blew my fucking mind, is an understatement. But why?
Immediately, I began to think of my children. I thought about all of the times that they needed something and there were appreciative of what I was giving them, showing me with hugs or kisses, or smiles turned from frowns, and due to whatever reason (too numerous to count) when my thoughts were
"they only want me when they need something." or "look the moment that I give them this they are happy. Why can't they love me without ...blah blah blargh."
You see, I realized that when I become so immersed with the outside world, my sense of worth and how it was not being honored, what I was told is appreciation, or the way that my children SHOULD react to me in various times, I removed the pleasures of simple appreciation and pure expression of love.
Like my cat, the truest form of love for my children is care and nurturing. Giving them the things that they need, that I can provide, and allowing them to feel grateful for the exchange, without our feelings of worth - learned or taught - to get in the way.
The lesson that I learned from my zen mater that day, was a powerful one. What was I allowing to look like love to me, rather than accepting it in the form that it comes - no matter the size or my definition. When we are willing to listen, anything and everything is and can be our teacher - it's up to us, however, to take in the lesson.