Dear Emerging Women,
On May Day – the 1st of May – I experienced three miracles in my life. Ready?
Miracle #1 – I am on time for a school function.
It’s exactly 11am on May 1st, and I am miraculously on time for the Maypole Celebration at my sons’ school. I stand in an empty field by the maypole, simply looking around and feeling a teensy bit proud of myself for being the first to arrive. Nobody is there – just the orchestra tuning up. Far from worried, I’m smiling and happy – I love it when other people are late! I figure “Hey, this is a Waldorf School. Everything in it’s own time.” And man does it feel good to just….. wait.
Fifteen minutes later I am clutching my bag, hobble-running in heels to the opposite-side-of-campus courtyard where the assembly is actually located and well under way.
I burst through the audience with panic in my eyes and stress on my face, frantically searching the student body to find my eldest son’s class, convinced I’ve missed his performance. And in the single, solitary minute it takes for me to reach the courtyard, a billion thoughts bombard my brain:
“Slacker!! Where is your focus, your diligence? How could you just sit there for 15 minutes with NO curiosity of whether or not you are in the right place? Why didn’t you read a single one of the bazillion emails the school sent out about this? Your kids are growing up and you don’t even know what’s happening to them! You are the ONLY parent who got it wrong – what the hell? Look how beautiful and calm all of the other moms are – you’re a mess! This is going to be hard on the boys, they are going to be SO disappointed…”
Miracle #2: I remembered.
After a short teacher’s skit on the story of Spring, we walked in procession (back) to the field with the maypole where I had been patiently “waiting” before. I was as distraught from the run as I was from the inner-bullying going on in my head.
And then I remembered my practice of self-compassion.
I remembered! I sent loving words of encouragement and tenderness to my inner world, directly to my heart, and just like that – boom. I jumped off the hamster wheel of guilt and self-criticism and into an ocean of love, acceptance and peace with myself.
Miracle #3: I was tested, and I didn’t die.
“You were late,” said my eldest after the event. I had disappointed him – he’s very into punctuality (oh, the karma of it all). I know he feels safe when I am holding him in my consciousness. I know that being on time is a reflection of that.
I know these things and I am bracing myself as I put on my inner running shoes to get back on that hamster wheel of shame…
But I don’t. Somehow I find the strength to say simply, “I am sorry, baby – but I saw the whole thing and you were great!” And I continue to swim in the ocean and I continue to practice, in the moment, looking into my son’s eyes. And I survive.
He gives me a big hug, we laugh, and we are out on the other side. As I write this now, I think of these words, and send them to all mothers and daughters this Mother’s Day:
Founder, Emerging Women
More from Emerging Women this week:
Maypole Image from Crossroads by Jenna Greene