New Leaf New Life

Over the past year I’ve written plenty of posts about stepmomming and not knowing my role, blah blah blah. I know, it’s a super uncreative heavy topic. But it’s been a huge part of my life for a long time. Every time I’ve started to feel like I’m IN CONTROL finally of the situation, something else happens and I feel back where I started.

There’s been the whole feeling that:

  1. I need to do everything. It’s my job to teach them everything their mom can’t/won’t.
  2. They have a mom, so what exactly is my role??????????????????????? Even though they are at OUR house quite often, and even though I’ve been in their lives for 6 years.
  3. I feel like a failure. The kids have developed habits and beliefs that I don’t think are healthy. I SHOULD have influenced them enough to where they are on the right track. (Obviously MY WAY is the right track. I know.I can see what’s happening as I write this all out.)

 

Ugh. Can I just say a big fat UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH right now? None of these top 3 things feel good at all to me. In fact they make me feel pretty shitty about myself and my situation.

 

Believe it or not, I WANT to be in a place of joy and ease. 

I love them, and the more that I run around teaching, I am realizing that the absolute most important thing I can do is help them to know/feel that they are loved just as they are.

It won’t matter if I mention to them over and over again to eat vegetables, or to have compassion for others, or to remind them to be polite, or ways they can make friends. What will they really remember by the time they are adults?? The reality is, they will learn what they need to learn REGARDLESS of me constantly making

EVERY MOMENT A FREAKIN’ TEACHING MOMENT.

 

As I write that I’m realizing how crappy that sounds. Double ugh.

So… new plan.

I will love them.

 

My intention now, is to love them fully as they are. Which means: 

I will ask questions genuinely and listen and remember.

I will play with them.

I will notice parts of them that I admire.

I will tell them what I love about them.

I will ask them to help out, because I need the help. Not because I feel I need to teach them to help.

I will be present in the moment with them and have fun.

I will show up for them, because I want to, not because their mother may not.

I will still be clear about boundaries in our house.

I will laugh with them. Not to teach them to laugh, but because I like to laugh.

 

I’ve been in this better place for the past couple weeks. Meeting them where they are, and not feeling so much yucky pressure to FIX THINGS. It definitely takes practice. I can feel my stomach tying in knots still when I see or hear something I don’t love. But I’m getting better at saying to myself ‘It’s fine Jackie, just love her.’ And then my voice is full of love and my eyes are full of love. And then I feel good. I want them to know without a doubt how much they are loved for just being them.

 

 

 

 

Rise Up

I had an interesting experience on Friday morning. I was invited to a women’s circle, and I said yes. I love women’s circles!
It’s a chance to come together as women to share!
To feel!
To connect!
Ah! It can be so so enriching and validating.

Anyway, I was really looking forward to it. I’m such in a place of wanting to expand my friendship base to more heart centered people that are doing work on themselves, and are willing to be open and vulnerable.

We sat in a circle and all introduced ourselves. There were some that had been coming for a long time, and a couple of us were brand new. I suddenly realized that not only was I surrounded with like-minded, open, vulnerable women BUT they were all extremely successful, magnetic, and powerful creators as well. Suddenly I felt a bit intimidated and when it was my time to speak, completely forgot what to say. I totally forgot to say anything about me being AN ARTIST or anything that I want to do or create. It was like I was just milling around aimlessly. I think in hindsight, I just felt like I wasn’t enough.

As I was driving home I kept replaying what happened in my head. ‘Ahahlsdkf! Why wasn’t I more confident? Why couldn’t I think of what to say? Why did I leave everything personal out of what I was saying?’

Then my self talk got even worse. (sad face)

‘Maybe I shouldn’t be a part of this group, these women have it all together. They probably think I’m just this ridiculous foolish girl. I feel dumb and not good enough. I’m sure everything I say probably sounds so stupid to them.’

I’ve heard those words before. They were reminding me of some horrible old beliefs that I thought I’d already squashed. As I started to slip down that yucky path, ¬†something stopped me.

Then suddenly, I noticed another voice. This one was hidden behind the pushy loud one. It was patient and soft, but still steady. It said, ‘What if you were invited to this circle for a reason. You’ve been saying that you want more depth, more vulnerability. Maybe this is exactly where you need to be to learn to show up fully as yourself and keep your heart open to learning even more. It doesn’t matter how much they have accomplished, these women are so open to having you here as well. They have plenty to teach you, but you have plenty to teach them as well.’

I sat there for a moment, in traffic, and took a deep breath. This is where I got to choose which voice to listen to. The second one sounded strong and powerful, I’d definitely PREFER to listen to that one.

It’s so funny how easy it is sometimes to ASSUME that we aren’t good enough for some things, that we aren’t ready. We can ASSUME the other people have more of the answers than we do, or they are just plain smarter or prettier or better than us, and that because of that, we don’t DESERVE to be there. That our presence won’t influence the group at all, that our existence isn’t going to spark anyone, or touch anyone, or mean anything. But I’m not going to let those feelings stop me this time. It’s okay for me to feel my insecurities. I can feel them with compassion and let them go.

And then I can rise to the occasion.

 

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