Sunday, July 6, 2014

Pep Talks

Sometimes I catch myself wondering if I'm good enough. I think everyone does.  

It is such a comfort to know it's not just me. That many mothers feel like they don't love their children enough, aren't doing enough, should be more connected, should have it figured out by now. That many other creative types wrestle with issues of inadequacy, that feeling of being a phony, worrying that I'll be sniffed out by aggressive critics. That all marriages have repeating patterns of highs and lows, circulate around the same issues, year after year. When I know these experiences are shared by so many other people, it makes it much easier for me to forgive myself for worrying in the first place.

It's only natural, I figure. And maybe it's necessary to be a little worried once in a while. When I concern myself with wanting to do better, in any arena, then I am challenged to do something. And I love a good challenge.

It's knowing when to try, when to remind myself to be more patient, when to be more kind (to others and myself). And knowing when I am just being self-destructive. Of course I am a good mama, because I approach it with the best intentions, I work hard, and I love fiercely. Of course people are going to disagree with or not like what I write. But limiting what I try and do, or wracking myself with guilt isn't going to get me anywhere. So, how do I know when my thoughts come from a good place or a bad place?

It may sound strange, but I write to myself. I talk to myself like I am my oldest, most trusted friend. I work through issues and worries and neuroses, and complaints by arguing with myself on paper. I lay out my arguments, I get really raw with what I'm feeling, and I step back and ask myself where it's coming from and what I should do with it. Honestly, before I'm done posing the question, I often hear the answer coming. I write that out, too. my answers are often rooted in the same message: do what's right (you always know what that is, if you think about it), do it with love, and cede control of outside influences.

These days, I am pleased to say, my worries are few and my joy is extrapolating by the day. And whenever I need a little pick-me-up, there are smiles to share, music to dance to, stories to read and kitties to pat.

And barbecue-cooked pizza to eat. Al Fresco. With my family. And a glass of wine. 

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