True confessions of a self-proclaimed failure
Sometimes I surprise myself. This morning, over breakfast with a friend, I heard myself saying, “Yes, it’s been a rough year but I honestly think it’s been worth it because of all the lessons *I* have learned and who I have become through all the hard.” I’ve actually been thinking this for a little while now so that wasn’t the surprising part. What surprised me was that it wasn’t just something nice to say; I actually realized I believe it whole-heartedly!
This got me to thinking about how just a handful of years ago I felt like such a failure as a mom because my son didn’t have the testimony I wanted him to have ~ and he had no desire for one. OK, that didn’t necessarily make me a failure as a mom, but it certainly meant I was a huge, fat failure as a Mormon mom.
Now, I’m the kind of person that has to reconcile things in my head. My son had been raised in the Gospel and here he was choosing to walk away from it. Clearly this meant I had done something wrong and therefore I had failed. Those were the facts, as I saw it, so I worked diligently on accepting the fact that as a mom in the Church I had simply failed.
I’m pretty good at embracing what “is” so I also learned to accept the loneliness and despair that come with being a failure. Sure, it’s heavy, but this is what I deserved for failing so miserably; it was just a natural consequence of not getting it right.
But… what dawned on me this morning is this ~ I no longer believe I’m a failure that will never quite measure up because some of my sons have left the Church. I no longer spend my time trying to prove I’m still a worthwhile woman even though I don’t have the “perfect Mormon family.” And guess what else?! I am no longer lonely and weighed down by guilt and remorse over things I cannot change.
I am not saying there weren’t things I could have done differently. And I am notsaying I don’t hope and pray that my sons will eventually want to develop a relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. But what I am saying is knowing I’m not a failure as a mom (even as a Mormon mom) has allowed me to learn valuable lessons through the ups and downs of the last year ~ lessons like how to love unconditionally (which is not the same as accepting/condoning), how to find my own peace and happiness (which isn’t dependent on the actions of others), and how to accept that each one of us ~ even my boys ~ have been given the gift of agency (for better or worse), and I really wouldn’t want it any other way.
These lessons could not have been learned if I was consumed with worry, overwhelmed with bitterness, or even numbed with anger. And even though I would not have chosen these experiences on purpose, I will be eternally grateful for the woman I have become through them.
I don’t usually love surprises but the one that came this morning ~ I’ll take it!
Are you ready to exchange your own feelings of failure for love, gratitude, and peace? I promise it’s possible, even for YOU. The world ~ especially your world ~ needs the best version of you. I would love to help you find that under all the hurt, fear, and regret. CLICK HERE to schedule your private mini-session where I’ll help you start feeling lighter. It’s free. It works.
Isn’t it time to start finding your own peace in parenting?