I commit to, 50 for 50 #23
One of Sunday’s last prompts was, “With all of you as witness, here’s what I commit to. . .” I wanted to share what I wrote:
I commit to remembering. I will remember this time, our camaraderie and your words. I will carry each of you in my heart. I will carry your joy and your sorrow, your pain and your heartache so each of you know that no matter what you don’t have to carry your burdens alone.
I commit to reminding myself that each of you will do the same for me because we’re in this together. Neither am I alone.
I commit to remembering that no one else determines my worth, no matter the way they may describe me or what I do.
I commit myself to my daughter. This has always been true, even and especially during the hard times, the times I thought my daughter deserved a better mother. She got a damn good mother. A mother who does a good job and who has learned that unconditional love exists, but that it has to be cultivated and protected. Our relationship is changing as she grows and evolves and changes. I commit to celebrating every facet of her—all that makes her her is exactly as it should be.
I commit to a gratitude practice around my husband because he works hard to care for our family.
During this year I turn 50, I committed myself to a journey of self-care, which is to say self-love. I commit to basking in the glory that is me. The best way I can love myself is to show up every day and be seen, to acknowledge and even celebrate my imperfections because they contribute to making me me. The best way to carry love into the world is to start with myself.
Each time we come together and meet in this circle and share our words and bear our souls and bear witness to each other, we heal. I commit to carrying this healing work into the world and sharing it the best way I can.
I wanted to share this because it's a snippet of what I hope for all of us: to love ourselves, honor ourselves, cherish ourselves and each other. We're worth the effort, but must make the heart-work a priority.
Love this Tracey! Those sure are words to live by, and to remind ourselves of often❤️
Tracey, your words are pure and true. I can feel your heart through each line. Thank you for wishing all this power and live for your reader, too. You are sharing it with the world right here! <3
This is beautiful, Tracey. Life encompasses easy & hard times, as everyone learns, yet we aren't born knowing how to best emotionally deal with the hard times. We learn how to cope over the course of a lifetime. Some learn self-care from a relatively early age; others, well, we figure it out over time as circumstances challenge us to want for more joy & contentment in our lives. I love this post because you are seeing, as others who love you already know, how amazing and lovable you are. I, for one, bask in the glory that is you. I take so much comfort knowing that I am not alone, that I have you, as well of other dear friends, who love me and care about me, in spite of, and/or because of, the me that I am, with the imperfections and wonders that make me… me!
And, yes, you are a damn good mother! Like you, I've often looked back at the challenges motherhood has brought me, and wished I'd done things differently. But you know what? There wasn't a step-by-step guide for us, and there still isn't one for the obstacles we've faced. So, we admit we aren't perfect, and love ourselves anyway. We know we did the best we could, and when that wasn't enough, we asked for help. We know we loved, and still love, our kids unconditionally. We look back and see that despite not being able to say we have always been perfect moms, we know in our hearts that we've loved so much that it has hurt at times. We tend to focus on what we could have done better. What I find is that I need to look at what I did that was right, what I did with the best of intentions with the tools I had at my disposal at the time. Another mom in the same situation may have not asked for help. Another mom in the same situation may have given up on her child. We didn't do that, Tracey. We fought for our kids' mental health. It was painful and hard and brought tears aplenty. We chose the hard path because we love our kids so much. So let's remember to think about what we did right, the challenges we put before us because of our unconditional love and devotion to the babies we brought into this world.
We've helped our children become more well-adapted. In a lot of ways, I see that my children are much more well-adapted at their relative ages than I was at those ages. I know that I'm much stronger, emotionally, than my mom was. So, between nature & nurture, the fate of circumstances, the parenting abilities we have and have yet to learn, if I'm stronger than my mom was, and my kids are more well-adapted now than when I was their age, I think we're heading in the right direction.
Thanks so much, Jeni!
Thank you so much, Maria! xo
Damn Sue. Per usual, your eloquence blows me away. And thank you. It may not be new territory in reality, but in my mind loving myself so and loving my friends so and actually speaking up about it AND accepting how my friends love me IS new territory. It is scary and hard. I often wonder when I'll "mess it up." And I sure do focus sometimes much more on the mothering I feel went "wrong" instead of "right." Ugh…all these damn labels with which we drive ourselves crazy. But, like you, I too am learning to focus on the positive and to see all that's different now than before and all the ways my girl is stronger than I was at her age..which are many! And you are so right again. We did fight for our kids, never giving up. In treatment, I saw girls and young women whose mothers had given up. It was devastating to witness. I can only imagine how it felt inside those dear ones: then and still now. Thank you, Sue. You champion my vision here. Not only for me but for anyone who reads. I want us all to know how wonderful we are, even and especially when we don't necessarily feel that way. I bask in the glory that is you! <3
Worrying about when you are going to "mess it up" is not productive, of course. As I say, "Change the channel!" When you have doubts or concerns in any given situation, you have a lot of resources to tap in to, should you want to talk things over with someone else. You know you are not alone.
Part of the character of one who is so caring, like you, is, I think, prone to self doubt. Me, too. I have learned that if my dear friends love and accept me the way I am, I, too, must be able to accept myself. We know no one is perfect, so we rally around each other, support each other, and know our bonds are made of love, care and respect.
Recently, a friend of mine specifically asked me to let her know if I ever feel she says anything that hurts my feelings. She told me she'd never intend to hurt me, and I know that to be true to my deepest core. We talked it over and agreed that we couldn't mess up our friendship because we would not intentionally hurt the other. That's how I feel about my friendship with you, Tracey. I'm pretty sure that's how your other close friendships work. So take a deep breath and bask in the glory of your beautiful friendships, knowing that while we all have foibles, our bonds are strong.