I am one of those people who believe that the people that are in your life are there to teach you something. I believe that they often reflect yourself back to you to teach you a lesson and help you to grow into a better person. Especially the ones that you can’t stand and who annoy you to no end. Yep. There is a piece of yourself being reflected back at you in that person. Learn from them.
I believe that this is true because I have seen it so many times in my life. I will catch my children doing or saying something that I know they learned from me or I will judge someone and go on and on about the way ‘they’ are, only to realize later that I am really just talking about myself and avoiding looking at that particular dislike inside of myself. You know, the speck and the plank thing?
Happens all the time.
I figured I would write about this today as I learned something huge this morning from my daughter Autumn. She was doing her timed math tests on the computer this morning while I was doing my yoga and she was doing horribly. Addition she knows so well, but today I gave her subtraction to do and it was a problem.
Now, something you should know about Autumn is that she is a perfectionist like me. When she was doing her addition tests, she was getting 100% or 97% and she was thrilled. She likes to do well and takes pride in her accomplishments (like me). When she was doing poorly with the subtraction tests this morning, she was crying her little eyes out.
I was trying to do yoga and relax while I had to listen to her crying and I could feel myself getting annoyed as she continued sniffling. Our conversation went as follows:
Me – “Why are you crying?“
Autumn – “Because it’s hard and I don’t know any of this.”
Me -“That’s good then, it means you will learn something.”
She is obviously afraid of failure and continues to cry while I continue my yoga. Then I ask her…
Me – “What is the worst thing that could happen if you don’t get 100% on your test? Are you going to die? Is anyone going to die? Is something really bad going to happen if you fail a little?”
Autumn – “No”.
Me – “No, you are only going to learn something. That is the point and that’s not so scary is it?”
LIGHT BULB ON! LESSON LEARNED.
I was being taught something about myself in this situation with Autumn this morning. I always want to do my best and make it my aim to do everything as perfectly as possible. I fear the unfamiliar and detaching myself from the outcomes of my situations. I fear letting go control of how I want myself, my children and my life to be. I live as though I know best how my life should be and I create disharmony and suffering for myself because of my relentlessness.
You know what though? Yesterday after my post I was determined to try and live more relaxed and in the moment. I wanted to just try for one day to not have my agenda for the day and surrender my plans. It was very hard for me and I didn’t surrender everything, but I surrendered some and in those moments, I was so full of peace and I actually could feel what it was like to be present.
I have noticed this so many times before in my life, but still I find it difficult to just let go. There is so much fear in the unknown even though I have seen time and time again that when I face my fears and do the things that I have convinced myself are impossible to do that the most rewarding and satisfying moments are born.
After our evening walk last night we decided to go and buy a kite because it was such a windy day. Usually we have our evening routine at home and this was something out of the ordinary. I was afraid. I was worried. My mind was going on and on with what ifs. “What if the baby cries? What if she/we get hungry? It would be easier to just stay home.” You know, the stupid little worries that constantly steal your joy? I decided in that moment to just surrender those worries and go anyway and you know what? I think that was one of the best moments of my life.
Autumn flew her kite and Kesa ran around being her silly self. I got to sit in the grass and actually see how beautiful my family is and how blessed we are. Serafina was fine. She loved watching the kite up in the sky. Everything that I worried would happen never did and we created a beautiful memory together.
After we went home and I baked some cookies. We ate our cookies and milk and then read some stories. I planned none of these things, yet they came to be and they were all so beautiful.
Typing this out know seems a little silly. I have read and shared so many quotes about being in the moment and how most of the things that I worry about never happen. Still, I rarely follow my own advice. I know what I should do, but I rarely ever do it. Last night was a great reminder to me of what I truly believe and that worry only steals joy.
I want to give up more of my need to control my life and surrender my worries. I want to face my fears and forget about trying to attain perfection. I know that it is unattainable, but for some reason I still chase after it. I guess in a way I even use it as a distraction from those moments of joy in surrender because I still feel so unworthy. I feel unworthy because I am not perfect, so it is all really a big, crazy, pointless cycle.
Here are some quotes about worry that I found to look at when I feel the fear of surrender.
Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. ~Leo Buscaglia
If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. ~E. Joseph Cossman
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard
Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere. ~Glenn Turner
Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face. ~Nelson DeMille
For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. ~Author Unknown
You can never worry your way to enlightenment. ~Terri Guillemets
“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.” - Mark Twain
A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. ~John Lubbock
Worry is a complete cycle of inefficient thought revolving about a pivot of fear. ~Author Unknown
My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened. ~Michel de Montaigne
Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway. ~Mary C. Crowley
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? - Matthew 6:25-27
Go down to the beach before the tide comes in,
And write your worries on the sand.
Then watch the ocean come in and wash them away. – Maithri Goonetilleke
How simple it is to see
that all the worry in the world
cannot control the future.
How simple it is to see
that we can only be happy now.
And that there will never be a time
when it is not now. – Gerald Jampolsky
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. – Buddha
Wishing you all a wonderful and beautiful day filled with many memories!