Many years ago, when I told happy hubby I was a total failure, he said:
“Failure to me is not trying, everything else is a varying degree of success.”
This re-creating me process has been so hard, but his words bring peace and reflection.
As a Mom, I programmed myself to think about my kid’s needs 24/7, and pushed mine aside.
When I finally realized I was important, and I mattered, I began to value myself. If I can fight for my kid’s needs, why wouldn’t I fight for mine?
The ups, and downs, the pain of feeling like “just a mom,” with no other redeeming qualities, I was a mess. To me, being a mom is the most important job in the world, and I did not want to fail.
Kids are like handmade chocolate, and we are the chocolatiers. We give them our blood, sweat and tears, molding them, hoping to produce the healthiest, sweetest, most successful, chocolate truffles, with no imperfections.
We know society picks on imperfections, and devalues those who are different. We want to spare them the hurt, but we can’t. We teach them to be strong, courageous, to know their worth, to make choices that will bring them joy, happiness, and peace, in a world that is not always kind.
Then life happens, and we hurt with them, wanting to fix it, knowing we can’t make it better this time. They make mistakes, and choices we might not have made for them. We wonder if we could have done something differently, or if we could have been a better parent.
We’d all like to improve, but don’t beat yourself up. You did what you could, with the information you had. At some point, you had to trust what you were doing was right, and let your babies fly.
I believe letting go is the biggest gift you can give your kids. It’s hard, but it’s not the end.
It’s the beginning of their lives as adults. It’s time to think for themselves, to make their own decisions, to process their thoughts, and become their own people. Without that time, they are just an extension of you, and all you taught them.
As parents we should want our kids to have more, and go further than we did. This is an ever-changing world, and if they don’t change with it, they will get lost, and being lost is soul crushing.
When they fly the nest, rest assured Mom, they will take you with them.
They will always remember what you taught them. You will be in their heads when they make decisions. They will process right from wrong, and just like we did, they will choose the wrong road, but they will learn from those choices, and learning is everything. Learning reminds us where we’ve been, teaches us where we want to go, and paves the way to get there.
But empty nest is also the beginning of your life. It’s time to think for yourself, to make new decisions, to process your thoughts, and become your own person.
Without that time, you are just an extension of your experiences. In my case, my experiences have been illness, surgeries, cancer, loss, healing my soul from rape, and trying to be the best mom, and wife possible.
My kids became my world. I didn’t see a future after raising kids, it felt too far away to me. Then reality smacked me in the face, and damn, it hurt!
Now is our time as Empty Nest Moms (and Dads) to educate ourselves, to make mistakes, to process our thoughts, and explore the possibilities. We will make wrong turns, and to some, those turns will look like failures. But you must see those turns as learning experiences, that propel you to where you are meant to be.
Making a wrong choice doesn’t make you a quitter, any more than being a vegan makes you a head of lettuce. Life’s ups, and downs make you resilient, a creative thinker, an innovator and you become determined, and resourceful.
We need to stop worrying about what we can’t do, and focus on what we can do.
We need to stop dwelling on what we didn’t do, and commit to what we will do.
We need to stop being afraid of what lies ahead, and trust we can face whatever comes our way.
We need to leap!
When we leap, we are not only leaping for ourselves, we are leaping for all those people we impact along the way.
Our actions affect others.
Our mistakes teach others.
Our pain gives others someone to relate to.
Like you, I have seen a lot of hurt with the political situation.
Friends and family’s torn apart, and hurtful words all over social media.
I won’t make this blog post a political debate but I will say this.
People are watching.
They want to be inspired.
They want to be comforted.
They want to feel hope.
They want to know everything will be ok.
As I sit here behind a computer, I paint a picture for you with words.
I want you to feel something.
I want to move you.
I want to inspire you.
I want to motivate you.
I joke about having 4 readers on this blog, but I want you to know I see you!
I know you are here.
I know you take time out of your busy days to read my posts.
I know because you tell me.
I know some of your stories, and I thank you for trusting me with them.
It means the world that someone wants to read something I have written.
Thank you for giving me the courage to move forward in this personal, life changing process.
So, hear me when I say…
You are not a failure!
You are not second-class!
You are not unlovable!
You are talented!
You are valuable!
You are loved!
You can change your life!
You can follow your dreams!
You can get out of an abusive relationship!
You can be all you dreamed of being!
The world needs your passion!
The world needs your voice!
The world needs your courage, your empathy, your talents, and your gentle heart!
Your experiences can change people, as you have already changed me!
So find your voice, explore your talents and dream of what might be.
The pain you are confronting today, may be your platform to the greatest impact you will have in your life, but first, you must leap!
Leave me a comment, share with me your fears, hopes and dreams.
Let’s leap together!
Be Still and know…